NIH Director Francis Collins calls the potential cuts from sequestration a “profound and devastating blow” for medical research. If Congress cannot find a way to achieve debt reduction without massive federal spending cuts, NIH will lose 6.4 percent of its budget this year. This could hurt the availability of research grants. Currently, 80 percent of NIH funding goes to university and medical school researchers but the odds of award have been declining in recent years. According to Collins, only one in six of those that apply receive grants; the chances used to be one in three. And all of this could get much worse if sequestration is implemented.
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