House and Senate appropriators have completed initial work on the FY
2004 Labor-Health and Human Services - Education appropriations bill.
Under each version of this legislation the appropriation for the
National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering Institute
(NIBIB) would increase, with the Senate bill providing greater
funding. Both bills will now go to the full House and Senate, after
which a conference will be held to set the final funding level.
It is unusual that this mammoth funding bill moved so early in the
appropriations cycle. This is usually one of the last bills to be
considered, as it is a lightning rod for some of the most contentious
issues that Congress considers. Last year House appropriators never
got their bill out of the committee.
The NIBIB is a relatively new institute at the NIH. NIBIB Director
Roderic Pettigrew announced last month the intramural research
program will begin in FY 2004.
The current budget for the NIBIB is $278.3 million. Last week, House
appropriators granted the Administration's requested budget increase
of 1.4%, or $3.8 million, to $282.1 million. Senate appropriators
recommended an increase of 4.0%, or $11.0 million, to $289.3 million
for FY 2004.
The House committee has not released its accompanying report.
Selections from the Senate Report 108-081 language follow:
"Mission- The NIBIB improves 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. The Institute plans, conducts, fosters, and supports an
integrated and coordinated program of research and research training
that can be applied to a broad spectrum of biological processes,
disorders and diseases and across organ systems. The Institute
coordinates with the biomedical imaging and bioengineering programs
of other agencies and NIH Institutes to support imaging and
engineering research with potential medical applications and
facilitates the transfer of such technologies to medical
"Positron Emission Tomography [PET].--The Committee continues
encourage the Institute to devote significant resources to molecular
imaging technologies such as positron emission tomography [PET] and
microPET to take advantage of the capacities of molecular imaging to
detect disease process at the molecular level and to monitor the
effectiveness of targeted gene therapies now under development. The
Committee also encourages the Institute to develop its research
agenda in close collaboration with other, disease-specific Institutes
at NIH, so that new imaging technologies are closely tied to the
research projects being undertaken by the various other Institutes of