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Release: Release: Immediate

March 20, 2001

UI professor to testify before Congress, March 20 and 21

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Mary J.C. Hendrix, Ph.D., Kate Daum Research Professor and Head of the University of Iowa Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, and president of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB), will testify before Congress in Washington, D.C., on March 20 and 21.

FASEB is comprised of 21 societies and is the largest coalition of biomedical research associations in the United States. As president, Hendrix will speak on behalf of FASEB's more than 60,000 scientist — members when she presents the federation's recommendations for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) budget for fiscal year 2002 to the House Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education Appropriations on Tuesday.

Hendrix will urge continued support for biomedical research and life sciences in the form of a $23.7 billion federal appropriation for the NIH in fiscal year 2002. The recommended funding increase would sustain the effort, begun in fiscal year 1999, to double the NIH budget in five years.

The FASEB recommendations being laid out by Hendrix will also include proposals to invest in the scientists who actually do the research, which results in medical and economic benefits. These suggestions include using increases in the NIH budget to support investigator-initiated grants, enhance funding opportunities for new investigators, improve base salaries and benefits for National Research Service Award (NRSA) funded post-doctoral fellows, and fund strategies to reduce financial disincentives of academic research careers for physician-scientists. Hendrix will also call for NIH funding to help researchers bear the rapidly increasing costs associated with increased regulation of research.

On Wednesday, Hendrix will be joined by George Trilling, president of the American Physical Society, Hyman Bass, president of the American Mathematical Society; and Eli Pearce, president-elect of the American Chemical Society, to testify in support of the National Science Foundation (NSF). The joint testimony, to the House Subcommittee on Veterans' Affairs, Housing and Urban Development, and Independent Agencies, will recommend an increase in NSF's budget of 15 percent to $5.1 billion for fiscal year 2002.

For more information on FASEB's funding recommendations to Congress, refer to the report, "Federal Funding for Biomedical and Related Life Sciences Research, FY 2002," which can be found on the Web at www.faseb.org/opar/fund2002/fedfund02.pdf

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