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    Congress Boost NIH Funding Budget by $2B in 2016

    Congress overwhelmingly passed the 2016 spending bill on Dec. 18th 2015. National Institutes of Health (NIH) is the winner in absolute dollars. After over a decade of minimal to no increases in the NIH budget, President Barack Obama signed into law a bill that would increase the NIH budget by $2 billion, or 6.6%, from its current budget of $30 billion to $32 billion.
    According to government officials, the proposed budget would specifically provide the NIH with $200 million for its planned Precision Medicine Initiative, an ambitious research effort unveiled by President Obama in January that, among other things, seeks to obtaining genome sequence data on more than 1 million Americans and to use that information accelerate the development of personalized medical treatments.
    The bill includes $350 million in new spending for Alzheimer’s disease research, a 60% increase over the 2015 amount and well above the president’s request of $51 million. It contains the $200 million requested by Obama for his Precision Medicine Initiative, $85 million in new funding for the BRAIN Initiative, and a $100-million boost for NIH’s role in a federal initiative on antimicrobial resistance. The National Children’s Study (NCS) follow-on, a revamped version of a study that NIH scrapped last year, receives $165 million, the same amount allocated for the NCS in 2015. The rest of the increase is spread among NIH’s institutes and centers, most of which will receive a boost of roughly 4%.