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The Trump administration’s call on Thursday to slash almost 20 percent of the National Institutes of Health’s budget led scientists to warn that such cuts would sap biomedical research in the United States. But it also left many of them with more personal feelings: Anxiety. Fear. Sadness.

The NIH has bipartisan defenders in Congress who in recent years have been able to bolster research funding and who will likely oppose cuts as deep as President Trump has proposed. But scientists said the budget blueprint signaled that the administration does not value their work.


Sebastian Lourido, a parasitic diseases expert, said the reductions would come at a crucial time for him. He’s starting an assistant professorship at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology this summer. The new position will allow Lourido, a fellow at the MIT’s Whitehead Institute, to grow his lab and pursue bolder ideas, but it also comes with a great pressure to attract funding.

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    • The discoveries made through federally funded research feed the pipeline of biotech and pharma. Essentially every useful therapeutic and diagnostic tool comes from these discoveries. The economy benefits from jobs and revenue. The NIH is, and has always been, a good investment and the dollars are a relative pittance. But it’s only been the last 6-7 years that the tea party has made it a partisan issue.

    • This is not true. While it’s not great to operate on large deficits eternally, our spending is mostly defense and healthcare, and our current deficits aren’t too shabby compared to the growth of our economy. Reducing military spending by a sliver would pay for the NIH budget.

    • “so many”? where are your statistics for this statement? do you even know how science works these days?? you collaborate. I’ll tell you what a bad idea is – isolationist science. our lab has several international and national collaborations, and all of us are better for it.

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