WASHINGTON, July 16, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today, Congressman Chaka Fattah (PA-02) delivered remarks to a briefing on Capitol Hill that offered updates and insight into groundbreaking neuroscience research underway around the United States. The event is one of several speeches and briefings over the past week that has highlighted his ongoing efforts to elevate brain research funding as a national priority.
Sponsored by IBM and the Congressional Science and National Labs Caucuses, the event featured leading researchers discussing efforts to map the human brain, develop new "Brain" chip technology, and highlighted the creation of a National Brain Observatory.
"Grand efforts like the National Brain Observatory have the ability to bring a diverse group of scientists and researchers together to make disruptive progress in the area of neuroscience and offer a greater understanding of how the human brain works," Congressman Fattah said. "We need more of these collaborations if we really want to make serious headway in finding cures and treatments to brain disease and disorders."
As lead Democrat on the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, and Science (CJS), Fattah spearheaded the efforts to establish a National Brain Observatory in the FY 15 CJS Appropriations Bill. As Ranking Member, he has pushed for heightened attention to brain research in Congress and has successfully increased neuroscience funding for the National Science Foundation to a record $146.9 million in the FY 16 Appropriations Bill.
In recognition of these and other efforts championing basic science research, Congressman Fattah was recently named to the Genetic Engineering Biotechnology News (GEN) Congressional Hall of Fame list. The Hall of Fame honors Members of Congress who have been recognized at least five times for their support of federal spending for research in biopharma and/or all sciences. Over the past two years, Fattah was honored by several advocacy organizations for his support of basic research and medical innovation. In March 2014, he was recognized by Research! America with the Edwin C. Whitehead Award for Medical Research Advocacy. He has also received the Champion of Science Award from The Science Coalition, the Pioneer in Healthcare Policy award from the Brain Mapping Foundation and Society for Brain Mapping and Therapeutics, a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Delaware Valley Stroke Council in Philadelphia, and an award for medical research advocacy from the National Disease Research Interchange.
"The Science Coalition is very pleased to see Representative Chaka Fattah included in Gen News' 2015 'Congressional Hall of Fame' as he truly is a standout when it comes to supporting federal funding for basic scientific research," said Science Coalition President Amanda Arnold. "Congressman Fattah understands the direct relationship between research-driven innovation and economic growth, national security, and health. Moreover, he has made it his priority to see that the United States maintains our world leadership in these areas."
In 2011, Fattah created the Fattah Neuroscience Initiative to prioritize neuroscience in the United States, increase public-private partnerships around brain research, and expand research collaboration on a national and global scale. The Initiative is credited with forming the Interagency Working Group on Neuroscience (IWGN) housed at the White House, which was an impetus for the BRAIN Initiative.
SOURCE Office of Congressman Chaka Fattah