Proposed $1.2 Billion cuts to NIH funding could hurt biomedical research

Proposed $1.2 Billion cuts to NIH funding could hurt biomedical research

TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - Earlier this week, President Trump proposed an immediate $1.2 billion cut in funding for the National Institutions of Health. If Congress approves the cut, it could hurt research at the University of Toledo.

"The cuts to biomedical research are just staggering. Because that affects everyone," said the Vice President for Research at the University of Toledo, Frank Calzonetti.

Calzonetti recently returned from Washington D.C. where he says he spent time talking with Ohio's Congressional Delegation about the importance in restoring funding for research.

"Cancer is where we have most of our funding, but cardiovascular research is another one. We work on mental illness, opioid abuse, those types of illnesses," Calzonetti explained.

Calzonetti says the University has received $126 million for biomedical research since 2012. The University also does research on algal blooms in the Great Lakes.

The University of Toledo has 136 pending NIH proposals right now. Those proposals could be in jeopardy if those cuts go through.

"If we lose this funding, I'm afraid we'll see a decline in the ability for the University of Toledo to be out in front as one of the major centers for biomedical research," Calzonetti said.

It's up to Congress to set spending levels.

A short term budget for 2017 expires April 28th. UT could get a better idea then whether the President's proposal is approved by lawmakers.

The President is proposing another $6 million cut to the NIH budget next year.

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