Biomedical research is ripe for a stimulus

What it'll take to reinvigorate the enterprise

Garret FitzGerald
Feb 8, 2009
As Congress debates a major economic stimulus package, investment in energy research is high on the agenda. While this promises benefit to our economy and security, it highlights the value of reinvigorating our investment in another area of science -- biomedical research.The wealth and health of the nation can be measured in breakthroughs in the treatment of heart disease, AIDS and cancer, high quality jobs, and profitable industries. A recent report from the UK suggested a return on investment in biomedical science of 40%. So far, the US has managed to sustain its pre-eminence in biomedical research. Research publications and patent filings suggest our continued (though narrowing) leadership in innovation, our research universities continue their dominance of the global rankings, and the US remains the leading site of research conducted by pharma and biotech. But both the academic and industry sectors of our biomedical research enterprise are highly vulnerable. The...

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