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Setbacks in Mesothelioma Research Possible Due to Closure of the Only Federally-Funded Mesothelioma Program
Date:11/4/2013

Alexandria, VA (PRWEB) November 04, 2013

The Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation (Meso Foundation) warns that closure of the National Mesothelioma Virtual Bank (NMVB), the only federally-funded program specifically designated for mesothelioma that recently saw its funding cut as a direct result of the sequester (officially known as the Budget Control Act of 2011), may cause setbacks in mesothelioma research.

The NMVB is a virtual biospecimen registry designed to support and facilitate mesothelioma research. The registry, which was housed at the University of Pittsburgh, was a public resource available for use by mesothelioma researchers across the country. Run by Michael Becich, M.D., Ph.D., the NMVB was in its the seventh year of operation with a Federal Funding Notice of Award stating it would be funded until August of 2016 as long as funds were available. In August, Dr. Becich received less than 30-days’ notice, that the funding for the NMVB would be cut as a result of the sequester. This devastating news was delivered by the fiscal management team of the CDC without any input from the program officers responsible for scientifically managing the NMVB at NIOSH. The program was funded by the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) of the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and was deemed as an exemplary program in the agency’s 2012 annual report.

The virtual tissue bank was a partnership between the University of Pittsburgh, the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York University and the University of Pennsylvania.

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