The American Physiological Society Press Release

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APS Contact: Donna Krupa

Email: dkrupa@the-aps.org

Phone: 301.634.7209

Twitter: @Phyziochick

APS Urges Greater Research Funding For NSF, NASA

WASHINGTON – (April 24, 2007) Hannah V. Carey, the president-elect of The American Physiological Society (APS) and a professor of comparative biosciences at the University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine in Madison, called on Congress today to increase the fiscal 2008 research budgets of the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

“The NSF is an agency that excels at its mission, and the APS has enjoyed a long partnership with the agency,” Carey said. “This year, we join with the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology in calling for an increase that would bring the NSF budget to a total of $6.5 billion in FY 2008.” Her request is an increase of 9 percent over fiscal 2007.

The NSF supports 20 percent of all federally funded basic science and is the major source of support for non-medical biology research, Dr. Carey said today in her testimony before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, and Science.

“The majority of the funding NSF provides is awarded through competitive, merit-based peer review, which ensures that the best possible projects are supported,” Dr. Carey said. “This has resulted in an excellent record of accomplishment in terms of funding research that has produced results with far-reaching potential.”

NASA life sciences budget at issue

Dr. Carey also recommended that Congress increase the NASA budget an additional $39.5 million. The NASA budget for life science research has dropped from approximately $1 billion in fiscal 2005 to $274 million in fiscal 2007.

“These cuts erode the capacity to conduct the experiments necessary to safely achieve goals that involve long-duration manned spaceflight,” Dr. Carey said. Research is needed to understand the effects of prolonged weightlessness, increased levels of radiation, disruption of sleep patterns and restricted movement, before space travel can be undertaken safely. This research can advance understanding of human responses to space and may also result in medical advances here on earth, she said.

Members of the media who want to interview Dr. Carey or obtain the complete text of her testimony, should contact APS Communications Office at The American Physiological Society, dkrupa@the-aps.org.

Physiology is the study of how molecules, cells, tissues and organs function in health and disease. Established in 1887, the American Physiological Society (APS) was the first U.S. society in the biomedical sciences field. The Society represents more than 10,500 members and publishes 15 peer-reviewed journals with a worldwide readership.