Increased support of biotech research
Local biotech researchers should be in line for roughly $50 million more in federal cash this year as a result of some little-noticed tweaks included in the big budget deal that passed Congress a few weeks ago. The measure boosted fiscal 2016 spending for biomedical research by the most in several years after a period of relative austerity. The National Institutes of Health alone will get a 6.64 percent increase to $32.08 billion nationally, and if Illinois gets its usual share, that could amount to $50 million on top of the $710 million local institutions and scientists got last year.
Dr. Milan Mrksich, associate director of the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center at NU, said the facility is focusing on subjects including nanotech and "personalized" treatments. Researchers have had considerable success in the past, he said, but lately a disturbing trend has arisen: "a reverse brain drain as top researchers move their labs to Europe and Asia," where better funding is available. To learn more about how this funding helps, click here.