MURPHY RECOGNIZES DECLINE IN FUNDING FOR YALE MEDICAL RESEARCHERS, URGES NIH TO COMMIT ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) sent a letter to National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D. to highlight a steep decline in medical research funding to Yale University, especially when compared to universities and medical researchers in other states. In the letter, Murphy urges the NIH to commit more resources to Yale University’s research in the next fiscal year.


I understand that the last few years have been challenging due to budget cuts and sequestration but it appears that Connecticut has shouldered more of the cuts than other states. This reduction in funding has had a profound effect at one of the nation’s premiere institutions, Yale University, at a time when researchers are on the cusp of major advances. I am relieved to know that the NIH success rate has gone up but more should be done. I am committed to fighting for additional resources for your agency in the next fiscal year and I hope that an increase in NIH funding nationally will lead to further breakthroughs at Yale University and other leading institutions.

The full text of the letter is below:

 

Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D.

Director

National Institutes of Health

9000 Rockville Pike

Bethesda, Maryland 20892

Dear Director Collins,


I write to you today to highlight a steep decline in funding to Connecticut universities and researchers from your agency. I understand that the last few years have been challenging due to budget cuts and sequestration but it appears that Connecticut has shouldered more of the cuts than other states.


In particular, funding from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to the state has dropped 7 percent since 2010, with Yale University, the largest grant recipient, receiving $7 million less over this time. Furthermore, Yale University received $25 million less in NIH funding. In comparison, other states have either received less of a reduction or in some cases an increase. For example, New York received a slight increase in NIH funding from 2010 to 2014 and a smaller reduction within National Cancer Institute funding. Additionally, California received a smaller percentage cut in total NIH funding from 2010 to 2014. I understand that grants are awarded through a peer-reviewed process but 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.


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. I am relieved to know that the NIH success rate has gone up to almost 19 percent in 2014 from 17 percent in 2013 but more should be done and I am committed to fighting for additional resources for your agency in the next fiscal year. I hope that an increase in NIH funding nationally will lead to further breakthroughs at Yale University and other leading institutions.


Thank you in advance for your consideration and your work supporting medical researchers across the nation.

                                                                        Sincerely,

  

                                                                        Christopher S. Murphy

                                                                        United States Senator