PHILADELPHIA, Jan. 15, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today, Congressman Chaka Fattah (PA-02) joined Vice President Joe Biden at the University of Pennsylvania in his district as the Administration launched a new initiative to find a cure for cancer.
Fattah serves as a senior Democrat on the House Appropriation Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, which has funding jurisdiction for the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
"I am thrilled that Vice President Biden selected the University of Pennsylvania and the school's Abramson Cancer Center to launch this exciting new initiative. For decades, Penn Medicine has been on the forefront of cancer research, and its top-notch staff, doctors, and researchers continue to lead our country's innovative efforts around cancer treatment and research," Congressman Fattah said. "There is hardly a family in this country that has not been impacted by the devastations of cancer. I am proud the President and Vice President have chosen to address this issue head on, as we can no longer afford to look at medical research as anything but an absolutely mandatory investment. Curing cancer is a big goal, but it is absolutely an achievable one, and with the Administration's full support and the partnership of our country's best and brightest researchers, I have every confidence the 'moonshot' will be a success."
In 2013, the American Cancer Society estimated that cancer caused 580,350 deaths in the United States, including 28,680 in Pennsylvania. The Society expects that more than 1.6 million in the United States people will be diagnosed with some form of cancer this year alone.
On the Labor-HHS Subcommittee, Fattah has worked with his colleagues on both sides of the aisle to increase medical research support, including funding for cancer research at the National Cancer Institute. In the FY 16 omnibus signed into law last month, NIH received a $2 billion increase over the previous year's funding levels with more than $260 million additional dollars going towards NCI. Fattah was also an early co-sponsor of the Recalcitrant Cancer Research Act (signed into law in 2013) and the 21st Century Cures Act, passed by the House last year. Both bills offer unprecedented federal support to help cure cancer.
In addition to his work to increase cancer research funding, Fattah has been the key champion in Congress for strengthening our understanding of the human brain and investing federal dollars towards neuroscience research as a means to find cures and treatment for brain disease and disorders, including brain cancer.
"We know our federal government has the capacity and skill to make serious progress in treating the thousands of diseases Americans suffer from. Vice President Biden's new initiative will use the resources already available to us to better coordinate and streamline our current efforts against cancer, while infusing new funding and adding more partners to this fight," Fattah added.
His own efforts through the Fattah Neuroscience Initiative have led to increased coordination of neuroscience activities across more than 12 federal agencies, and spurred advancements in brain imaging and neurotechnology. Fattah has also been recognized by Research!America with the Edwin C. Whitehead Award for Medical Research Advocacy.
SOURCE Office of Congressman Chaka Fattah