ASCB Newsletter Nov 2013 - page 21

Eight days into the shutdown of the federal
government, ASCB President Don Cleveland
and ASCB members Carol Greider and
Rebecca Burdine told an ASCB press
conference in Washington, DC, about
the impact the government shutdown,
sequestration, and a decade of cuts to the
National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the
National Science Foundation (NSF) is having
on basic biomedical research.
ASCB Executive Director Stefano Bertuzzi
opened the press conference by telling
reporters that shutting down the gears of
the American biological research will affect
science beyond the days and weeks of this
latest Washington standoff. “As America
keeps hitting the brakes on scientific research,
ASCB Says Shutdown Threatens
U.S. Leadership in Biomedical
we are, in effect, accelerating the damage
done to our continued leadership in global
bioscience, in health outcomes, and in the
economic power that we have always derived
from basic research,” Bertuzzi said. He
continued, “Americans will pay dearly for these
slowdowns, sequestrations, and shutdowns in
finding cures and on maintaining economic
Don Cleveland’s lab at the Ludwig Institute
for Cancer Research in San Diego is one of
those groups affected by the government
shutdown. He told reporters that last
month his lab “identified a way to introduce
gene silencing therapy to silence genes in
neurodegenerative disease. We wrote the grant
application and now nothing is happening.”
Cleveland said that the shutdown has put
NIH, continued from page 1
In an email to ASCB Regular members,
ASCB’s President Don Cleveland and
Executive Director Stefano Bertuzzi urged
members to be helpful. Bertuzzi and Cleveland
said, “In regular times, we are all justifiably
proud of the role our peers play in reviewing
our research; whether it be applications for
funding or the publication of the results of
the resulting research. These are not regular
times however, and they require all of us
to do whatever we can to get the gears of
science turning again.” They continued, “[We
are] asking that you be as accommodating as
possible when the NIH contacts you asking
for your assistance. Please consider saying yes
to a rescheduled study section or to serving on
a study section when you might not have in
the past... If our community steps up, we can
minimize the disruption to individual research
groups that are directly affected by the delay and
to the overall scientific discovery process.”
—Kevin M. Wilson
Rebecca Burdine, Kevin Wilson (standing), Stefano Bertuzzi, Carol Greider, and Don Cleveland at the ASCB press
conference on the federal government shutdown
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