FY 07 President's Budget for NCI Highlighted at NCAB Meeting
NCI leadership presented the institute's proposed budget for fiscal year 2007 to the National Cancer Advisory Board (NCAB) at today's meeting. President Bush's FY 2007 budget request to Congress this week included a request of $4.754 billion for NCI - a decrease of $39.7 million from the funds available for the current year (see chart below). For the entire National Institutes of Health (NIH), the funds available are $28.6 billion, the same amount from FY 2006.
Among the policies and initiatives included within the President's request are several with direct implications for NCI:
NCI Director Dr. Andrew C. von Eschenbach commented, "We are committed, as we go through this period of making difficult choices between those programs, that we will always put scientific excellence as the critical and number one criteria in making those fiscal decisions." However, he continued, in addition to scientific merit, "we must also make those decisions within the context of strategic priorities." One priority is to maintain the "pipeline for the development of our intellectual capital, particularly in the development of young scientists and new investigators across the continuum of basic science to clinical research," he said.
NCI will also "work very hard going forward to leverage our resources and to find opportunities where we can partner and collaborate with other agencies, NIH institutes, and other sectors of the cancer research community," Dr. von Eschenbach added.
Appropriation hearings on the President's FY 2007 budget request are scheduled to begin on March 15 in the Senate and March 16 in the House of Representatives.
NCI management also provided updates to NCAB on several major initiatives. A report for implementation of the Clinical Trials Working Group (CTWG) recommendations was presented by Dr. James Doroshow, director of the Division of Cancer Treatment and Diagnosis (DCTD). The plan is discussed in the NCI Director's Update in this issue of the NCI Cancer Bulletin.
NCI Deputy Director Dr. Anna Barker also provided a status report on The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) pilot project being conducted as a partnership between NCI and the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) to assess the feasibility of sequencing genomic changes in human tumors on a large scale. NCI and NHGRI launched the pilot project on December 13.
Dr. Robert Croyle, director of the Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences (DCCPS), presented examples of current issues in tobacco control research. Some of the collaborations between NCI and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) were highlighted by Dr. Corinne Husten, acting director of CDC's Office on Smoking and Health.
The webcast of the public sessions of this NCAB meeting can be viewed at http://videocast.nih.gov.
By Bill Robinson