The House Appropriations Committee has sent all of its FY 2007 funding bills to the floor. Among those bills is H.R. 5647, the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill. This bill contains funding for the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering.
The committee approved the Bush Administration's request for a 0.7% or $2.0 million reduction in NIBIB funding, from $296.8 million to $294.9 million. The FY 2007 proposed funding level would continue a gradual decline in NIBIB funding, which was $298.2 million in FY 2005. A summary of the Administration's NIBIB budget request may be viewed at: http://www.aip.org/fyi/2006/026.html A committee statement explains that total "Medical research at the National Institutes of Health is funded at a program level of $28.3 billion, slightly above last year's level and equal to the budget request."
Accompanying this bill is Report 109-515 with the committee's recommendations. Report language on NIBIB follows:
"The Committee recommends $294,850,000 for the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB), which is $1,960,000 below the fiscal year 2006 appropriation and the same as the budget request.
"Mission - The NIBIB mission is to improve human health by leading the development and accelerating the application of biomedical technologies. The Institute is committed to integrating the engineering and physical sciences with the life sciences to advance basic research and medical care.
"Liver tissue engineering - The Committee encourages NIBIB to focus efforts on expanding the Tissue Engineering Program to examine how the development and function of engineered tissues and organs can improve treatment techniques for patients afflicted with liver disease.
"Liver imaging techniques - Consistent with NIBIB's mission to improve all diagnostic imaging technologies, the Committee encourages NIBIB to continue 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 less invasive combinations of diagnosis and treatment and the evaluation of livers from cadaver donors. The Committee encourages NIBIB to participate actively in trans-NIH initiatives that address these priorities.
"Technological competitiveness - As the institute charged with developing new technologies with broad applications to virtually all of the diseases and organ systems that constitute the missions of the other NIH institutes, NIBIB can play a key role in strengthening U.S. technological competitiveness. The leadership of NIBIB in supporting research at the interface of the physical and life sciences is especially important in light of the President's proposal to increase our investment significantly in basic research in the physical sciences. NIH is responsible for more than 50 percent of total federal spending for basic scientific research and thus can contribute substantially to this plan."