BETHESDA, Md., March 14, 2011 -- Young researchers from universities across the United States will arrive at the U.S. House and Senate on Tuesday for talks with lawmakers and their staffs about how to keep the scientific research enterprise moving and how to fuel the pursuit for medical breakthroughs in a time of national economic uncertainty.
The undergraduate and graduate students participating in Hill Day, a twice-annual event sponsored by the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, have a number of weighty issues they intend to address.
The 16 students will meet with, among others, the staffs of U.S. House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, U.S. Rep. Ed Markey, D-Mass., and U.S. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., who serves as chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee's financial services and general government subcommittee. Meetings also have been scheduled with U.S. Reps. Jo Bonner, R-Ala., Rodney Alexander, R-La., Jim Matheson, D-Utah, and U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala.
One of the participants, Brown University med student and doctoral candidate Angel S. Byrd, says she intends to one day study childhood obesity as a pediatric endocrinologist. While visiting Capitol Hill, Byrd says, she hopes to concretize lawmaker's faith in the "power of research and the long-term investment in its goals and vision."
"My main goal is to provide a real-life example of an aspiring physician scientist who has been afforded the opportunity to engage in scientific biomedical research. Because of the training I am receiving, I will continue to contribute to and advance the fields of science and medicine. Funding that has been provided by the National Institutes of Health has accelerated and progressed the research that is ongoing in our laboratory and has allowed for multidisciplinary collaboration," the Jackson, Miss., native explained.
Melanie Krook, a biochemistry and French major at Miami University in Ohio, has partic
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American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology