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May 17, 2010 [Washington, DC] -- Lung Cancer Alliance and more than 87 patient advocate groups sent a letter to National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director, Francis Collins, requesting improved access to and funding of the NIH Clinical Center:part of the NIH Intramural Research Program and the largest dedicated research hospital in the country. The letter requests that NIH support new approaches that maximize the resources of our nation's medical research enterprise and support collaboration among all the stakeholders involved. Patient advocate groups, private research funders and public health policy organizations all call on the NIH to allow greater use of and partnership with the Clinical Center by the external research community.
The letter calls attention to the underutilization of the Clinical Center facility and the fact that its potential as a national resource for the public health is not being fully realized. The facility holds some of the nation's best imaging and diagnostic equipment, genetic phenotyping expertise, and access to a wide range of clinical research specialists. The Center has the potential to be a leading research institution for the study of rare and orphan diseases and on pre-clinical and methods research essential to translating promising discoveries into new treatments and cures.
The signers of the letter call on the NIH to accomplish two goals:
In addition, the letter calls on NIH to fulfill the stated mission of the Clinical Center, to "lead the global effort in training today's investigators and discovering tomorrow's cures."
Lung Cancer Alliance will continue to monitor this issue moving forward and will provide regular updates as to its progress.
To read the complete letter to NIH Director, Francis Collins, click here.