The House Appropriations Committee has just released its report accompanying the FY 2006 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies bill. This bill provides funding for the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioenginnering. Under this bill, H.R. 3010, NIBIB's budget would increase 0.5% to $299.8 million.
Overall funding for the National Institutes of Health rose 0.5% or $142.3 million, to $28,506.8 million, which is $3.0 million below the Bush Administration's request. The committee report explains regarding the total NIH appropriation that "This amount includes $97,021,000 for targeted research activities to develop radiological, nuclear and chemical threat countermeasures. The Administration had requested this funding in the Public Health Social Services Emergency Fund."
The following is all of the language in the committee report, 109-143, regarding the NIBIB. Note the final sentence regarding the role of NIBIB in interdisciplinary research at NIH.
"The Committee provides $299,808,000 for the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB), which is $1,599,000 above the fiscal year 2005 comparable level and the same as the budget request.
"Mission.--The mission of the Institute is to improve health by promoting fundamental discoveries, design and development, and translation and assessment of technological capabilities in biomedical imaging and bioengineering, enabled by relevant areas of information science, physics, chemistry, mathematics, materials science, and computer sciences.
"Imaging for autoimmune disease.--The Committee is encouraged by the recent development of imaging technology being evaluated in clinical trials for detection of metastatic cancer in human patients. The Committee encourages the Institute to support the translation of imaging technologies to the detection and diagnosis of autoimmune diseases, in particular juvenile diabetes and organ transplantation. Non-invasive imaging approaches are critical to the detection of progression of disease or early rejection of transplanted organs or cells.
"Bone imaging.--The Committee urges NIBIB to focus on improving musculoskeletal disease detection, monitoring and treatment through focused imaging and engineering advances. The Institute is encouraged to develop noninvasive techniques to measure bone quality and bone strength in humans.
"Liver imaging techniques.--Consistent with NIBIB's mission to improve all diagnostic imaging technologies, the Committee encourages NIBIB to make liver imaging techniques a primary focus, speeding the development of new modalities that better capture the early stages of various liver diseases, including cancer, as well as offering the potential for combinations of diagnosis and treatment. This is also necessary to develop less invasive diagnostics for liver disease patients. The Committee recommends that NIBIB participate actively in trans-NIH initiatives that address these priorities.
"Long term budgets- The Committee acknowledges receipt of the Five-Year Professional Judgment Budget for the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB) requested in House Report 108-636. The Committee notes the budget's central conclusion that biomedical imaging and bioengineering ‘are dynamic and ripe with opportunities for major scientific advances' that could be translated into dramatic improvements in health care. The Committee notes that the Five-Year Professional Judgment Budget recommends a measured, reasonable rate of growth for the NIBIB to achieve the goals of the important research areas enumerated in the report. As with all professional judgment budgets, the Committee considers them within the constraints of the annual budget, acknowledging that they represent the judgment of scientific opportunity but not competing demands.
"Interdisciplinary research- The Committee also notes that the Five-Year Professional Judgment Budget recognizes the role of the NIBIB with respect to interdisciplinary research, the physical sciences, and technology development. NIBIB has taken a leadership role in efforts to examine the scientific questions that can be addressed by collaboration between life and physical scientists, the barriers to such collaboration, and the steps that need to be taken to bridge these disciplines. The Committee recommends that NIBIB serve as the primary home of any new NIH or interagency programs or initiatives at the crossroads of physical sciences and biomedicine."