Leaders from government, industry, academia, and science advocacy organizations gathered at Shepherd University on October 16 for a special forum highlighting the ways federal research funding catalyzes economic growth in West Virginia. The event was sponsored by Research!America and hosted by Shepherd University President Mary J.C Hendrix, PhD who served as President of FASEB from 2000-2001.
Other prominent speakers included Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), who voiced their bipartisan commitment to securing increased funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) through their service on the Appropriations Committee. Universities in the state received $24 million in funding from NIH in fiscal year 2016.
Following the Senators’ remarks, a panel discussion explored the social, economic, and health impact of public and private sector research and technology. In addition, Research!America President and CEO Mary Woolley presented findings from a new West Virginia public opinion survey that found strong support for federal investment in medical research.
According to the survey data, 89 percent of West Virginians said it is important for the United States to maintain its role as a world leader in medical research. Nearly 80 percent of survey respondents agreed that medical research is important to the state’s economy and that the state should be a leader in medical and health research.