Dr. Hendrix Testifies Before Congressional Committee
|Dr. Mary Hendrix|
The unpredictable nature of science makes it nearly impossible to know which new discoveries gained through basic research will lead to the next important medical advancement. Mary J.C. Hendrix, PhD, professor of cancer biology at the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University, says this is the reason there is a need to invest broadly in biomedical research. These investments will help as large fluctuations in funding are disruptive to training, long-range projects, and, ultimately, progress.
Dr. Hendrix, who serves as president and scientific director for Children’s Memorial Research Center, made a strong case for increased funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) during her testimony at a U.S. House of Representatives Labor, Health, and Human Services Appropriations Subcommittee hearing on the fiscal year 2010 budget.
During the March 18 meeting, Dr. Hendrix urged the subcommittee to increase NIH funding by 7 percent, arguing the need for stability after the spending of stimulus funds to ensure that researchers would not have to terminate their ongoing projects. She said that advances in science would contribute to the economy by creating jobs, new products and industries, and improved technologies.
Dr. Hendrix stated that as a result of the subcommittee’s prior investment in NIH, critical advances have been made in the areas of stem cell research, prevention of infectious diseases, and research into the genetic basis for various cancers.
A dozen members of the Labor, Health, and Human Services Subcommittee attended the hearing, including Illinois Representative Jesse Jackson, Jr. and subcommittee chairman David Obey (D-Wis.)