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August 21, 2002

Funding Priorities for Medical Research—Reply

Author Affiliations

Stephen J.LurieMD, PhD, Senior EditorIndividualAuthor

JAMA. 2002;288(7):832. doi:10.1001/jama.288.7.828

In Reply: I agree with Drs Schechter and Rettig that clinical research enriches basic science. However, I am concerned about their proposal to alter government funding from the current 2:1 ratio of basic science to clinical research. I agree with Schechter and Rettig that most basic research does not find an application in clinical medicine; that is exactly why we have to do so much of it. Unless we uncover the fundamental rules of cell behavior, we are very unlikely to find useful applications or desperately needed new drugs.