Weekly Advocacy News Roundup
More Than $100 Million in New BRAIN Funds
October 1, 2015 | Science
As part of the BRAIN Initiative, the Kavli Foundation and other partners have announced $100 million in new funding for neuroscience research, which includes new neuroscience research institutes at UCSF, Johns Hopkins University, and Rockefeller University. This new funding, aiming to provide stable support for high-risk interdisciplinary research, exceeds the original $40 million commitment that the Kavli Foundation made to President Obama and the BRAIN Initiative.
- Read more about the BRAIN Initiative at SfN.org.
US Budget Deal Averts Government Shutdown
September 30, 2015 | Nature
President Obama has signed the budget bill, approved on September 30th by Congress, ensuring that government operations will be funded until mid-December and heading off the threat of a government shutdown with hours to spare. With few surprises, the bill extends 2015 levels of funding for most agencies and does not resolve ongoing concerns regarding Planned Parenthood and nor does it allow for the Precision Medicine Initiative to launch as scheduled in January unless a new budget is approved.
- Take action and tell your Members of Congress to support funding for biomedical research at SfN.org.
NIH Invests $85 Million for BRAIN Initiative Research
October 1, 2015 | NIH.gov
NIH announced its second wave of grants to support President Obama’s BRAIN Initiative this week, approving 67 new awards that will go to 131 investigators within the United States and eight other countries. This brings the investment by NIH in the BRAIN Initiative to $85 million in the 2015 fiscal year.
- Learn about where to find NIH funding opportunities at Neuronline.
Medical Research Council Cancer Funding Down by a Third Since 2010
September 24, 2015 | The Guardian
In the United Kingdom, spending on cancer research by the Medical Research Council under Prime Minister David Cameron has fallen by approximately one third of its prior levels, despite claims by the government to have made an effort to protect research budgets.
- Learn more about global neuroscience advocacy at SfN.org.
Articles of Interest
Dulling Pain May Also Reduce Empathy
September 28, 2015 | Science
A new study indicates that seeing images of others in pain or distress engages many of the same neurological circuits as when pain is physically experienced. Previous fMRI research has shown that empathy for others’ pain and first hand pain activate similar areas of the brain, but this study is the first to show evidence that use of opioids not only dulls first-hand pain, but also empathy at the pain of others.
- Watch a video about neural responses to pain at BrainFacts.org.
"Brain in a Dish" Could Replace Toxic Animal Tests
September 25, 2015 | Scientific American
University of Wisconsin scientists have grown 3D brain-like tissue derived from human embryonic stem cells, for the first time, featuring vascular cells and microglia. Additionally, unlike previous versions of model brains, this tissue can easily reproduce and thus, may provide a quick and low-cost method of screening potential drugs and treatments.
- Read about drug development at BrainFacts.org.
Protecting Apes Could Backfire
September 26, 2015 | The New York Times
Now that chimpanzees are officially protected under the Endangered Species Act, only research benefitting wild chimps will be approved and will also require a permit from the Fish and Wildlife Service. However, even research that could help wild chimps, work towards an Ebola vaccine, and other important research goals might become too difficult to pursue under the new rules.
- Read a letter by SfN President Steven Hyman and Committee on Animals in Research Chair Michael Goldberg to Science in support of work with primates.
The 21st Century Cures Act and the Need to Create Impact
September 27, 2015 | MD Magazine
Although the 21st Century Cures Act, approved by the House of Representative earlier this year, is a step in the right direction for science funding, changes to regulatory agencies, a further investment in entrepreneurship, and other improvements in how translational research is conducted will be important in the future to truly improve the health of Americans.
- Learn more about how academic science can prepare you for a career in industry at Neuronline.
The Role of Science and Innovation in a 21st Century Government
September 27, 2015 | The Conversation
With a new Prime Minister, how will Australia guide their research program into the 21st Century? Supporting both public and private sector science and innovation will be critical to the success of the new Australian government’s efforts to support research.
- See other sources for neuroscience funding in Australia at SfN.org