U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Boston Mayor Thomas Menino recently joined leaders of area hospitals and research universities to highlight the dangers of cuts to National Institutes of Health (NIH) research funding.
“The research these scientists do is mind-blowing, and the idea that Congress could slash their funding next month is mind-boggling,” Mayor Menino said. “The doctors who have joined us here today have made it their life’s work to improve people’s lives. I hope in the coming days we can say the same about Congress.”
The across-the-board federal spending cuts scheduled to be implemented March 1 would eliminate $2.4 billion in NIH funding. This would have a significant impact on Massachusetts, which last year received 11.3 percent of NIH funding. Boston receives more NIH funding than any other city in the country.
“NIH funding plays a key role in supporting life-saving medical research at Boston’s world-class hospitals and universities,” said Warren. “Across-the-board spending cuts are bad for Massachusetts and bad for the country. I will fight to stop these significant cuts to NIH funding, which would put critical research programs here in Boston and across the Commonwealth at risk and hurt our economy.”
In 2011, Boston led all cities in NIH funding, extending its streak to 17 consecutive years. This accomplishment is attributable to Boston’s world-renowned hospitals, universities, public, private and non-profit agencies, which received more than 3,600 grants for a total combined award of $1.7 billion in 2011.