Saturday, May 11, 2013

Senator Carl Levin - Yes, He Does Support Type 1 Diabetes Research

I recently wrote two of our senators in regards to making sure that the NIH continued to receive funding for type 1 diabetes research. 


From JDRF:  The annual funding that NIH receives complements the money provided by the Special Diabetes Program (SDP), which was renewed earlier this year. Both the annual funding at NIH and the SDP are advancing critical research to cure, treat and prevent type 1 diabetes.

Congress is beginning to make tough decisions about funding for federal agencies for next fiscal year, including NIH. Please email your Senators TODAY and ask them to sign-on the letter being circulated by Senators Casey (D-PA) and Burr (R-NC) to the Senate Appropriations Committee, asking for strong NIH funding. We need as many Senators on this letter as possible, as Congress is dealing with very difficult spending decisions and limited resources.

I urge everyone that would like to see better treatment, research and even a cure for type 1 diabetesto speak out and be heard by our government.  Advocate for your family and for all of the others that live with type 1 diabetes.  It takes moment and the reward is great.  In case you are interested, below is a copy of my response letter from Senator Carl Levin. 
Dear Mrs. 'Naturally Sweet Sisters':


     Thank you for contacting me about medical research. I appreciate hearing your thoughts on this matter.


     The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is the primary agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that conducts and supports biomedical and behavioral research. The NIH consists of 27 institutes and centers and funds 325,000 scientists in 3,000 places across the United States. Among the NIH institutes are the National Cancer Institute (NCI), the oldest and largest institute; the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI); the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child and Human Development (NICHD); and the National Center for Advancing Translation Sciences, which is dedicated to turning basic science research into disease cures. Although some research is conducted internally by NIH institutes, nearly 80% of NIH funds are distributed through a competitive grant process to outside researchers. In FY2012, Michigan entities received 1,570 research grants totaling $619 million, making Michigan the eleventh leading recipient of NIH grants.


     On April 10, 2013, President Obama released his proposed fiscal year (FY) 2014 budget request, which included $31.3 billion for the NIH, an increase of $471 million more than the FY12 funding level. I agree with many of my colleagues that it is important to maintain robust NIH funding. As a result, in April 2013, I joined several Senators in sending a letter to the Chair and Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Appropriations and Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and Related Agencies, urging them to maintain a strong commitment to funding for the NIH in the Labor-Health and Human Services-Education (LHHSE) bill as they begin work on FY2014 appropriations.


     Significant medical research also is performed through the Department of Defense's Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (CDMRP), which seeks to find cures for cancers and other diseases. The CDMRP was created in 1992 as a breast cancer screening and diagnosis project for U.S. military women and their dependents. After many years of growth, the CDMRP is now second only to the National Cancer Institute as a source of funds for breast cancer research. In addition to its work on breast cancer research, the CDMRP also manages research grants for other diseases, including osteoporosis, neurofibromatosis, tuberous sclerosis, chronic myelogenous leukemia, as well as prostate and ovarian cancer.


     Medical research must remain a priority, and I will continue to work to ensure that Congress provides ample research funding. Thank you again for sharing your views.



Carl Levin

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