AAI Public Affairs

The AAI public affairs program advocates on behalf of AAI members by identifying critically important issues in immunology and biomedical research, providing recommendations to relevant federal officials [including those at the National Institutes of Health (NIH)], and urging Congress and the Administration to increase funding for NIH and other key agencies/programs.

  • Short-Term Funding Bills Enacted to Avert Shutdown
    On November 16, President Biden signed a continuing resolution (CR) into law, averting a possible federal government shutdown. The CR maintains funding at fiscal year (FY) 2023 levels. Unlike most CRs, however, it is two-tiered, extending funding appropriated by four of the annual appropriations bills through January 19, 2024, and by the other eight annual appropriations bills through February 2, 2024. Read more »
  • AAI Hosts Webinar on Funding Opportunities at ARPA-H - Free Recording Available Now
    On November 9, AAI hosted a webinar on the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health (ARPA-H) entitled, “ARPA-H: Funding Opportunities for Immunologists.” The event was chaired and moderated by CPA member Cherié Butts, Ph.D. (AAI ’01), and featured remarks by two distinguished speakers. Read more »
  • AAI Participates in Rally for Medical Research Capitol Hill Day
    AAI participated in the 11th annual Rally for Medical Research Capitol Hill Day (“Rally Hill Day”) in September. Rally Hill Day brings together a wide range of stakeholders including academic researchers, those working in industry, and patients, to advocate for the shared goal of increasing NIH funding. Read more »
  • Dr. Bertagnolli Confirmed as New NIH Director
    Monica Bertagnolli, M.D., was sworn in as the 17th director of NIH on November 9. Dr. Bertagnolli is the first surgeon and second woman to serve in the role. She replaces Lawrence Tabak, D.D.S., Ph.D., who had temporarily led the agency since the departure of Francis Collins, M.D., Ph.D., in December 2021. Read more »
  • Dr. Jeanne Marrazzo Begins Tenure as NIAID Director
    In late September, Jeanne Marrazzo, M.D., M.P.H., officially stepped into the role of Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), taking over for Acting Director Hugh Auchincloss, M.D., DFAAI (AAI ’83). AAI President Akiko Iwasaki, Ph.D., sent Dr. Marrazzo a congratulatory letter, on behalf of AAI, offering AAI’s assistance in advancing NIAID priorities... Read more »
  • Dr. Kimryn Rathmell Appointed as NCI Director
    On December 18, W. Kimryn Rathmell, M.D., Ph.D. (AAI ’23), began her tenure as the 17th Director of the National Cancer Institute (NCI) after being appointed by President Biden in November. The NCI Director is appointed by the President and does not require confirmation by the U.S. Senate. Read more »
  • NIH Announces Upcoming Changes to Peer Review
    NIH recently announced changes that it is implementing to simplify the peer review process. The impetus for these changes, which will take effect for grant applications received on or after January 25, 2025, is a desire to put more weight on the quality of the science while deemphasizing the reputation of institutions and investigators. Read more »

AAI Public Affairs Activities

Watch the Recent AAI Webinar on Funding Opportunities at ARPA-H

On November 9, AAI hosted a webinar entitled, “ARPA-H: Funding Opportunities of Immunologists.” The event, which was chaired and moderated by AAI Committee on Public Affairs member Cherié Butts, Ph.D., featured compelling remarks by:

Susan Monarez, Ph.D., Deputy Director, ARPA-H
Paul de Figueiredo, Ph.D., NextGen Precision Health Endowed Professor, University of Missouri

Watch the Recording Here

AAI Issues Statement Expressing Concern about Large Cuts to Biomedical Research in House Spending Bill

AAI Committee on Public Affairs Chair Gretchen Diehl, Ph.D., recently issued a statement articulating some of AAI’s concerns with the fiscal year (FY) 2024 appropriations bill approved by the House Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (Labor-HHS) Appropriations Subcommittee on July 14. The bill would cut funding for the National Institutes of Health by $3.8 billion, including a $1.5 billion cut to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. It also cuts the budget of the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health (ARPA-H) by $1 billion. The statement explains AAI’s deep disappointment with these cuts and “urges bipartisan action in Congress to prioritize investment in NIH’s lifesaving scientific research.”

The Senate Labor-HHS Appropriations Subcommittee is expected to consider its version of the FY 2024 Labor-HHS bill in late July.

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