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FYI Number 115: July 26, 2005

Senate FY 2006 NIBIB Appropriations Bill

On July 14, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved and sent to the floor the FY 2006 Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies bill. Contained with this legislation is the appropriation for the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB).

The current NIBIB budget is $298.2 million. The Bush Administration requested $299.8 million (see http://www.aip.org/fyi/2005/023.html) an increase of 0.5%, which the House approved on June 24 in its own version of this bill (see http://www.aip.org/fyi/2005/097.html.) The Senate bill, which has not gone to the floor, recommends an increase of 3.7% or $10.9 million to $309.1 million. Funds, as noted below, would be transferred from the Office of AIDS Research to NIBIB under the Senate bill.

The following is the complete language on NIBIB from Senate Report 109-103:

"The Committee recommends an appropriation of $309,091,000 for the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering [NIBIB]. The budget requested $299,808,000 and the fiscal year 2005 appropriation was $298,209,000. 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 medical applications.

"Professional Judgment Budget- The Committee acknowledges receipt of the Five-Year Professional Judgment Budget for the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering [NIBIB] requested in House Report 108-636. The Committee notes the Budget's central conclusion that biomedical imaging and bioengineering ‘are dynamic and ripe with opportunities for major scientific advances' that could be translated into dramatic improvements in health care. The Professional Judgment Budget recommends a measured, reasonable rate of growth for the NIBIB to achieve the goals of the important research areas enumerated in the report. The Committee commends the NIH and Department of Health and Human Services for this approach and believes that the projected rate of growth is necessary to enable the NIBIB to achieve the scientific advances that the Congress envisioned when it established the Institute.

"The Professional Judgment Budget recognizes the role of the NIBIB with respect to interdisciplinary research, the physical sciences, and technology development. The NIBIB has taken a leadership role in efforts to examine the scientific questions that can be addressed by collaboration between life and physical scientists, the barriers to such collaboration, and the steps that need to be taken to bridge these disciplines.

"The Committee is pleased with the role of the NIBIB has played and will continue to play in the development of biomedical technology related to the physical sciences.

Imaging and Engineering Advances- The Committee urges NIBIB to focus efforts on improving musculoskeletal disease detection, monitoring and treatment through focused imaging and engineering advances. The Institute also is encouraged to develop noninvasive techniques to measure bone quality and bone strength in humans.

"Liver Imaging Techniques- Consistent with NIBIB's mission to improve all diagnostic imaging technologies, the Committee urges NIBIB 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 combinations of diagnosis and treatment. This is also necessary to develop less invasive diagnostics for liver disease patients. The Committee urges NIBIB to participate actively in trans-NIH initiatives that address these priorities.

"The Committee is encouraged by the potential of image-guided surgery to improve patient outcomes. The Committee supports the Institute's plans to hold a conference on image-guided surgery and looks forward to learning about the results of this conference.

"PET and MicroPET Scans- The Committee continues to 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 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."

Richard M. Jones
Media and Government Relations Division
American Institute of Physics
fyi@aip.org
301-209-3095

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