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June 14, 2006

NIH Support for Basic and Clinical Research: Biomedical Researcher Angst in 2006

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Mass (Dr Nathan); Molecular Medicine Branch of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Md (Dr Schechter).

JAMA. 2006;295(22):2656-2658. doi:10.1001/jama.295.22.2656

The noose around the budget of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is once again tightening as its appropriations remain almost level for the third year, after the virtual doubling of its budget between 1998 and 2003. Many biomedical researchers feel profoundly threatened, and some are laying part of the blame at the feet of the director of NIH because he has developed several new trans-NIH research programs—within the NIH Roadmap for Medical Research1—including ones aimed at strengthening clinical research. However, this finger-pointing is very misdirected.