NIH To Tap Alumni To Lobby

Money, not memories, is the idea behind an effort by NIH officials to build a national alumni association. “Our primary goal is to promote the best interests of the NIH as the leading biomedical research institute in the world” through a grass-roots lobbying effort aimed at state and national legislators, says Abner Notkins, director of the intramural research program at the National Institute of Dental Research.

Since last year, at the end of the NIH centennial celebrations, NIH officials have recruited 450 members for a Washington chapter, raised $50,000, and published a newsletter. Last month they sent out invitations to 6,000 potential members, and they hope eventually to track down another 14,000 alumni whose current addresses are unknown.

“It’s terribly important that this concept of an alumni association take hold,” former Connecticut Senator Lowell R Weicker, Jr. told alumni at their spring meeting in...

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