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Fattah Highlights Neuroscience Investment in 2014 Bipartisan Congressional Spending Bill

WASHINGTON, Jan. 15, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Congressman Chaka Fattah (D-PA), a Senior Member on the House Appropriations Committee, expressed support of the $1.1 trillion bipartisan spending bill passed today in the House, highlighting its investment in neuroscience. Fattah, architect of the Fattah Neuroscience Initiative (FNI), and lead Democrat on the Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science (CJS) and related agencies worked closely with Chairman Frank Wolf (R-VA) to make neuroscience funding a priority in the subcommittee's section of the appropriations bill.

The bill provides $7.7 billion for the National Science Foundation (NSF), and a requested increase of $13.85 million for new cross-Foundation investments in cognitive science and neuroscience research. This complements the approximately $5.5 billion annually spent by the government on neuroscience through the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Further, the measure encourages the NSF to work in conjunction with the Interagency Working Group on Neuroscience (IWGN). In 2011, Fattah joined with the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) to create the IWGN, which coordinates brain research across a dozen federal agencies.

"I was proud to work with my colleagues on a CJS appropriations bill that, while not perfect, makes a strategic and significant investment in medical research and innovation, including funding for neuroscience," Congressman Fattah said. "The new $13 million increase of neuroscience funding will fund breakthrough research, advancing our knowledge and understanding of brain disease, and boosting the efforts of the Fattah Neuroscience Initiative."

The legislation also includes language promoting international collaboration, a major tenet of the Fattah Neuroscience Initiative. In recent months, Fattah has traveled to Israel and Europe for conversations with international leaders on future neuroscience cooperation with the United States. Last month, with Rep. Steve Israel, Fattah spearheaded an international neuroscience research alliance between organizations in the United States and Israel.

"We know that this is a global challenge which requires global resources and partnership. I am especially pleased that the spending bill recognizes this international interest and directs OSTP to identify new opportunities for international collaboration around neuroscience," Fattah said.

As a member of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Military Construction and Veterans Affairs, Fattah advocated for increased attention to neuroscience research as it relates to the country's veteran community.  The bill recognizes the current innovative studies on the relationship of traumatic brain injury (TBI) to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and promotes further efforts in TBI research, including new clinical trials, additional grant funding, and collaborative treatment research plans.

Click here to view remarks Congressman Fattah made today on the House floor in support of the 2014 spending bill.

SOURCE Office of Congressman Chaka Fattah

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