The May 12 editorial “Target: cure” rightly saluted the University of North Carolina for receiving tens of millions of dollars in research money from the National Institutes of Health over several years. This success is a tribute to the work of brilliant researchers today and to those leaders who foresaw, years ago, the wisdom of attracting research-based industries to the Triangle.
What isn’t noted in the editorial is that federal funding for NIH, as well as for other federal science agencies, has been essentially stagnant in the past decade, failing to keep pace with a growing sense of urgency by the public that health challenges like Alzheimer’s, autism, cancer, diabetes and HIV/AIDS are desperately in need of a solution.
How can scientists find answers when only 1 in 6 approved research proposals can be funded by NIH?
It’s not hard to imagine that many great ideas are being left on the cutting room floor and that bright young scientists are becoming increasingly discouraged.
This is the time for North Carolinians who are proud of their state’s scientific prowess to tell their elected representatives in Washington to keep it that way, by making federally supported research a higher priority in funding decisions.
President and CEO Research!America