Saying Connecticut has shouldered “more of the cuts than other states,” U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy has urged the head of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to restore funding for cancer and other disease research at Yale University and other institutions.
“This reduction in funding has had a profound effect at one of the nation’s premiere institutions at a time when researchers are on the cusp of major advances,” Murphy wrote in a Jan. 21 letter to Dr. Francis Collins, NIH director.
Murphy’s letter was prompted by an October C-HIT story that found that Connecticut’s share of funding from the National Cancer Institute had dropped 19 percent since 2010 – a steeper decline than many other states. Federal cancer institute funding to Connecticut fell to $33.4 million in 2014 – down from $41.1 million in 2010. The biggest grantee, Yale University, is receiving $7 million less from the National Cancer Institute (NCI), one of the NIH’s most prominent centers.
Overall, NIH research grants to Connecticut fell to $461.3 million – down from $484.4 million in 2010, NIH reports show. Most of that decline was in research awards to Yale, which dropped $25 million.
Murphy noted that Connecticut faced steeper cuts than states such as New York and California. He said he is committed to “fighting for additional resources from your agency” in the next fiscal year.
“Our strong commitment to medical research on cancer and so many other diseases separates the United States from the vast majority of countries in the world. I strongly believe that we should be committing substantially more resources to this effort, but instead the purchasing power of NIH funding has eroded by 22 percent since 2003,” he wrote.