WASHINGTON, Jan. 27, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today, Congressman Chaka Fattah (PA-02), announced that neuroscience funding he sought to be included in the FY 2016 omnibus bill will receive a significant boost above previous years' levels. The National Science Foundation (NSF) will receive $146.9 million in total funding for neuroscience—more than $40.5 million above the FY 15 funding level. Fattah is the senior member on the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, and Science (CJS) that oversees funding appropriations for the NSF.
"I could not be more pleased that Congress continues to bring greater focus to neuroscience as one of the top research priorities of this generation," Congressman Fattah said. "With more than 50 million people in the United States affected by brain disease or disorder, the stakes are too high not to continue to invest in the research, science, and programs that will ultimately help us find cures and treatments for these conditions. Not only does this funding represent the highest level ever for neuroscience, it indicates the sustained, bipartisan support for this issue across the Capitol."
The Congressman is architect of the Fattah Neuroscience Initiative, an entity that has worked to increase federal support for neuroscience, and coordinate neuroscience activities across at least a dozen federal agencies. His efforts, which lead to the creation of, and continue to support, the U.S. BRAIN Initiative, have led to more than $405 million being directed specifically to brain research at the National Science Foundation since the FY 2013 appropriations bill.
Fattah, who also sits on the Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, was instrumental in directing additional neuroscience funding to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The omnibus appropriated $32 billion for the National Institutes of Health, with specific increases for Alzheimer's research ($350 million above last year's funding level), an $85 million increase for the BRAIN Initiative, and increased funding for the Precision Medicine Initiative. Altogether, almost $7 billion in the omnibus will be directed towards research and programs related to neurological diseases and disorders.
"The omnibus legislation was truly a product of bipartisan cooperation and finding common ground priorities, and I am encouraged that one area of clear agreement was the importance of increasing funding research to prevent, cure and eliminate widespread diseases like cancer and Alzheimer's," said Congressman Tom Cole (R-OK) who serves as Chairman of the Labor-HHS Subcommittee. "I was pleased to work closely with Congressman Fattah and others on the subcommittee to achieve these common goals. Without question, the increased investments will benefit countless individuals, families, and society as a whole in the days and years ahead."
Another highlight contained in the CJS portion of the bill is the $3 million that will be directed to support the formation of a National Brain Observatory. Fattah has worked for two years to help pass bills that would create a National Brain Observatory focused solely on exploring the human brain. By leveraging the resources of the Department of Energy's National Labs, the Observatory would create a network of neurotechnology centers for scientists and researchers.
Overall, the National Science Foundation received $7.5 billion in this year's omnibus appropriations bill, signed into law last month—more than $119 million over the FY 2015 enacted level. In addition to neuroscience funding, Fattah successfully secured support for several of his other NSF priorities including:
- $46 million for the Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation
- $35 million for the Historically Black Colleges and Universities Undergraduate Program (HBCU-UP)
- $14 million for the Tribal Colleges and Universities program
SOURCE Office of Congressman Chaka Fattah