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April 8, 2013

WASHINGTON – Today, United for Medical Research (UMR) is putting Washington under the microscope, literally, with the unveiling of a giant 18-foot tall inflatable microscope at the Rally for Medical Research. As a cosponsor of the first-of-its-kind rally, UMR joins thousands of advocates, survivors, researchers, clinicians, business leaders and the general public to call on Congress to make lifesaving National Institutes of Health (NIH) research funding a national priority.

“UMR is putting Washington under the microscope and NIH in focus, urging policymakers to heed our call and repair the agency’s ailing budget,” said Carrie Wolinetz, PhD, president of UMR. “NIH’s budget has suffered from a decade of flat funding and a devastating cut from the sequester, which UMR estimates could slash more than 20,000 job and $3 billion in economic activity. The entire medical innovation ecosystem is in grave danger unless Congress takes action to protect it.”

Hosted by journalist and author, Cokie Roberts, the Rally for Medical Research is uniting the medical research community on the grounds of the Carnegie Library, with more than a dozen speakers from Hollywood, the Administration, Congress, the scientific, research and the patient advocacy community.

Among the esteemed speakers are NIH Director Francis Collins, MD, PhD; TV star and breast cancer survivor Maura Tierney; Representatives Rosa L. DeLauro (D-Conn.) and Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.); former Representative John Edward Porter, chair of Research!America; Margaret Foti, PhD, MD, chief executive officer of the AACR; Frank McCormick, Ph.D., president of the AACR and director of the UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center; and Marc Tessier-Lavigne, president, The Rockefeller University.

The Rally falls two days before the President’s federal budget release and just weeks after Congress imposed a drastic $1.6 billion cut to the NIH, which translates to more than five percent in spending cuts to federally-funded medical research.