Last week the Senate Appropriations Committee approved the bill containing
funding for the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering.
S. 2810, the Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations
bill, would increase NIBIB funding by 4.8%, or $13.7 million, from $287.1
million to $300.8 million. The House has already passed its version
of this bill, providing the Bush Administration's request of $297.7
million, an increase of 3.7%. The full Senate has not yet voted on this
Accompanying this FY 2005 funding bill is Senate Report 108-636. The
following is the complete text of the report regarding NIBIB:
"The Committee recommends an appropriation of $300,800,000
for the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering
[NIBIB]. The budget requested $297,647,000 and the fiscal year 2004
appropriation was $287,129,000. The comparable amounts for the budget
estimate include funds to be transferred from the Office of AIDS Research.
"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
"Artificial Tissues- The Committee encourages the Institute
to focus on improved tissue and organ imaging technologies and on
the growth of artificial tissues. Progress in these fields will have
multiple benefits including addressing issues such as invasive diagnostics
tests now required for liver diseases and the need to address the
shortage of livers and other organs available for transplantation.
"Cardio-vascular Surgery- Cardio-vascular surgery depends
on the development of new materials and tools that can be used in
surgical management of heart and lung disease. The Committee is encouraged
that the Institute has recognized the importance of this concept and
implemented programs in advanced biomaterials and tissue engineering
that have a direct bearing on these surgical fields.
"Imaging Techniques- The Committee urges NIBIB to make
new bone imaging techniques a primary focus, speeding the development
of new imaging modalities that better capture bone quality, including
bone micro- and macro-architecture, quantification of bone mass and
crystalline composition. This is necessary to develop diagnostic and
treatment therapies for patients with metabolic bone diseases. The
Committee urges NIBIB to participate actively in trans-NIH initiatives
that address these priorities.
"Pet MicroPET Scans- The Committee continues to encourage
this new 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 new 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 NIH."
"This Committee has long recognized the role NIH can
and does play in transforming the health status of America. In 1998,
the Committee embarked on a 5-year endeavor to double the investment
in NIH in an effort to quicken the pace and intensity of this transformation.
Although it is impossible to predict what cures or new treatments
will emerge as a result, it is certain that the infusion of new funds
during the doubling process helped push back the frontiers of scientific
knowledge, while attracting the best and brightest minds to careers
in medical research. However, the accumulation of fundamental knowledge
for its own sake is of little value unless it finds its way to hospitals
and physicians, where it can be put to use in promoting good health
or diagnosing, preventing and treating disease. For that to happen
requires a robust commitment of resources over a sustained period.
The Committee recommends $28,900,300,000 for the NIH. This amount
is $1,100,252,000 above the fiscal year 2004 appropriation and $373,429,000
over the budget request."