ARVO Advocates Among First to Request FY2024 NIH/NEI Funding Increases
|The participants in this year's ARVO AMPC Advocacy Day included members of ARVO's Science Communications Fellows Program along with AMPC Members|
On February 28, the ARVO Annual Meeting Program Committee (AMPC) held its Capitol Hill Advocacy Day, returning to in-person meetings after two years of virtual events due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As in past years, the February date for the NAEVR-managed Advocacy resulted in vision researchers being among the first advocates on Capitol Hill to request FY2024 NIH/NEI funding increases. The Advocacy Day also preceded the expected March 9 release of the President’s FY2024 budget proposal.
ARVO’s domestic and international advocates—including AMPC members and Science Communication Training Fellows––made 30+ delegation office visits, mostly in-person but some virtual, including Members assigned to key committees with NIH funding and oversight jurisdiction. They thanked Congress for past funding increases for the NIH and NEI, and requested continued, robust funding increases for FY2024, per NAEVR’s position.
ARVO’s FY2024 NIH funding request mirrors that of the Ad Hoc Group for Medical Research, which has been endorsed by more than 125 member organizations, including NAEVR and ARVO. Regarding NEI, the advocates described their research, highlighted potential breakthroughs, and emphasized the importance of past training grants provided by the Institute. The international advocates added their unique perspectives on the global nature of vision research, identifying their collaborations with US investigators.
The advocates proceeded to request continued, robust funding increases for FY2024 that include:
- NIH funding at $50.924 billion, a $3.5 billion or 7.3 percent increase over the FY2023 funding level of $41.7 billion; and
- NEI funding of $975 million, a $78.5 million or 8.7 percent increase over the FY2023 funding level of $896.55 million.
The advocates were accompanied in office visits by NAEVR’s Dan Ignaszewski and David Epstein, as well as ARVO’s Jason Spessard, Cathy Conley, Laura Lanford, Salewa Akintilo, Abdullo Sayfidinov, and John Saville.
Arathy Kartha, PhD (Johns Hopkins University) with Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD)
|Gui-Shuang Yang, PhD (University of Pennsylvania), center, with Charlie Hills and Anna Keilly, office of Senator John Fetterman (D-PA)|
|Jason Meyer, PhD (Indiana University School of Medicine), center, with John Graham (Senate Special Committee on Aging), left, and Senator Mike Braun (R-IN)||Xiao Lin, PhD, and Christophe Ribelayga, PhD (both University of Houston) with Cole Gibson, office of Cong. Troy Nehls (R-TX)|
|Khaled Elmasry, MD, PhD (Augusta University) with Gabriella Vesey, office of Senator Raphael Warnock (D-GA)||
Shervonne Poleon, PhD (University of Alabama) with Grace Magaletta, office of Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY)
From left: Nicholas Semanko, office of Cong. Joyce Beatty (D-OH), Yanhui Ma, PhD (Ohio State University) and Yoshiaki Yasuno, PhD (University of Tsukuba, Japan)
From left: Abigail Spiller, office of Cong. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), Cris Jacoba, MD (Harvard Medical School), Jarrod Harman, PhD (Harvard Medical School), Juliet Moncaster, PhD (Boston University), Paul McCann, PhD (University of Colorado) and Abdullo Sayfidinov, from ARVO