Columbia University Medical Center

NIH Grants Feed Our Economy. — Lynne Johnson

 On Monday, April 8, I was at the Rally for Medical Research.  Not too many things could get me to the point of going down to Washington to rally, but NIH cuts is one of them. These cuts could have devastating impacts not just on health, scientific advancement, and careers, but also on our economic future.

From my position reviewing NIH grant proposals for research on new imaging technology, I’ve watched firsthand as a field develops and grows, and I know that NIH funding can be a real economic engine.  Over the years, I’ve seen many young investigators and research scientists begin at NIH-funded laboratories, obtain their own funding, and eventually develop startups that advance imaging technology. These companies are not only creating the technology to improve patient care; they are also creating jobs.

The health and scientific costs of NIH budget cuts are often discussed, but I think the economic impacts are often overlooked. If we want to continue to lead in the health sciences and technology, we have to support research.  By cutting the NIH budget, we’re shooting ourselves in the foot.

I don’t often get this riled up over things, but this really upsets me.  More voices have to be heard from those who are being directly affected by the cuts—or we’re going to get rolled right over.

Read more perspectives from the CUMC community on the importance of NIH funds.