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Congresswoman Suzan DelBene

Representing the 1st District of Washington

DelBene Calls for Increased Medical Research Funding for Alzheimer’s Disease

Jul 5, 2017
Press Release

BOTHELL – Congresswoman Suzan DelBene (WA-01) today met with researchers at the University of Washington’s Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center (ADRC), a National Institutes of Health (NIH) funded research center.

President Trump’s budget would cut NIH funding by more than $7 billion, despite broad bipartisan support for the federal medical research agency. DelBene has called for an increase in NIH funding next year, and successfully helped secure a historic $2 billion increase in the 2017 spending package known as the omnibus.

“All across the country, Americans are suffering from heartbreaking medical conditions. If we are serious about breaking new ground in our understanding of complex diseases like Alzheimer’s, it’s absolutely essential we boost investments in medical research,” DelBene said. “That’s why I’ve called on congressional leaders to ignore the president’s short-sighted cuts to medical research, which threaten to halt cutting-edge advancements. Instead, we should increase funding for life-saving research at NIH to accelerate development of the next generation of treatments and cures.”

The UW Alzheimer's Disease Research Center is part of a nationwide network of Alzheimer’s disease research centers funded by NIH. Researchers there are making significant advances in precision medicine tailored to individual patients based on their unique genetic markers. More than 100,000 Washingtonians live with Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia.

“Effective treatment of Alzheimer’s disease will require knowing what biological pathways have broken down in particular patients, and targeting these pathways early in the disease process. Robust NIH funding sustains our research efforts to find these answers,” said Dr. Thomas Grabowski, Director of the UW ADRC. “On behalf of our patients and their families, the UW ADRC is incredibly grateful to Congresswoman DelBene for championing this work.”

DelBene recently called on the House Appropriations Committee to reject the drastic cuts to NIH, including arbitrary limitations on so-called “indirect” costs, which help cover critical components of doing research such as hazardous waste disposal, maintenance of high-tech labs and essential personnel. She also led a bipartisan group of more than 160 House members in calling for an additional $2 billion for medical research at NIH.

Federal funding for NIH supports more than 400,000 good-paying, American jobs and generates more than $60 billion in new economic activity. Unfortunately, the federal government’s contributions toward basic research at NIH have consistently failed to keep pace with inflation, allowing the agency’s purchasing power to diminish by nearly 20 percent since 2003.

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