FABBS Advocates for Brain Research Funding on Capitol Hill

The American Brain Coalition (ABC) hosted its annual Hill Day. ABC is a nonprofit organization comprised of the United States’ leading professional neurological, psychological, and psychiatric associations and patient organizations. FABBS serves on the advocacy committee, to ensure that behavioral science is included in the conversation when advocating for increased funding for brain research.  

This year, FABBS had the opportunity to join forces with ABC advocates from various organizations, visiting Congressional offices to encourage strong funding and support for brain research. A captivating Congressional briefing titled “The NIH BRAIN Initiative: Accelerating Discovery Towards Cures” set the stage for the fruitful discussions that followed. Esteemed experts on the BRAIN initiative took the floor, shedding light on the groundbreaking outcomes achieved thus far. 

Three teams of advocates visited four Congressional offices each. FABBS appreciated the conversations with the dedicated staff members of Senator Heinrich (D-NM), Senator Hyde-Smith (R-MS), Senator John Hoeven (R-ND), and Representative Pocan (D-WI). These meetings were important opportunities to inform the future of brain research. 

 ABC advocated for the following initiatives: 

  • Brain Research Through Advancing Innovative Technologies (BRAIN) Initiative: ABC urged Congress to allocate $740 million towards the advancement of the BRAIN Initiative. This funding would facilitate cutting-edge research and accelerate progress in understanding the complexities of the human brain. 
  • Increased Funding for Scientific and Biomedical Research: Recognizing the paramount importance of federal scientific and biomedical research endeavors, ABC called for increased funding for institutions such as the National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Science Foundation (NSF), and Veteran’s Affairs (VA) medical programs. These investments would drive breakthroughs in brain research and promote advancements in the understanding and treatment of neurological conditions. 
  • Neurology Drug Program Funding: ABC emphasized the significance of supporting the Neurology Drug Program at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) by allocating $3 million in the fiscal year 2024. This funding would help expedite the development and approval of innovative treatments for neurological disorders, bringing hope to countless individuals and families affected by these conditions. 
  • Better Mental Health Care for Americans Act (S. 923): ABC voiced support for S. 923, also known as the Better Mental Health Care for Americans Act. This vital legislation aims to enhance mental health services and support systems across the nation, ensuring that those in need receive the compassionate care they deserve. 

FABBS was grateful for the chance to represent the behavioral sciences in these conversations establishing a shared commitment to prioritizing brain research funding and support. We extend thanks to the American Brain Coalition for hosting this Hill Day, and to all the advocates who dedicated their time and energy to championing brain research funding.