OHSU doctors concerned about proposed budget cuts to the Nationa - KPTV - FOX 12

OHSU doctors concerned about proposed budget cuts to the National Institutes of Health

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PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

OHSU administrators say President Trump's plan to cut billions of dollars in funding to the National Institutes of Health would cripple their scientific community and destroy major progress they've made in the lab.

OHSU administrators say they've dealt with budget cuts before, but nothing like this. If President Trump's budget is approved with these cuts to NIH in place, they add that it would be impossible for them to continue to operate as they are.

The Trump administration's new budget blueprint for 2018 hiked funding for our nation's defense, but sent a much different message to medical and scientific research agencies across the country.

"The magnitude of the proposed cut would be devastating to biomedical research," Said Daniel Dorsa OHSU Senior Vice President for Research.

Dorsa tells FOX 12 President Trump wants to slash 20 percent of the National Institutes of Health's total budget. OHSU relies on NIH funds to carry out lifesaving research.

In 2016 alone, OHSU scientists say they received more than $234 million, that's the hospital's largest single source.

"People should be concerned that the future of their health and the health of their children is in jeopardy because of the detrimental impact this could have," said Dorsa. 

Dorsa said treatments and cures for some of the world's deadliest diseases would not be possible without the basic NIH funded research that happens in the lab. Trump's proposed cuts to the NIH could halt progress and deter future generations from choosing careers in science out of fear they won't be able to get funding for their work.

"This is one of my biggest concerns, essentially a 20 percent cut would mean there would be no new grants funded for many years into the future," said Dorsa.

Dorsa says he's now teaming up with his colleagues at the University of Oregon and Oregon State University to put up a unified front against these cuts and is working with lawmakers to voice their concerns to congress.

"I can see that a president has to establish priorities and oppose budgets that allow him to achieve those goals, but I would just make the point that without question, the structure of science in this country and the function of things like the National Institutes of Health is the envy of the world."

President Trump said the proposed cuts would take the place of raising taxes, or increasing the national deficit adding that it will help offset his proposed $54-billion-dollar increase in military spending.

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