Senate Democrats Unveil FY 2023 Spending Bills, Including Proposal of $47 Billion for the NIH Base Budget
On July 28, Senate Appropriations Committee Chair Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) released drafts of the committee’s 12 fiscal year (FY) 2023 spending bills. The draft Labor-HHS spending bill would provide $47 billion for the NIH base budget in FY 2023, a $2 billion (4.5%) increase in existing NIH institutes and centers compared to the president’s proposed $275 million increase and the House committee’s $2.5 billion increase. The bill also provides a $1 billion investment in the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health “as a standalone agency within NIH” (same funding level as FY 2022), which would be available through Sept. 30, 2025. This results in what the committee reported as a total program level of $48 billion for the NIH in FY 2023.
The Ad Hoc Group for Medical Research issued a July 29 press statement in response to the Senate draft bill, recognizing a proposed eighth straight year of funding growth for the NIH and urging expeditious passage of robust funding growth for the agency. “To make continued progress against the myriad diseases and disorders affecting patients across this country, prepare for future public health threats, and support the research workforce and local economies, it will be essential to maximize the nation’s investment in medical research,” the coalition stated.
The House did not advance its Labor-HHS spending bill to floor consideration before leaving for August recess. Neither chamber is expected to take additional action on their FY 2023 spending bills until after members return from recess in September, when lawmakers likely will need to pass a continuing resolution. Funding for the current fiscal year is set to expire on Sept. 30.
NIH Discovery Reveals Details About Rare Eye Disorder
A July 28 blog post examines how the National Eye Institute (NEI), part of the NIH, has used a new imaging technique to determine that retinal lesions from vitelliform macular dystrophy (VMD) vary by gene mutation. VMD is an inherited genetic disease that causes progressive vision loss through degeneration of the light-sensing retina. “The NEI’s long-term investment in imaging technology is changing our understanding of eye diseases. This study is just one example of how improved imaging can reveal subtle details about pathology in a rare eye disease that can inform the development of therapeutics,” said NEI Director Michael F. Chiang, M.D.
NIA Statement on Amyloid Beta Protein Dementia Research
In a July 29 statement, the Director of the National Institute of Aging (NIA), Richard J. Hodges, MD, reviewed NIA’s Alzheimer’s Disease research portfolio, including work on the amyloid beta protein (Aβ). Hodes noted the institute’s increasing diversity of research approaches, including studies investigating genetic and environmental causes “as well as the involvement of inflammation, fat droplets, the vascular system …and much more.” Hodes added, “Of NIA-funded late-phase clinical trials relevant to Alzheimer’s, five of eight are focused on amyloid, contrasted with only 13 of 61 early phase trials.”
NIH Amongst Agencies Receiving Recommendations from GAO on Research Reliability
In a July 28 report, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) shared recommendations suggesting that NIH and other research agencies implement practices to increase research transparency and rigor. The study reported that the NIH, National Science Foundation, and National Aeronautics and Space Administration do not evaluate the rigor and transparency of the research they fund to help identify strategies for improvement, thus putting the agencies at an information disadvantage when making changes to the grant making process and research funding priorities.
GAO presented two recommendations to the NIH: to collect information on relevant indicators of rigor to assess the research projects the agency funds, and implement steps, as needed, to promote strong research practices in future work; and the NIH should take steps to collect information to determine whether current policies and requirements are adequate to achieve transparency by ensuring research results and data are findable, accessible, and usable, and implement programmatic or policy changes, if needed.

Upcoming Events

NIH Hosting Two-Part Webinar on Implementing the NIH Data Management and Sharing Policy – Aug. 11 & Sept. 22

The first webinar, Understanding the New NIH Data Management and Sharing (DMS) Policy will be held on Thursday, August 11, 2022, from 1:30 – 3:00 PM ET and focus on DMS policy expectations, the applicability of the policy, how to prepare a Data Management and Sharing Plan, and considerations for responsible data sharing.
Part two, Diving Deeper into the New NIH Data Management and Sharing Policy, will take place Thursday, September 22, 2022, from 1:30 – 3:00 PM ET and dive deeper into specific topics and questions we’ve heard from the community, such as privacy protections for sharing data from human participants.
Registration is required for each webinar. To learn more about the webinar series, how to register, and how to submit questions about the DMS Policy please visit the webinar series website. The webinars will also be archived for future viewing.
NIA Webinar on the FY24 Alzheimer’s Bypass Budget – August 11
On Thursday, August 11 from 11:00 am—12:00 pm ET, the NIA Office of Legislation, Policy, and International Activities will hold a webinar on the FY 2024 Alzheimer’s Disease Professional Judgment, or “Bypass” Budget. During the webinar, we will review the Bypass Budget, including new features for FY 2024, and answer your questions. To register, please visit the webinar registration page.
Register for the 2022 Rally for Medical Research
Join advocates from around the country for the 2022 Rally for Medical Research! The Hill Day will take place on Wednesday, September 14, with advocates meeting their congressional representatives and staff. The evening before, on September 13, we will host a reception to celebrate medical research with all partners and participants. Together, we will continue to call on our nation’s policymakers to make funding for NIH a national priority and raise awareness about the importance of continued investment in medical research that leads to MORE PROGRESS, MORE HOPE and MORE LIVES SAVED. Please register here.

 

NIH COVID-19 Resources

NIH resources related to the RECOVER (Researching COVID to Enhance Recovery) Initiative.
NIH COVID-19 resource for applicants and grantees including guidance for various aspects of research and grant application processes, as well as FAQs and COVID-19 funding opportunities.
COVID-19 “Updates History” webpage that details relevant updates for applicants and grantees by date.
Funding opportunities specific to COVID-19 lists active and expired funding opportunities across NIH related to SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19 research.
NIH COVID-19 Research Website provides a central location for up-to-date information about NIH research and its strategic role in COVID-19 research.
HHS COVID-19 awards tracking website including data on awards made by all HHS awarding agencies with supplemental appropriations.
Combat COVID website including information for those who have never had COVID-19, have been infected, have recovered, and for health care providers.

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