Washington, DC – U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar urged her colleagues to fully fund the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to help support medical research. In a speech on the Senate Floor, Klobuchar highlighted the important role the NIH plays in supporting research by groups like the University of Minnesota and Mayo Clinic in their work to treat and prevent diseases.

“The NIH plays a vital role in supporting cutting edge research to help prevent and treat some of the most debilitating conditions,” Klobuchar said.“We shouldn’t be playing politics when so many patient’s lives depend on the NIH. I urge my colleagues to take whatever action is necessary to ensure that the NIH and places like the University of Minnesota and Mayo Clinic receive the support they need to carry on their missions.”

Currently, the NIH is the largest source for medical research funding in the world, supporting research on cancer, heart disease, stroke, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, mental health issues, among countless other conditions. However, federal investment in medical research has stagnated over the last decade, and as a result of sequestration, NIH funding was further slashed. The cuts will mean 700 fewer research grants, including, according to a recent article in the Star Tribune, potentially costing the University of Minnesota $50 million.