In the July 3 issue of the journal Cell, some of the leading voices in the scientific community contributed brief commentaries on the subject, “Sequester impact on biomedical research.” In “Science under siege,” National Institutes of Health Director Francis S. Collins, MD, PhD, warns that an entire generation of biomedical innovation is threatened by the federal government’s automatic budget cuts, known as the sequester. He also notes that the U.S. is cutting research funding at a time when other nations – such as China and India – are increasing their financial commitment to research. “Scientists must sound the alarm,” he writes.
In the “Fact sheet: Impact of Sequestration on the National Institutes of Health,” the NIH reports that the sequestration requires a cut of 5 percent – or $1.55 billion – to its fiscal year (FY) 2013 budget. NIH must apply the cut evenly across all programs, projects, and activities (PPAs), which are primarily NIH institutes and centers. This means every area of medical research will be affected.