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Local Research Funding Could Be Threatened By Sequestration

UT Health Science Center

The effects of federal budget cuts known as sequestration have scientists and medical researchers worried that funding will start to be cut.

Research and medical discoveries depend on a plentiful supply of money, but if lawmakers in Washington, D.C. slash funding, research can’t be conducted.

That could mean a new generation of researchers won't have jobs according to Research!America President Mary Woolley, who said that will be detrimental to the country in the next 10 years.

"Nothing like this before has been so threatening to the hopes and dreams of patients and their families who are waiting for the cures and the better treatments that medical research has always delivered," she said.

Woolley said a bill going through Congress makes deep cuts in the next fiscal year, about 19 percent below last year's medical research funding.

In San Antonio, an area rich in medical research, Woolley said tens of millions of dollars could be lost in jobs, research and findings, and the University of Texas system could stand to lose over $100 million in research.

Woolley said she remains optimistic and hopes people will reach out to their representatives.

"The Congress needs to decide that this is a priority and the way that classically the Congress comes to that viewpoint is that people in their state and in their district tell them that they want it to be a priority," she said.

Woolley said with a decade of cuts already, the U.S. can't stand another minute of lost money for research.

Ryan Loyd was Texas Public Radio's city beat and political reporter. He left the organization in December, 2014.