On September 30, 2009, we had the honor of hosting President Barack Obama and Secretary Sebelius as we marked a milestone in distributing funds through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Our nation's "Scientist-in-Chief," as NIH Director Francis Collins introduced him, announced that as of September 30, 2009, the NIH had awarded $5 billion in Recovery Act funds to support research grants in academic institutions across the country.
Calling this economic and scientific stimulus "the single largest boost to biomedical research in history," President Obama highlighted the ultimate goals of the Recovery Act-spurred research: "to conduct cutting-edge research all across America, to unlock treatments to diseases that have long plagued humanity, to save and enrich the lives of people all over the world."
The President went on to name heart disease as one of the significant public health problems we hope to better understand, prevent and treat now that Recovery Act funds are making it possible to apply more of what we have learned through the Human Genome Project. The President's announcement included the NHLBI's "Grand Opportunity" Large-Scale DNA Sequencing Project, which will spend more than $63 million to identify genetic connections to the heart, lung, and blood diseases that account for three of the four leading causes of death in the United States.
President Obama also recognized the enormous efforts of those who review the grants and conduct the research projects that are at the core of the Recovery Act's success. Addressing the audience gathered in the Clinical Center's Masur auditorium and watching the videocast from their computers, he said: "The work you do is not easy. It takes a great deal of patience and persistence. But it holds incredible promise for the health of our people and the future of our nation and our world."
To learn more about this historic visit, please visit the links below: