The Recovery Act and the NHLBI:
A Team Effort
Friday, September 4, 2009
I would like to kick off the Leadership Journal by thanking those of you who are working so hard to make the NHLBIís participation in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 a success. From the NIH/NHLBI staff to our extramural research community, we are working together to ensure that this investment helps us expand our research in the prevention and treatment of heart, lung, and blood diseases while stimulating the U.S. economy through biomedical research at our nationís institutions.
As scientists, we are often unaccustomed to calling attention to our work in the early stages of our investigations. Many of us shy away from the spotlight and prefer to be in the comfort of our labs surrounded by the familiar hustle and bustle of staff and humming equipment, rather than in front of a camera. I want to thank the hundreds of researchers who have supported and encouraged our outreach to bring national attention to your labs. These efforts will create behind-the-scenes glimpses of the stimulus funding and allow Americans to meet the researchers who are helping us advance public health.
It has been a busy summer for all of us, but our work is already producing results. Just three short months after receiving the authorization of the new funds, hundreds of summer interns, teachers, and early career scientists were employed in dozens of institutions.
On our NHLBI Recovery Act Web site, you will meet some of these summer interns, including Elizabeth Wong, Mike Bekkerman, Jason Choi, and Adrian Haimovich, who interned here on our Bethesda campus. You will also meet researchers such as Lisa Freed, M.D., Ph.D. at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dhananjay Madhukar Vaidya, Ph.D. at Johns Hopkins University, and Edward Lammer, M.D. at Children's Hospital Oakland Research Institute. As you may know, every dollar that NIH spends results in a return in terms of economic growth in goods and services of about $2.25 within one year.
Over the last few weeks and months, I have received words of thanks and encouragement from many, and, from some, notes of disappointment that we couldnít fund more. I really appreciate your outreach. Please keep the emails and notes coming as we look forward to sharing the stories of this investment.
I would like to share a short handwritten note from a summer student that really touched me and beautifully sums up how the Recovery Actís investment in science and scientists will pay dividends for years to come.
"Thank you so much for funding my research through Baylor College of Medicineís SMART Program this summer. It was one of the most amazing experiences of my life, and this definitely solidified my desire to make research a part of my career. I learned so much from the most amazing faculty who truly epitomize the spirit of discovery. It was an honor to be funded by the NHLBI, and I cannot thank you enough for allowing me to have this wonderful experience!"
2009 Summer Intern with Baylor College of Medicine
In the coming weeks, we are finalizing the review and will begin awarding the Challenge and GO Grants. I look forward to sharing more with you.