House Energy and Commerce Committee Members Question NIH Stimulus Priorities

APA is working with the Coalition to Protect Research and other scientific organizations to help defend NIH’s peer review process and the important work that is being conducted in these areas.
In September, House Energy and Commerce Committee Ranking Member Joe Barton (R-TX) and Greg Walden (R-OR) sent a letter to NIH identifying several grants that, “from our point of view, do not seem to be of the highest scientific rigor.” The grants that were identified had included behavioral research on cancer survivors, as well as international HIV/AIDS prevention research and community-based participatory research with Native Americans. Given the stiff competition for research dollars, and based on their own review of the abstracts, Barton and Walden are questioning how NIH’s peer review system could have funded these projects rather than others. Though NIH is still in the process of responding to that initial letter, Barton and Walden sent a supplemental inquiry in October asking whether some additional NIH-funded projects, particularly those involving firearms and alcohol, are “appropriate for the NIH medical research mission.” APA is working with the Coalition to Protect Research and other scientific organizations to help defend NIH’s peer review process and the important work that is being conducted in these areas.