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Biophysical Society Converges on Capitol Hill for Rally for Medical Research Hill Day

Annual event brings nearly 350 organizations together to ask Congress for robust, sustained, and predictable annual budget increases for the NIH

Biophysical Society Converges on Capitol Hill for Rally for Medical Research Hill Day

The Biophysical Society (BPS) will be one of nearly 350 organizations participating in the sixth annual Rally for Medical Research Hill Day, urging our nation’s policymakers to make lifesaving medical research funding a national priority by supporting robust, sustained, and predictable annual increases in funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Specifically, advocates will express their appreciation to Senate offices for passing a bill with a $2 billion funding increase for NIH in FY (fiscal year) 2019, while requesting that the House of Representatives support the Senate-passed funding level of $39.1 billion for the NIH in the final FY 2019 Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations Bill.

On September 12, Rally Hill Day partners will host a reception featuring remarks from leading policymakers, including: Senator Roy Blunt (R-Missouri), chairman of the Senate Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations Subcommittee, which oversees the annual budget for the NIH; Senator Patty Murray (D-Washington), ranking member on the Senate Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations Subcommittee; U.S. Rep. Kevin Yoder (R-Kansas), member of the House Appropriations Committee, and NIH Director Francis S. Collins, MD, PhD.

On September 13, hundreds of researchers, health care professionals, survivors, and patient advocates will participate in meetings with House and Senate offices during the Rally for Medical Research Hill Day. Eight BPS members will attend the event. Hill Day will begin with a breakfast featuring remarks by U.S. Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Maryland), who represents Maryland’s 8th Congressional District, which includes the NIH campus, and U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Florida).

“Biophysics is instrumental in understanding the mechanics of the molecules of life, how different parts of cells move and function, and how complex systems in our body — the brain, immune system, and more — operate. We work hand-in-hand with the NIH on efforts to control and overcome diseases and better our understanding of emerging public health threats. Investments in biomedical research grow our economy and reduce our nation’s healthcare costs,” said Ro Kampman, Executive Director, Biophysical Society.

During these Hill Day meetings, advocates will share the importance of investing in the NIH, emphasizing the following:

  • Ninety-five percent of the NIH budget goes directly to research awards, programs, and centers; training programs; and research and development contracts.
  • Each year, the NIH awards more than 57,000 research and training grants. These grants support approximately 300,000 researchers at more than 2,500 universities and organizations across all 50 states.
  • NIH-funded research contributed to the development of every one of the 210 new drugs approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration between 2010 and 2016.

In addition to all those attending meetings on Capitol Hill, many more advocates will participate in the Rally’s National Day of Action on September 13. Organizations who are participating in the Rally are encouraging their communities to get in touch with their members of Congress via phone, email, and social media to urge their support for medical research. 

The Rally for Medical Research initiative was launched in April 2013 to bring together the entire medical research community to ask Congress to make the NIH a national priority. Through the annual Hill Day, the Rally for Medical Research continues to raise awareness about the critical need for an increased investment in the NIH to improve health, spur progress, inspire hope, and save more lives.

Following more than a decade of NIH budgets that failed to keep up with the rate of biomedical inflation, Congress has redoubled its efforts to support lifesaving research by boosting the NIH budget by a remarkable $7 billion (23 percent) since FY 2015. For the benefit of all those who continue to await better therapies and even cures, this momentum must continue.

This investment is enabling researchers at universities and research institutions in all 50 states to pursue emerging scientific opportunities to address the nation’s most pressing health needs. In addition to bringing hope and improving the quality of life for patients, the ongoing success of the medical research enterprise also drives local and national economic activity, strengthens U.S. competitiveness in an increasingly innovation-based global marketplace, and inspires future generations of scientists to commit to careers in research.

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