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Home > News > NIH Director Zerhouni Assumes Greater Budget Authority Over Research Under New Law

January 31st, 2007

NIH Director Zerhouni Assumes Greater Budget Authority Over Research Under New Law

A "little-noticed" bill signed by President Bush this month, which grants NIH Director Elias Zerhouni greater budget authority over the institute's research, has prompted concern among patient advocacy groups who fear their research will be compromised, the Wall Street Journal reports. Under the law, Zerhouni and future NIH directors will be able to organize a "common fund" that eventually would pool about 5% of NIH's money to fund research projects that span traditional biomedical fields. The institute's budget previously was managed by the 27 separate institutes and centers within NIH, all of which have ties to patient advocacy groups representing a variety of diseases. Such groups are concerned that the common fund will increase "at the expense of their own research, carving money out of their funds," the Journal reports. Zerhouni says new funding will promote trans-disciplinary research, and obesity and nanotechnology research will be high priorities.


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