January 29, 2010

FASEB Releases FY2011 Funding Recommendations for Federal Science Agencies

FASEB has released its annual report to Congress, Federal Funding for Biomedical & Related Life Sciences Research, FY 2011. “This report represents the consensus view of our 23 member societies, comprising well over 90,000 scientists and engineers, working at the laboratory bench and in the medical clinic,” said Mark O. Lively, Ph.D., FASEB President in a January 28th discussion with science policy reporters. “Fiscal year 2011 is a critical year for science. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds, which expire this year, reminded us of the phenomenal creativity of the scientific community and the exciting, new ideas ready to be explored. Our goal is to sustain that excitement, maximize the return on those investments, and continue the innovative pipeline of medical and technological advancements that federal science agencies have always fostered.” Below are the recommendations for the five agencies described in the report:

National Institutes of Health (NIH)
In order to fulfill the extraordinary scientific and medical promise of biomedical research, FASEB urges Congress to make the National Institutes of Health a priority and recommends that NIH receive $37 billion in FY2011.

National Science Foundations (NSF)
FASEB recommends an appropriation of $7.68 billion for the National Science Foundation in FY2011.

Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)
FASEB recommends $1 billion for the VA Medical and Prosthetics Research Program in FY2011, including $700 million for research and $300 million for infrastructure.

Department of Energy (DoE), Office of Science
In keeping with President Obama’s vision for doubling the DoE Office of Science budget, FASEB recommends an appropriation of $5.24 billion in FY2011.

United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Agriculture and Food Research Initiative
FASEB supports funding the USDA’s Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) at $500 million in FY2011.

The annual report will be distributed to federal lawmakers, health-research officials in the Obama administration, and the research community. It will serve as the basis for FASEB’s research funding advocacy efforts for the next fiscal year. For a print copy of the report, call (301) 634-7650 and one will be mailed to you as soon as final copies are available. A pre-publication copy of the report is also available online at: http://www.faseb.org

                               FASEB Federal Funding Report FY11


Inside (The Beltway) Scoop – Jennifer Zeitzer

The Senate returned to work the week of January 18th amid the news that the Democratic majority had been reduced from 60 to 59 after Republican Scott Brown won the special election in Massachusetts to fill the seat held by Senator Edward Kennedy prior to his death. Senator Brown’s victory left the fate of the health care reform bill uncertain as the Democratic leadership met with President Obama to consider alternative options and strategies for resolving the differences between the legislation passed by the House and Senate last year. Although several different scenarios have emerged, Democratic leaders have not yet decided how to proceed on health care.

With health reform stalled, both the House and Senate turned to other legislative matters, including passing HR 4508, a bill that will provide another short-term extension for the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs. Both programs are currently operating under an authorization that expires on Jan. 31st. HR 4508 extends the SBIR and STTR programs through April 30, 2010 and does not increase the current set-aside level.

In related news, President Obama provided a sneak preview of his fiscal year (FY) 2011 budget request on January 27th when he delivered the annual State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress. Placing a heavy emphasis on the need to create jobs and tackle the economic issues facing the country, the President urged lawmakers to adopt a more bipartisan approach to governing. He also encouraged Congress not to walk away from the health care reform effort, noting that it was still a priority for his administration. In addition, Obama discussed the need to encourage American innovation and reminded his colleagues that in 2009, they made the largest investment in basic research funding in history. Acknowledging public concern about the growing national deficit, the President pledged to freeze most government spending (except for funding for national security, Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security) for three years starting in 2011. Further details about the President’s proposals are expected to be revealed when the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) releases the Obama budget request on February 1st.

The submission of the President’s budget request is the first step in the annual process of determining funding levels for all federal agencies. Members of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees ultimately decide how much money each agency and program will receive. The House Commerce, Justice, Science (CJS) Appropriations Subcommittee will hold a hearing on February 11th to receive testimony from members and the public about the fiscal year 2011 budget. Requests to testify should be emailed to CJ.Approp@mail.house.gov no later than February 5th. Written testimony for the hearing record is due by February 11th. Further instructions are available on the subcommittee’s website. Although the House Energy and Water Development Appropriations Subcommittee will not be scheduling a hearing for outside witnesses this year, interested parties may submit written testimony for the record. Statements are due by March 19th and should be emailed to EW.Approp@mail.house.gov. The House Labor, Health and Human Services (HHS) Appropriations Subcommittee has not yet set a date for its public witness hearing. However, organizations may request to testify by emailing a letter to lh.approp@mail.house.gov with the subject line “Request to Testify at Public Witness Hearing.” The schedule of Senate Appropriations Committee hearings is unknown at the current time.

Congress is expected to spend the remaining two weeks leading up to the President’s Day recess (February 15th – 19th) working on job creation legislation. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) said a Senate Democratic jobs bill will be introduced next week. The House passed similar legislation prior to adjourning at the end of December.


FASEB Publishes Breakthoughs Article on Monoclonals, Launches New Series

This month, FASEB announced the release of the publication, “Magic Bullets and Monoclonals: An Antibody Tale,” the latest edition in the Breakthroughs in Bioscience series. This most recent article describes the century of fundamental immunology research that led to today’s cutting edge monoclonal antibody therapies, used to treat millions of patients for several types of cancer, autoimmune and inflammatory disorders, and infectious disease.

The Breakthroughs in Bioscience series is a collection of illustrated articles, published by FASEB, that explain recent developments in basic biomedical research and how they are important to society. To obtain a free copy of these publications, visit the Breakthroughs in Bioscience web site or contact FASEB’s Office of Public Affairs at (301) 634-7650.

FASEB also launched a new series this week, Horizons in Bioscience, to provide educational, one-page articles that highlight cutting-edge scientific research on the brink of clinical application and describe the pathway of discovery leading to the current day. The first in the new series, “How Biomedical Research Provides Fertility Hope to Cancer Survivors,” discusses the latest findings in oncofertility, the preservation of a women’s fertility following cancer treatment, and outlines some of the historic scientific achievements in fertility treatment, from in vitro fertilization to cryopreservation.

Horizons in Bioscience is intended to supplement FASEB’s existing series, Breakthroughs in Bioscience, which comprises longer, illustrated articles documenting how basic research discoveries are translated into new therapies or medical technologies. “Breakthroughs in Bioscience examines treatments currently in use by millions of patients and tells the stories of the science that underlie those clinical advancements,” said Jennifer Zeitzer, Ph.D., FASEB’S Director of Scientific Affairs and Public Relations. “Horizons in Bioscience provides the opportunity to explore exciting areas of science in the very early stages of clinical research and use.”

Like the Breakthroughs series, Horizons in Bioscience will be available free of charge on our website.







FASEB’s Washington Update is brought to you bi-monthly by the FASEB Office of Public Affairs. We welcome your questions and comments – please contact Jennifer Zeitzer at jzeitzer@faseb.org or 301-634-7650. For more information about how to get involved in research advocacy, visit: http://capwiz.com/faseb/home/



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