Published May 1, 2007
“I truly believe the NIH is one of America’s greatest assets,” President George W. Bush said on a visit to the National Institutes of Health’s sprawling Bethesda, Maryland campus in January 2007, “and it needs to be nourished.”
He was certainly right about the value of the 120-year-old agency, which supports basic biological and medical research through tens of thousands of grants to scientists and institutions each year. NIH has had a lot to do with America’s leading role in medical research and biotechnology, and has helped advance treatments and cures that have improved the lives of millions. And NIH has not lacked for nourishment, either: its $28.5 billion budget this year is more than twice what it was a decade ago.