Sen. Warren calls for hike in NIH funding

By Bryan Goodchild and Lisa M. Larson

UMass Medical School Communications

March 10, 2014

U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren met with Chancellor Michael Collins, UMass Memorial Health Care President and CEO Eric Dickson, UMMS faculty, students and several local officials on Friday, March 7, to tour the world-class research laboratories on campus and discuss the importance of federal research funding.

“I’m very glad to be here today, to hear more about the incredible, cutting-edge work that is done here; the amazing research, the work that is going to make a real difference for people across the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, across this country and around the world,” Sen. Warren said, after touring the lab of Associate Professor Chris Sassetti, PhD, at the Albert Sherman Center. “But we’ve got to have adequate funding and that’s a big part of what this meeting is about.”

Chancellor Collins said consistent support from the National Institutes of Health is vital to the future of medical research. Federal research dollars have been decreasing for years, and dropped significantly last year when the budget sequestration took effect.

“We have outstanding research and we are making a difference, not only locally in the care we provide our communities, but we are making discoveries that are impacting health care across the globe,” Collins said. “To the extent that Congress has a values construct and recognizes that these kind of commitments to health care can make a difference in the lives of the people of our nation, it would seem to me and to our academic community that this is something well worth funding.”