Senate Proposes Funding for the National Science Foundation

Last week the Senate Commerce Justice and Science (CJS) Appropriations Subcommittee approved its fiscal year 2017 appropriation bill. The CJS bill proposes funding allocations for the Department of Commerce, the Department of Justice, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the National Science Foundation (NSF), and other related agencies. For NSF specifically, the Senate allocated approximately $7.5 billion, an increase of $46 million above the fiscal year 2016 enacted level and a $55 million decrease from the President’s discretionary budget request of $7.564 billion. Importantly, the CJS Subcommittee did not include the President’s Budget request to include mandatory funding to boost spending at NSF.

Additionally, according to a summary provided by FASEB, “Despite the small size of the proposed increase, the committee’s summary of the bill emphasizes the important role of the Foundation in funding basic research across scientific disciplines.”

AADR will continue to closely monitor these developments and work in partnership with the Coalition for National Science Funding as this bill moves forward.

Appropriations Update: Senate Allocations are Set

This month, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved the allocations known as 302(b)s for the fiscal year 2017 appropriations bills. Importantly, these allocations adhere to the $1.07 trillion top line number established by the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015. The Senate Labor Health and Human Services and Education (LHHS) Appropriation bill will receive $161.857 billion, which is an approximate $270 million decrease from fiscal year 2016 level of $162.167 billion. Under these reduced allocations it will be virtually impossible for programs to receive meaningful increases without decreasing or level funding other programs under the jurisdiction of this legislation. According to a statement released by the Coalition for Health Funding:

While the allocation of $161.9 billion represents a cut of $270 million to these critical programs, under the austere budgetary caps, relatively flat funding appears to be a fair allocation of the cuts required to most subcommittees that fund NDD programs and is a best case scenario. While it may be that this allocation is the best we can hope for under the current budget environment, it should not be the best we can do for the American people. Congress and the President must work together to end sequestration once and for all to ensure that we can make the investments we need in the Labor-HHS bill and across all nondefense discretionary programs.

The House on the other hand continues to argue over the top line allocations for discretionary spending. They have not yet reached an agreement and Chairman Rogers indicated he will be releasing the 302(b) allocations when the committee reviews each one of the appropriations bills.

Unfortunately, the persistent austere budget climate continues to put a strain on discretionary spending. AADR will continue to partner with the broader public health community and urge Congress to undo sequestration and these austerity measures once and for all.

AADR Selects University of Florida College of Dentistry Student for Gert Quigley Fellowship

KyuLim LeeAADR is pleased to announce the selection of KyuLim Lee from the University of Florida College of Dentistry as the 2016-17 Gert Quigley Fellow. Ms. Lee is currently enrolled in the DMD/PhD program and is the President of the AADR Florida Chapter Student Research Group. As a result of Ms. Lee’s research she was selected to compete at the 2014 AADR Meeting, Johnson & Johnson Hatton Competition where she was awarded first place. She also competed in the IADR Unilever Hatton Competition in Cape Town, South Africa and received second place. In 2012, Ms. Lee received her B.S. in food science and human nutrition from the University of Florida.  Ms. Lee has a keen interest in advocacy and stated, “My research experience has taught me an important aspect of research: a cure for a disease is not discovered overnight. The discoveries result from years of incremental research. Being actively involved in both dental research and organized dentistry, I realize participating in the process of how research gets funded is critical. Research is the future of dentistry and advocating the importance of continuous funding for dental research is very important.”

The Gert Quigley Public Policy Fellowship provides a unique learning experience both in Washington, DC and through grassroots efforts at the participants local university or institution. This fellowship is designed to familiarize dental school, Ph.D., or dual degree students with the federal legislative process as it relates to basic and translational dental and craniofacial research, as well as research on the oral health care delivery system. Applications for the 2017-18 Gert Quigley Public Policy Fellowship will be available in March 2017.

AADR and Friends of NIDCR Submit Written Testimony

Today, AADR President Dr. Jack Ferracane submitted written testimony on behalf of AADR and the Friends of NIDCR urging Congress to provide at least $34.5 billion for the National Institutes of Health and $452 million for the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research in the fiscal  year 2017 Labor, Health and Human Services and Education Appropriation bill. The testimony thanked Congress for their support of NIH and NIDCR. He also urged Congress to build on this momentum and continue to provide predictable and sustainable funding for NIH and NIDCR this year and beyond. Additionally, Dr. Ferracane discussed the impact and hope NIDCR brings to millions of patients with a wide range of conditions that impeded quality of life, are physically debilitating and create a major financial and social burden.

Dental Community Encourages Congress to Support Funding for Oral Health Programs

This month, the American Dental Association (ADA), the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD), the American Dental Education Association (ADEA) and the American Association for Dental Research (AADR) sent  letters to the House and Senate Labor, Health and Human Services and Education Appropriations Subcommittees urging them to provide modest programmatic increases to allow more Americans to have access to better oral health.  The letter included a chart of funding priorities for oral health research and programs, including a request for Congress to provide $452 million for the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) in fiscal year 2017.

AADR is extremely grateful to  ADA, ADEA and AAPD for their continued support of NIDCR this year and looks forward to working with these organizations to secure increased funding for oral health programs.

Rep. Stewart (R-UT) Visits the University of Utah School of Dentistry

As a direct result of the AADR and Friends of NIDCR Advocacy Day on Capitol Hill, on March 7, Representative Chris Stewart (R-UT) visited the research laboratories of the University of Utah School of Dentistry to learn more about their important dental, oral and craniofacial research program.

(Left to Right) Dr. Glen Hanson, Dr. Rena D'Souza, Rep. Stewart and Dr. Olga Baker

(Left to Right) Dr. Glen Hanson, Dr. Rena D’Souza, Rep. Stewart and Dr. Olga Baker

During the course of his visit he met with students, Dr. Rena D’Souza, IADR vice president-elect,Dr. Olga Baker, a member of the AADR Government Affairs Committee and  Dr. Glen Hanson, Interim Dean They discussed the many research programs including the following:

  • Studies that focus on molecular mechanisms underlying drug addiction and the importance of educating dentists in recognizing behavioral and oral symptoms of substance abuse in patients.
  • The use of new scaffolds to improve salivary gland regeneration, omega-3 fatty acids derivatives to treat Sjögren’s Syndrome (SS), use of the Utah population database to study genetic causes of SS and saliva diagnostics.
  • The high incidence of craniofacial anomalies such as cleft lip and cleft palate in Utah, which warrants further research on non-invasive therapies.
  • The funding needs for supporting such research programs and providing the quality training necessary to produce the next generation of researchers.

 AADR members asked Rep. Stewart to support providing $34.5 billion for the National UUHC_160307_528Institutes of Health and $452 million for the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research in the fiscal year 2017 Labor, Health and Human Services and Education Appropriation bill. He promised to be supportive of their requests. Dr. Baker stated, “Inviting elected officials to your labs makes a big difference when asking for NIH funding because you are making both professional and personal connections, which in turn helps make the message stick.”

UUHC_160307_575 (2)“The highlight of my visit with Rep. Stewart was when he commented that visiting his office on Capitol Hill really made a difference! This reinforced my belief in the importance of AADR membership involvement in advocacy both on Capitol Hill and locally,” Dr. D’Souza.

AADR encourages all members to invite policy makers to tour research labs and facilities so members of Congress can learn more about the importance of dental, oral and craniofacial research.

Interested? If you want to learn more about how to invite a member of Congress to visit your campus, simply email the AADR Director of Government Affairs Carolyn Mullen at cmullen@aadr.org. She can discuss how to set up a meeting, provide talking points and background materials to help maximize the impact of your meeting.

 

AADR and Friends of NIDCR on Capitol Hill: Advocacy Day Recap

On February 23, 2016 deans, researchers, students and patients from throughout the country participated in the 2016 AADR and Friends of NIDCR Advocacy Day on Capitol Hill. The purpose of the advocacy day was to persuade Congress to increase funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR). Central to this advocacy day was the inclusion of the voice of patient advocates, combined with a robust participation of students, researchers, professors and deans from dental schools.IMG_8908

Prior to advocating on behalf of oral health research our members attended a morning briefing session in the Russell Senate Office Building where they were provided with the tools and information necessary to conduct successful meetings with Congress. Participants were encouraged to continue the conversation with their members of Congress after leaving Capitol Hill and invite policymakers to tour their lab and university facilities.  Dr. Martha Somerman, director of NIDCR also provided an update about initiatives and priorities at her agency.  During the briefing, Steven Feldman, a dental student at the University of Maryland was presented with the student advocate of the year award, by the AADR president, Paul Krebsbach.IMG_8868

Our members conducted nearly 70 meetings with members of Congress. During these meetings they urged Congress to provide $34.5 billion for NIH and $452 million for NIDCR. Also to amplify our message on Capitol Hill, AADR issued an action alert, which enabled individuals to participate virtually in our Advocacy Day. To date, advocates sent 168 emails to members of Congress. Reports from Advocacy Day participants indicated that Congress is generally supportive of increasing funding for NIH and in fact one Congressional staffer stated that she was, “Impressed by the range of research in areas with which she had limited familiarity.”

The AADR and Friends of NIDCR Government Affairs team invites all members of the dental research, education and patient community to engage their elected officials regularly, but at least on an annual basis through the Advocacy Day program to communicate the importance of dental, oral and craniofacial research. If you would like to become more involved with AADR and Friends of NIDCR advocacy efforts please contact Carolyn Mullen, director of government affairs and contact your elected representatives through the online Legislative Action Center.

IMG_8971IMG_8790

Gert Quigley Government Affairs Fellowship Application Period Open

AADR is pleased to announce that applications are now being accepted for the 2016-2017 Gert Quigley Government Affairs Fellowship. The Gert Quigley Public Policy Fellowship provides a unique and exciting learning experience both in Washington, DC and through grassroots efforts at the participants local university or institution. This fellowship is designed to familiarize dental school, Ph.D., or dual degree students with the federal legislative process as it relates to basic and translational dental and craniofacial research, as well as research on the oral health care delivery system.

The applicant must be a member of the AADR National Student Research Group and a DMD/DDS, Ph.D. or a dual degree student.

 Click here for more information about the program and the application process.

Applications are due by April 1, 2016!

President Obama’s FY17 Budget Request

Yesterday, President Obama presented his fiscal year (FY)17 budget request to Congress. The President’s budget adheres to the budget caps established by the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015, while at the same time utilizing mandatory funding as novel approach to plus up or level fund some programs without going above the budget caps. AADR issued a statement indicating our disappointment in the budget request which proposes to cut discretionary funding at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) by $1 billion and back fill those cuts utilizing an unauthorized mandatory funding stream.

Below is a summary of AADR priorities included in the President’s FY17 Budget. Please note the overall funding levels for NIH, the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research and the National Science Foundation include the mandatory funding as part of the baseline budget:

  • National Institutes of Health NIH, $33.1 billion an $825 million or 2.6% increase above FY16 levels (without new mandatory funding $31.2 billion, a $1 billion or 3.1%  decrease from FY16)
  • National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR), $413.4 million which is level with FY16. (without new mandatory funding $404.5 million, an $8.8 million or 2.1% decrease from FY16)
  • National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD), $280.6 million which is level with FY16. (without new mandatory funding $279.6 million, a $1 million or 0.3% decrease from FY16)
  • National Science Foundation, $7.96 billion, a $500 million or 6.7% increase over FY16. (without new mandatory funding $7.5 billion, a $100 million or 1.3% increase from FY16)
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Division of Oral Health, $18 million which is level with FY16.
  • Health Resources and Services Administration Title VII oral health training programs $35.8 million which is level with FY16.
  • Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, $469.7 million an increase of $14.2 million or 3.1% increase from FY16.
  • National Center for Health Statistics, $160.4 million which is level with FY16.

Additionally, with mandatory funding the President proposes targeted increases including $680 million for the National Cancer Moonshot initiative, $100 million for the precision medicine cohort and $45 million for the BRAIN initiative.

The President’s budget is a document that outlines the administration’s funding priorities for the upcoming fiscal year and Congress has the authority to approve, reject or modify the recommendations included in the budget.

What’s Next? AADR will continue to advocate the Congress provide predictable, sustained and increased funding for NIH, NIDCR and other important oral health programs in the upcoming year and during our February 23, 2016 Advocacy Day on Capitol Hill.

For More Information About the Budget:

Click here to view the NIH Director’s presentation about the NIH FY17 Budget Request

Questions? Contact the AADR director of government affairs Carolyn Mullen cmullen@aadr.org

 

NIH Institutes Issue Notice Expressing Interest to Prioritize Zika Virus Research Areas

Today, NICHD, NINDS, NIDCR and NIAID issued a notice to highlight interest in research on Zika virus as it relates to the mother-infant dyad and sequelae of infection. Areas of priority that may be of interest to dental, oral and craniofacial researchers include the following:

  • Research to develop lab-based or point-of-care diagnosis for ZIKV using saliva as a biofluid
  • Studies to characterize the outcome of viral infection on craniofacial skeletal and dental phenotype with or without microcephaly

For additional information click here to read the entire announcement along with links to possible funding opportunities that can be used to pursue research activities.