Thursday, March 15, 2012
Are We Taking Medical Research and Future Healthcare Advances For Granted?
Mary J. C. Hendrix, PhD
President and Scientific Director of Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago Research Center
Professor of Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University
The future of research for health is on a slippery slope in the United States, and our elected officials are not addressing this reality. Congressional action to reduce the deficit could result in multi-billion dollar cuts in medical research – cuts to research targeting cancer, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, heart disease and other major health threats. Medical research is a down-payment on a better future; it shouldn’t go under the knife for drastic cuts.
In Illinois, researchers have deployed funding from federal agencies like the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to improve healthcare delivery and advance medical innovation through a collaborative and interdisciplinary approach. These are among the greatest challenges of our time with the potential for global impact, but small and large academic institutions in every state are facing severe budget cutbacks. Cuts will inevitably slow progress and delay the discoveries that are needed for improving healthcare delivery and developing new treatments for patients.