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ASH awards grants to support critical research threatened by NIH cuts
Date:8/14/2013

(WASHINGTON, August 14, 2013) As federal funding cuts continue to jeopardize the progress of biomedical research, the American Society of Hematology (ASH), the world's largest professional organization dedicated to the causes and treatments of blood disorders, today announced the 12 recipients of its second round of ASH Bridge Grants. This innovative program, launched last year, supports the life-saving research of hematologists whose proposals were deemed excellent by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) but not funded due to a $1.6 billion reduction in federal funding as a direct result of sequestration.

These cuts aside, NIH's inflation-adjusted budget is 20 percent lower than it was in FY2003. According to NIH estimates, the combination of long-term flat funding and sequestration-related budget cuts will prevent the agency from funding approximately 700 competitive research project grants this year. This drastic reduction in funding will have a devastating impact on scientists who have committed their lives to careers in hematology research and will result in many talented investigators abandoning their research careers. It will also slow momentum for finding new treatments, or even cures, for some of the most deadly diseases.

"Given this harsh economic climate, instead of continuing their work searching for new treatments or cures for hematologic diseases, talented investigators who rely on NIH grants have no choice but to slow or suspend research because they no longer have the resources," said ASH President Janis L. Abkowitz, MD, of the University of Washington in Seattle. "This concerning trend ultimately threatens medical innovation and dissuades aspiring scientists from entering the field."

To help sustain crucial blood disease research during this crisis, in July 2012 ASH committed $9 million in
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Contact: Amanda Szabo
aszabo@hematology.org
202-552-4914
American Society of Hematology
Source:Eurekalert

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