Carol Greider on NIH Budget Woes

From this article: Mikulski Visits NIH, Hears Impact of Sequestration

Carol Grieder has always been an articulate advocate:

..  Nobel laureate Dr. Carol Greider, who offered a view of sequestration from the perspective of an NIH-supported researcher.

Currently chair of molecular biology and genetics at JHU School of Medicine, Greider has been an NIH grantee for the past 23 years. She said the 15 faculty members of her department—“outstanding scientists who have made some of the fundamental discoveries in modern biology”—have also been funded by NIH for more than 20 years….

“The bulk of funds in my research branch goes to support young people who work in the lab—young people who I’m training to be the next generation of scientific leaders,” she said. “Now I see the training of these bright young students as truly being in jeopardy if the NIH funding further declines.

“Given that my work on telomeres was really far outside the mainstream research, I’m not sure that in the current climate we have for research funding that I would have received funding to be able to do the work that led to the Nobel Prize…Breakthroughs come from young scientists and this group is in jeopardy today…For the first time in all of the years I have been chair of the department, we have a projected budget deficit…Even before talk of sequestration, things have been hard.”

Collins confirmed that sequestration would mean that “hundreds of grants will not get paid” and training grants will be cut. Every institute and center will take a 5.1 percent cut in its funding.

“This is not a spigot that you turn off and then turn on again blithely. If we lose the talents of this up-and-coming generation with all of their dreams and vision, they’re not coming back…Right now we have a hard time convincing people getting into this field that there’s a career path for them. What biomedical research desperately needs is a stable trajectory. What we’ve had instead has been a rollercoaster of ups and downs, and mostly downs.”


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