She also worries about America's global innovation leadership. "One of the most wonderful things about a career in science is that you meet people from all over the world [who] come here to train," DePace says. "But if we decrease funding for science, we risk losing these scientists Americans and our international scientists to other countries where they are investing in science more heavily. That really puts our entire innovation culture at risk, which I find really disheartening."
"With sequestration, the prospects for new medicines will dip," explains William Chin, executive dean for research at Harvard Medical School. "Basic research is funded largely by government sources and not by industry. Industry will need to continue to focus its funding in late-stage development," he says.
"Today, thanks to investments by the National Institutes of Health, diseases from HIV to many cancers and heart diseases once a death sentence are now yielding to therapy," says Dr. Jeffrey Balser, vice chancellor for Health Affairs at Vanderbilt University. But, he adds, "the battle is never over as we work feverishly on diseases even now becoming epidemics."
"Those of us working in biomedical research find the notion our elected officials might, through intention or neglect, force our scientists to abandon their efforts is rather frightening," says Balser. "I know that families in this country, suffering with serious disease share my concern."
|Contact: Lauren Pulte|
The Science Coalition