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ADA Research Funding in 2009: Where Will We Be?

American Diabetes Association
Publication Date
DOI: 10.2337/db08-1395
  • Editorial
  • Economics
  • Medicine


ADA Research Funding in 2009: Where Will We Be? R. Paul Robertson This decade has been disheartening to diabetesscientists, not because their scientific discoveryand progress has slackened, but precisely theopposite. Scientific journals are replete with new basic and clinical research findings that fire imaginations about a better world for diabetic patients in the near future. Funding the research has been the big problem. Funds that are so critical to our progress on the road to preventing and curing diabetes have been drastically con- strained in the past several years by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the American Diabetes Association (ADA) because of budget shortfalls (wars and economic downturns are expensive). The tragic irony is all too clear. In a time of unparalleled accumulation of important new knowledge and fresh scientific insights into prevention and reversal of diabetes complications, the financial re- sources to take full advantage of recent leaps in knowl- edge have been hard to come by. With the NIH being essentially flat-funded for the past several years, the research community has lost ground to inflation at this time of immense opportunity. While it is impossible for ADA to take up all the slack, we recognize we must protect our scientific future by maintaining important ongoing research efforts. The ADA Research Policy Committee (RPC) took steps this past year to safeguard clinical translation of research and to protect our most vulnerable research scientists. The latter are new scientists just beginning research careers as well as estab- lished scientists caught in the crossfire of budget shortfalls as they attempt to renew their awarded grants. These steps include the following: 1) the proportion of funds awarded to human-based clinical projects was brought to parity with funds awarded to basic science projects and 2) support was prioritized for young scientists beginning their careers and for meritorious established scientists whose research

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