Medical researchers at the University of Iowa are hailing the move to dramatically increase federal grants for research. Over the past five years, National Institutes of Health funding has doubled. Dr. Derek Willard, vice president for research at the University of Iowa, says the increase in federal grants has come while state support of the school is on the decline.Dr. Mary Hendrix, head of the University’s anatomy and cell biology department, uses National Institutes of Health financing to study skin, prostate and breast cancer. She says they’ve been developing new diagnostic markers to predict the agressiness of tumors in the body.Dr. George Weiner, head of the University of Iowa’s Cancer Center, says during the past five years as federal grants grew, progress has been dramatic.The Cancer Center is now conducting 160 different clinical trials to test the effectiveness of new cancer drugs. Senator Tom Harkin leads the Senate sub-committee which drafts the spending for the National Institutes of Health. Harkin says there’s been a bipartisan effort to boost federal spending on medical research.The National Institutes of Health now funds 10-thousand more research projects than it did in 1998.
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