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Managing the Money

Large projects spearheaded by the US National Institutes of Health are being pinched by the ongoing sequester, writes Sara Reardon at Nature News. She says that large programs with protected budgets established in the flusher days of the doubling are being shut down or significantly curtailed.

“In challenging fiscal times, it’s incumbent on us to take a step back and look at how we’re investing money,” Jon Lorsch, the new director of the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, tells her.

NIGMS, for example, is ending its Protein Structure Initiative, and the Pharmacogenomics Research Network is losing its protected budget. Lorsch says that those fields have matured enough so that researchers in those areas will be able to compete with others for grant monies.

Similarly, Reardon notes that the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke has already taken a close look at some of its large programs and sliced off some 15 unproductive or outdated programs. “The issue wasn’t big science, it’s more making sure that we manage our dollars effectively,” NINDS Director Story Landis tells her.