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WASHINGTON — The White House isn’t worried about Congress underfunding the new biomedical research agency President Biden has pitched as a way to “end cancer as we know it.”

Not yet, anyway, according to Tara Schwetz, the biophysicist who the administration has tapped to get the new agency off the ground. In an interview, Schwetz said the $3 billion that House Democrats plan to spend on the new agency, to be known as ARPA-H, is “a substantial amount,” even though it’s less than half of the $6.5 billion the Biden administration had requested. 


STAT spoke to Schwetz fresh off her recent visit to DARPA, the Pentagon science agency on which the new agency is modeled. Among other topics, she discussed the process for hiring the agency’s director — and where its headquarters might be located, rattling off a list of biotech hubs that includes San Francisco; Raleigh, N.C.; and Austin. 

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