Congressman Fattah Returns from Trip to Israel for International Brain Conference and Meeting with President Shimon Peres

Oct 16, 2013, 15:53 ET from Office of Congressman Chaka Fattah

Upon his return, Fattah was honored by the National Disease Research Interchange (NDRI) for his leadership of the Fattah Neuroscience Initiative

WASHINGTON, Oct. 16, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Congressman Chaka Fattah (PA-02), Senior Democrat on the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies (CJS), returned from a three-day visit to Israel where he met with Israeli President Shimon Peres to discuss future American-Israeli collaboration on neuroscience and neurotechnology.

During their one-on-one meeting, President Peres and Congressman Fattah discussed their parallel efforts to elevate brain research as a priority in Israel and the United States.

"The highlight of the trip was the extraordinary meeting I had with President Peres. He is a historic figure and it was a great honor to engage over our shared passion for brain research," Fattah said. "We agreed that the work of our two nations to champion brain research is in service to all humankind."

Congressman Fattah was in the country to keynote Israel's first international brain tech conference, "BrainTech Israel 2013." In his address, he reiterated the United States' staunch commitment to neuroscience research and discussed the ongoing development of President Obama's BRAIN Initiative, launched last spring. The Initiative plans to invest $110 million in 2014 towards human brain research.

Following his remarks, Fattah met with a group of Israeli entrepreneurs supported by the BIRD Foundation, which works in cooperation with Department of Commerce's National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to encourage cooperation between Israeli and American companies. The Israeli-based startups and business represented at the meeting have each created partnerships with companies in the Philadelphia region, and the dinner was an opportunity for Fattah to facilitate increased collaboration and build new relationships between them and the Philadelphia business community.

Upon his return to the U.S., Fattah was honored by the National Disease Research Interchange (NDRI) today in Philadelphia for his advocacy of federal funding for science research and leadership of the Fattah Neuroscience Initiative. NDRI partners with donation programs to procure and distribute organs and tissues to biomedical researchers. Since 1980, more than 300,000 tissues and organs have been distributed to more than 5,000 researchers and have resulted in 2,500 scientific publications.

"The National Disease Research Interchange is pleased to recognize Congressman Chaka Fattah for his strong, sustained support of federal investment in medical and health research," said Bill Leinweber, NDRI's President and CEO. "Congressman Fattah is a champion for the health and economic benefits that accrue from investment in research."

The organization, which is based in Philadelphia, recognized Fattah's work at its annual board meeting. Founded in 1980, NDRI is funded in part by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). This September, NIH awarded $6,865,689 to the NDRI to continue funding the recovery and distribution of human organs and tissues for medical research.

SOURCE Office of Congressman Chaka Fattah