SfN Commends Congress for NIH Funding Increases Passed in The 21st Century Cures Act
Society for Neuroscience (SfN) President Eric Nestler, MD, PhD, released this statement today upon passage of The 21st Century Cures Act. SfN is the world’s largest organization dedicated to advancing the understanding of the brain and nervous system.
With the passage of the 21st Century Cures Act, Congress took a major step forward today to support biomedical research that advances brain science, cancer treatments and precision medicine. The bill provides $1.5 billion over 10 years for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) efforts around the Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative, and will invest billions more in other key basic research priorities including important initiatives on precision medicine and cancer. We are pleased too that the President has indicated his support for this important legislation and look forward to it being signed into law.
These initiatives are essential to create better fundamental understanding of brain function and their interrelationships with other diseases and conditions, thereby sparking new treatments—and even, one day, cures—for devastating diseases that deeply affect millions of American families, including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases, autism, traumatic brain injury, paralysis, addiction, depression and many other mental illnesses. Additional provisions in the bill take important steps to reduce duplicative administrative requirements, ensuring that scientists can focus more time on new discoveries. Importantly, it also provides increased flexibility for government scientists to participate in scientific forums that advance new findings and breakthroughs.
While this support goes a long way toward increasing our nation’s much-needed federal investment in scientific research, it is essential that Congress ensure this investment is made in addition to robust annual funding for NIH as a whole. Sustained investment in biomedical and basic research is critical for the health and welfare of people in the United States, as well as the country’s economic vitality, and has made NIH a global research leader, business partner, and crucial partner with scientific institutions around the world. SfN urges the new Congress and Administration continue supporting NIH and the other scientific agencies in 2017.
The Society for Neuroscience (SfN) is an organization of 37,000 basic scientists and clinicians who study the brain and nervous system. Learn more about SfN advocacy priorities surrounding research funding and about brain science at BrainFacts.org.