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Fundamental knowledge of biology is what drives the pharmaceutical industry, James Sabry, Vice President of Partnering at Genentech and an ASCB Council member, told a Biomedical Research Caucus briefing on Capitol Hill Wednesday. And yet the kind of primary research that yields new insights into fundamental biological mechanisms is government-funded through agencies like the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Sabry said. "We can't get a grant from the NIH at Genentech. The money doesn't come to us directly. What comes to us is basic knowledge. Without that, our industry would come to a grinding halt in the United States."

Published in ASCB Post
Sunday, 23 June 2013 20:00

Science Sequestered, Hope Delayed

Two months ago, Professor Frederick Sachs from SUNY Buffalo came to visit me. We talked about the science going on in our labs and what we hoped to accomplish. Then he told me about his own funding problems, problems caused entirely by the sequester, which now threatened his lab's incredibly promising work. I have been thinking ever since about Fred, his lab's work, and the lost opportunities they represent.
Published in ASCB Post

Elizabeth Iorns is on a mission to kill mutant sperm. She hopes to prevent transmission of hereditary breast and ovarian cancer by eradicating sperm carrying a specific gene mutation. Frustrated with traditional grants and private funders, Iorns raised $10,242 from 53 individuals through crowd-funding on Microryza. In return, she promised to share the chronicles of her research with her online supporters.

Published in ASCB Post

The last time Elias Zerhouni appeared before an official ASCB gathering in 2007, he was still National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director. Zerhouni had already made a big splash at the ASCB Annual Meeting in San Diego the year before when he volunteered as a judge for CellSlam, the ASCB's wildly popular stand-up science slam. By all accounts, "Dr. Z" rocked the house. Zerhouni repeated as an unflappable and untoppable CellSlam judge at the ASCB's 2007 Annual Meeting in Washington. He ended his six-year tenure as NIH Director in 2008.

Published in ASCB Post

The "journal impact factor" rebellion is spreading. In the two weeks since it first went online, DORA—the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment  hat calls on scientists and scientific organizations around the world to minimize use of the journal impact factor (JIF) in evaluating research and  researchers—has seen the number of individual signers jump from 155 to 6,083 while the number of scientific organizations signing on has gone from 78 to 231.

Published in ASCB Post

A standing-room-only crowd at a Senate Appropriations Subcommittee May 15 heard the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) top brass bemoan the stagnation in the last decade of federal funding for biomedical research and plead to be spared further cuts in the fiscal year 2014 (FY14) budget.

Published in ASCB Post

ASCB Urges All Researchers to Sign the DORA Pledge

An ad hoc coalition of unlikely insurgents—scientists, journal editors and publishers, scholarly societies, and research funders across many scientific disciplines—today posted an international declaration calling on the world scientific community to eliminate the role of the journal impact factor (JIF) in evaluating research for funding, hiring, promotion, or institutional effectiveness.

Published in ASCB Post

In this era of intense partisanship, Congress finally seems to agree on the need to write a comprehensive overhaul of the U.S. immigration system. Their motives may differ but everyone seems to agree that change is needed.

Published in ASCB Post
Thursday, 11 April 2013 20:00

King for a Day, President All Year

Even in a good year, the document commonly called "the President's budget" is really just a detailed outline of what programs the President would support if he were king and not president.

Published in ASCB Post

Stalled traffic and stalled legislation are facts of life in downtown Washington, DC, and yet on Monday (April 8), K Street was blocked off for hours by an unlikely protest group— medical researchers.

Published in ASCB Post
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