Neena Haider, PhD, Associate Professor of Ophthalmology, was invited by the American Macular Degeneration Foundation (AMDF) to lobby Congress to increase support for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and National Eye Institute.
In March, she met with Senator Elizabeth Warren, Congressmen Joe Kennedy and Pete Sessions, as well as several other senators and congressman staff from other states, including Connecticut, Texas, and South Carolina, to discuss the importance of increased funding to the NIH. The NIH has not increased funding for modular R01 grants, which fund much of the discovery and transformative science research for academics, since 1999. It is important for Congress to increase NIH funding so R01 grants can reflect inflation, cost of living, and expected productivity.
Dr. Haider met with members of Congress in September 2017 as well. She plans to meet with Congressman Sessions again later this year, as well as other members of the House Rules Committee, to discuss making monumental policy changes in funding. The goal is for the NIH to increase the amount of funding for individual grants without sacrificing the total number of grants.