Medical school: Call for sustainable biomedical research funding

Unstable funding is threatening the viability of academic biomedical research, according to a new paper published this week in the journal Science Translational Medicine. The paper was written jointly by the deans of 19 prominent medical schools around the USA. Among this group is University of Maryland School of Medicine Dean E. Albert Reece.

Unstable support for biomedical research endangers US science, new policy paper...
Unstable support for biomedical research endangers US science, new policy paper argues.
Source: © panthermedia.net / matej kastelic

"We must reinvigorate the federal-academic partnership for research across all sciences," the authors write. If the current trends in funding continue, both established investigators and early-career scientists could leave academic research, the authors warn. The situation could also harm our country's position as a world leader in biomedical research, as other countries put more effort and money into their research enterprises.

"The current approach to funding puts our country's scientific leadership at risk," said Dean Reece. "We must do more to ensure that our researchers have the resources they need to fulfill their essential role developing new treatments and therapies."

The paper notes that since World War II, the federal government and academic research institutions have formed a "remarkable collaboration" that has fostered many important research and clinical advances in many areas, including cancer, cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases, mental illness and infectious disease. But in recent years, this partnership has come under pressure, they say, because of decreased and variable federal funding, and because academic medical centers face shrinking revenues from clinical care. The authors note that many academic medical centers must treat the most complex and challenging patients, and often must care for patients with little means to pay for the treatment they receive.

It is especially important, the authors say, to provide support to early-career scientists, who are often most vulnerable to the vicissitudes of funding variation.

The authors argue that Congressional action may be necessary, and say that the 21st Century Cures Act could address some of these concerns. This bill, which is now being developed by members of Congress, would authorize regular increases in biomedical research funding, and would include measures to reward innovation in research.

"To provide next-generation health care solutions," the authors write, "we require 21st-century policies that support modern scientific research and development."

Source: University of Maryland School of Medicine

29.05.2015

Read all latest stories

Related articles

Photo

Economies of scale

Lab medicine: Network consolidation continues

Laboratory networks are consolidating across the globe as they seek to deliver a more efficient and cost effective service. The latest developments on several continents were outlined at the FiLM…

Photo

Nano-scale diagnostics

Researchers are developing a ‘Lab-on-skin’ to monitor biomarkers

Move over, lab-on-a-chip and lab-on-paper. There’s a new diagnostic technology in research labs that is gaining credibility. It is called lab-on-skin technology and some scientists are quite…

Photo

Investment

Curetis expands its diagnostic platform

Curetis N.V. and the European Investment Bank (EIB) today announced that the EIB granted Curetis a EUR 25 million senior, unsecured loan. The financing is the first growth capital loan under the…

Related products

Eppendorf – Mastercycler nexus X2

Research Use Only (RUO)

Eppendorf – Mastercycler nexus X2

Eppendorf AG
i-Solutions Health – LabCentre

LIS, Middleware, POCT

i-Solutions Health – LabCentre

i-SOLUTIONS Health GmbH
Medat – Laboratory Information System

LIS, Middleware, POCT

Medat – Laboratory Information System

Medat Computer-Systeme GmbH
Sarstedt – Low DNA Binding Micro Tubes

Research Use Only (RUO)

Sarstedt – Low DNA Binding Micro Tubes

SARSTEDT AG & CO. KG
Shimadzu – CLAM-2030

Research Use Only (RUO)

Shimadzu – CLAM-2030

Shimadzu Europa GmbH
Siemens Healthineers - syngo Lab Inventory Manager (sLIM)

LIS, Middleware, POCT

Siemens Healthineers - syngo Lab Inventory Manager (sLIM)

Siemens Healthineers