Caucus explores crucial role of NIH research fundingDec. 3, 2015, 8:39 AM
James Crowe Jr., M.D., director of the Vanderbilt Vaccine Center, and Anthony Fauci, M.D., director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), recently participated in a U.S. Senate National Institutes of Health (NIH) caucus briefing held in Washington, D.C., by Senate NIH caucus co-chairs Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Dick Durbin (D-IL).
The presentation, “NIH Funding and the Promise of Biomedical Research,” was given to a bipartisan audience of U.S. Senate staff members and others on hand to provide further information about the critical importance of continued support from the federal government for research funding.
Crowe discussed recent advances in technology enabling rapid discovery and development of human antibody treatments against emerging infectious diseases, including Ebola, Marburg, chikungunya, dengue and avian influenza viruses.
He reviewed current capabilities for expediting antibody therapy from discovery to clinical trials in a one- to two-year time frame and the critical role the NIH plays in supporting these efforts.
Fauci spoke about the latest scientific advances toward the development of a universal influenza vaccine that would protect against multiple seasonal and pandemic influenza viruses, as well as progress toward an HIV/AIDS vaccine. In addition, Fauci provided an update on NIAID’s ongoing research response to the unprecedented Ebola outbreak in western Africa.
Update: In December, 2015, the House and Senate approved the 2016 spending bill, which included the largest investment in the NIH in more than a decade. The legislation increases the NIH’s budget by $2 billion, to $32 billion.