Senators establish NIH caucus

By: Gina Luke, assistant director, AVMA Governmental Relations Division

AVMA applauds Senators Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) for their leadership in creating the Senate National Institutes of Health (NIH) caucus.

In a May 5 “Dear Colleague” letter (PDF), the senators announced that they would co-chair the new bipartisan caucus, which will work to “restore the purchasing power that the NIH has lost and provide steady, predictable growth for biomedical research in the future.”

Research veterinarians have unique skill sets that enable them to serve as leaders and members of interdisciplinary research teams involved in basic science and biomedical research with applications to animal or human health. They compete with and alongside other scientists for NIH grant funding. In fact, veterinarians receive more research grants from the NIH than any other federal research agency.

Veterinarians are directly involved in myriad research areas, including translational medical research, veterinary pathology, laboratory-animal medicine, emerging and infectious diseases, public health, academic medicine, production animal medicine and other veterinary clinical specialties. They not only perform the research themselves, but also play key roles in supporting the medical care and health of lab animals, such as promoting the well-being and humane care of the animals, guarding the research from the threat of diseases and serving on institutional animal research review panels, among other things.

We urge AVMA members to help grow support for the NIH Caucus by contacting your senators and asking them to join the caucus.

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