Archive for November, 2011

| posted by Joe Hice |


As Congress debates the fiscal 2012 appropriations and attempt to develop a long-term deficit reduction plan, members must deal with critical issues facing the nation. One issue is the support of biomedical research, which saves lives, improves quality of life and can serve as the foundation to improve the economy.  The National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Cancer Institute (NCI) provide leading academic and research institutions with the financial support necessary to build the infrastructure to conduct life saving medical science that potentially will affect all of our lives.

In the 40 years since the National Cancer Act was signed into law, impressive progress has been made. More than 12 million Americans are cancer survivors today because of the nation’s investment. Yet, as important as funding is to the research that will find the cures to diseases that affect Florida’s residents, Florida falls behind other states in attracting NIH federal dollars.

A recent article in the St. Petersburg Times quotes Mary Woolley, president and CEO of Research!America, discussing a survey showing the disparity in Florida’s population versus funding received from the National Institutes of Health.  The survey demonstrated that Floridians support education in the sciences and believe science careers to be important for the state economy. Without funding, however, Floridians will never realize these benefits.

At Moffitt Cancer Center, the only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center based in Florida, we are determined to advance the cancer research that will save lives.  In spite of flat funding of the NCI and NIH by Congress, Moffitt Cancer Center has continued to grow.  In 1996, when Moffitt began investing in research, we received less than $10 million in grant funding.  Today, we have over $80 million in grant funding.  Moffitt has increased its NCI grant funding by more than 81 percent during the past five years, raising the cancer center to 22nd in the nation in NCI-funded institutions. (more…)