Senator Rob Portman Visits University of Cincinnati Neuroscience Lab
On September 9, SfN Government and Public Affairs Committee Member Kim Seroogy and 2015 Early Career Policy Ambassador Ryan Makinson led Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) on a tour of Seroogy’s lab at the University of Cincinnati (UC), which studies Parkinson’s disease and depression. Following the tour, Portman met with members of UC leadership and distinguished principal investigators including: Vice Provost and Dean of the Graduate School Marshall Montrose, Senior Vice President of Health Affairs and Dean of the College of Medicine William Ball, Director of the UC Gardner Neuroscience Institute Joe Broderick, President and CEO of UC Health Richard Lofgren, and William Portman of the UC Board of Trustees.
To add the perspectives of patients and their families, a person with Parkinson’s and her caregiver, as well as a local Parkinson’s advocate whose father battled the disease, also joined the tour. During the tour, Portman had the opportunity to see the facilities, resources, and equipment necessary to engage in modern biomedical research. Portman also helped to cut sections of a rat brain on a microtome and viewed slides of stained brain tissue under a microscope.
The tour was accompanied by a roundtable discussion focusing on the impact of scientific research on human health and the economy. Portman showed particular interest in the progression of research aimed at finding a cure or better treatment for Parkinson’s disease, as well as for opioid addiction. Portman and his wife are Honorary Chairs of the Gardner Family Center’s Sunflower Rev It Up for Parkinson’s Walk/Ride/Run event, which raises funds for and awareness of Parkinson’s disease.
Portman expressed optimism about increasing and sustaining scientific research through legislative support of NIH funding. At the end of the roundtable discussion, Seroogy and Makinson offered to be resources for scientific information in the future. After the visit, Portman’s office posted pictures on the senator’s twitter account, including comments such as, “with more research and funding, we can end Parkinson’s Disease,” and expressed gratitude for, "an awesome visit,” to UC’s Medical Center.
** This lab tour was scheduled after a meeting during SfN’s Capitol Hill Day.