July 09, 2010

FASEB Welcomes New President, William T. Talman, MD 

University of Iowa physician William T. Talman, MD assumed office as the 95th President of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) on July 1st. Talman is a Professor of Neurology and Neuroscience at Iowa and practices at the University Hospital and the Iowa City Veterans Affairs (VA) hospital where he is the Chief of the Neurology Service. He will serve for one year as the leader of the 23 member society federation comprising more than 100,000 scientists and engineers.

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Inside (The Beltway) Scoop - Jennifer Zeitzer


Eager to have some legislative accomplishments to discuss with their constituents, lawmakers made progress on both the budget and appropriations front before heading out of town for the week-long July 4th recess. On July 1st, the House passed its version of an Iraq/Afghanistan war supplemental spending bill and with it a one-year budget enforcement resolution capping fiscal year (FY) 2011 discretionary spending at $1.121 trillion, seven billion below the President’s request. The supplemental also includes $4.95 billion to address an expected shortage in funding for Pell Grants.


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FASEB President Urges Appropriators to Increase NIH Budget to $37 Billion, Issues Action Alert

FASEB President William T. Talman, MD sent a letter to the House Labor, Health and Human Services, Education (LHHS) Appropriations Subcommittee on July 8th urging that the budget for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) be $37 billion in fiscal year (FY) 2011. “The opportunities for continued progress have never been greater, but we need adequate resources to ensure that progress is not curtailed,” Talman stated. The letter noted that in 2009, supplemental appropriations from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) restored purchasing power at NIH and resulted in an extraordinary response from the scientific community. Thousands of promising new studies are now underway and open more opportunities for the cures, improved diagnostics, and prevention strategies of the future.


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House Subcommittee Approves $7.424 Billion for National Science Foundation  

On Tuesday, June 29th, the House Commerce, Justice, Science (CJS) Appropriations Subcommittee approved its FY 2011 funding bill. The bill provides the National Science Foundation (NSF) with $7.424 billion, which is $498 million (seven percent) above the enacted FY 2010 level of $6.926 billion (not including American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds). In his opening statement, Subcommittee Chairman Alan Mollohan (D-WV) said, “The subcommittee recommendation continues to provide resources consistent with the doubling path identified for NSF and NIST in the COMPETES Act.” The NSF funding level in the bill is equal to the President’s FY 2011 request, but $256 million below FASEB’s recommended 11 percent increase to $7.680 billion.

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Appropriations Bill Provides $312 Million for Agriculture and Food Research Initiative

Last week, the House Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee passed its FY 2011 appropriations bill which would fund the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) at a level of $312 million, which is $50 million (19 percent) above the enacted FY 2010 level of $262 million. "We know for a fact that neglecting basic research is never a smart or sustainable path to prosperity. So, we have continued to make sound investments in agricultural research,” Subcommittee Chairwoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) said in her opening statement. The funding provided for AFRI in the bill is $117 million below the President’s FY 2011 request of $429 million and $188 million below FASEB’s recommendation.

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White House Issues Executive Order on Security of Biological Select Agents and Toxins

On July 2nd, President Obama issued an Executive Order on Optimizing the Security of Biological Select Agents and Toxins in the United States. A press release accompanying the order stated that it was the result of a review of federal policies and procedures for the security of biological select agents and toxins (BSAT). It begins with a statement about the value of research using BSAT and calls for greater security to prevent their loss, misuse, or accidental release.


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National Science Foundation Launches Innovation Online Resource

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has launched its Science, Engineering, & Education Innovation (SEE Innovation) website initiative. The new service provides policy makers, science-related organizations, and the general public with information about NSF-funded research and education projects. Users can access summaries of select projects, read biographies of leading scientists, learn about large-scale research facilities, and find state-specific statistics about NSF awards received in a given fiscal year.


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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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