Senator Cassidy (R-LA), Ranking Republican on the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, – and a medical doctor – invited feedback on a comprehensive list of important questions regarding potential National Institute of Health (NIH) reform. FABBS responded to this critical opportunity highlighting several key points and underscoring the integral role of NIH-supported behavioral science research:
- Reliable and sustainable increases to the NIH budget.
- Maintain investment for fundamental science as determined by the peer review process.
- Leverage the effective and efficient role of the Office of Behavioral and Social Science Research, citing two recent reports:
For many in the science advocacy community, this request for input likely signals the beginning of discussions to reauthorize NIH. Reauthorizations of major federal agencies can be many years in the making, crossing election cycles and leadership parties. FABBS will continue to engage with Congressional offices to represent the recommendations and concerns of the behavioral and brain sciences community.
On Tuesday, November 7 – nearly two years after Dr. Francis Collins stepped down from the position – the Senate voted in a bipartisan count of 62-36 to make Dr. Monica Bertagnolli the next Director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Dr. Bertagnolli will be only the second woman to lead our nation’s preeminent federal funding agency for behavioral and biomedical research and assumes the role following an uncertain confirmation process and low public trust in the agency related to the handling of the COVID 19 pandemic.
FABBS is leading a community sign on letter to congratulate Dr. Bertagnolli and encourage the Director to fully leverage the behavioral and social sciences to serve the mission of NIH. FABBS invites scientific societies to lend their names to this letter (deadline to sign Monday, November 13) when it will be sent to the Director. This letter follows an earlier sign on to the Office of Science and Technology Policy in March of 2022, encouraging certain qualities in a future nomination.
FABBS thanks Dr. Lawrence Tabak for his leadership and service in this role since January 2022.