“Scientist In Chief”: $5 Billion in Recovery Funds Support Biomedicine, Create Jobs
“We are very grateful to have a president who respects science,” said Director Francis Collins this morning, addressing staff and leaders of the National Institutes of Health. Collins was introducing the man he referred to as “our scientist in chief,” Barack Obama.
The president paid a visit to the NIH campus in Bethesda to announce what officials hinted at a few weeks ago: the agency has so far distributed $5 billion in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds. As of today, that means that the ARRA has funded more than 12,000 projects, and 1,800 of those grants have gone to researchers who have never before gotten a major NIH award, according to Collins.
According to a video posted posted on the White House blog, NIH estimates that the $10.4 billion in Recovery Act funds will support approximately 50,000 jobs. In his speech today, Collins said the new funds have gone to “some of the most innovative and creative directions for research that I have seen in 16 years at NIH” and that the galaxy of new grants “is not just about ‘doubling the recipe.’”
Obama emphasized the dual benefits of the “the single largest boost to biomedical research in history”: advances in treatments for life-threatening diseases and job creation. He pointed specifically to projects aimed at cancer, heart disease, and autism research.
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