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Public Affairs News

AAI Announces 2017-18 Public Policy Fellows

AAI launched the seventh year of its Public Policy Fellows Program (PPFP) on May 1, which engages early career scientists in public policy activities that impact biomedical research.  The Fellows will have the opportunity to visit Capitol Hill and to delve more deeply into key issues that impact science through the AAI public affairs program.

2017-18 Fellows   |    PPFP Program Description

AAI Issues Statement Strongly Opposing Damaging NIH Cut Proposed in Trump Budget

AAI issued a statement expressing deep disappointment in the proposed 20% cut to the NIH budget included in President Donald Trump’s “skinny budget,” a preliminary document that outlines some of Trump’s budget priorities for fiscal year (FY) 2018. The statement was issued by AAI Committee on Public Affairs Chair Beth A. Garvy, Ph.D., who warns that “[s]uch a cut would be unprecedented and would cause irreparable damage to, and chaos within, both NIH and the nation’s extraordinary and successful biomedical research enterprise.” Garvy also highlights the strong bipartisan support for NIH in Congress which led to a $2 billion budget increase for NIH in FY 2016, enabled the passage of the 21st Century Cures Act that authorized $4.8 billion in new funding for NIH over the next 10 years, and caused important Congressional leaders - on both sides of the aisle - to speak out against this dangerous proposed cut.

Read the full statement here.

AAI Submits Congressional Testimony on FY 2018 NIH Appropriations

AAI recently submitted testimony to the House Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (Labor-HHS) Appropriations Subcommittee, recommending an appropriation of at least $35 billion for NIH for fiscal year 2018. The testimony was submitted on behalf of AAI by AAI Committee on Public Affairs Chair Beth A. Garvy, Ph.D.

AAI will submit similar testimony to the Senate Labor-HHS Appropriations Subcommittee before its June deadline.

House Testimony

Bipartisan 21st Century Cures Act Becomes Law

On December 13, President Obama signed into law the 21st Century Cures Act, following overwhelming Congressional approval (392-26 in the House and 94-5 in the Senate). The Cures Act will provide NIH with an additional $4.8 billion over the next decade through a new NIH Innovation Account which will support the Beau Biden Cancer Moonshot (formerly the “National Cancer Moonshot”), the BRAIN Initiative, the Precision Medicine Initiative, and regenerative medicine. The bill also contains new funding for FDA and for opioid abuse prevention and treatment activities, as well as a wide range of policy provisions affecting NIH, FDA, and other entities. In addition, the Cures Act contains numerous provisions related to mental health.

On November 29, AAI Committee on Public Affairs Chair Beth A. Garvy, Ph.D., sent a letter on behalf of AAI to the authors of the 21st Century Cures Act supporting certain aspects of the bill, including additional funding for various NIH initiatives. The letter emphasizes, however, that this funding should “supplement, but not supplant, regular NIH appropriations.” It also applauds language that “supports the next generation of biomedical researchers, removes barriers to government scientists participating in relevant scientific meetings and conferences, and creates a Research Policy Board to critically evaluate how regulations can be modified and harmonized to reduce administrative burden.”

AAI Submits Comments to NIH on Interim Research Products

NIH recently released a Request for Information (RFI) to determine if preprints and interim research products should be included in NIH applications and reports. The purpose of this RFI was to determine “if interim research products can increase the rigor and impact of NIH funded research” and “to ensure that interim research products arising from NIH funds can be created and used with integrity.” The RFI requested specific information; the AAI response, which argues that preprints should not be included in NIH grant applications, can be accessed here.

CPA Hosts IMMUNOLOGY 2016™ Policy Session on
“Hot Topics” at NIH

On May 14, the AAI Committee on Public Affairs (CPA) hosted a session at IMMUNOLOGY 2016™ entitled “Hot Topics in NIH Funding and Research Policy.” The session was chaired by Clifford V. Harding, Professor and Chair at Case Western Reserve University, and Chair of the AAI CPA. The event featured presentations (linked below) by three speakers, who explored several recent and upcoming changes at NIH, including efforts to enhance rigor and transparency in research and new funding mechanisms offered by several NIH institutes.

AAI Public Affairs

The AAI Public Affairs program advocates for our members by working with Congress, the Administration, and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to address critically important issues in immunology and the biomedical research field.

Committee on Public Affairs

Who we are:

The Committee on Public Affairs (CPA) is a nine-member body, established to stay informed of current public policy issues important to AAI members, develop AAI positions, and to set and achieve public policy goals. The CPA leads all public policy efforts of AAI and interacts with relevant government officials and other professional organizations/societies, always advocating for the best interests of science and working to improve the professional lives of immunologists.

Committee Information:


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