While the creation of a new translational medicine center at NIH, and the dismantling of the National Center for Research Resources, seems to be nearly a certainty, Writedit at Medical Writing, Editing, & Grantsmanship notes that two US senators have voiced their "concern and opposition" to the plan. Senators Daniel Inouye (D-HI) and Mark Begich (D-AK) wrote a letter, posted here by Nature's Great Beyond blog, to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Seblius and NIH Director Francis Collins opposing any changes to where the Institutional Development Award program, currently part of NCRR, is housed. "We find the current placement of the IDeA program within the National Center for Research Resources to be working well. The NCRR staff has worked diligently to familiarize themselves with the research expertise within our states and fostered substantial growth of our research enterprise," the senators write. "A disruption of the placement and expertise at NCRR will only serve to dismantle the laudable work that has been accomplished." Inouye and Begich also are concerned about divorcing the IDeA program from the Research Centers in Minority Institutions. In addition, Inouye chairs the Senate Appropriations Committee, which as ScienceInsider puts it "holds the purse strings for NIH's budget."
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Feb 18, 2011