SOURCE: HealthPartners

September 12, 2007 11:36 ET

More NIH Money, More Problems

Universities' Overproduction of Scientists Creates Unhealthy Levels of Competition in U.S. Research Industry

BLOOMINGTON, MN--(Marketwire - September 12, 2007) - The biggest threat to the future of biomedical research in the U.S. is our failure to manage levels of competition for National Institutes of Health (NIH) grants according to Brian Martinson, Ph.D. of HealthPartners Research Foundation. In a commentary to be published in the Sept. 13, 2007 edition of Nature magazine, Martinson argues that the largest recipients of NIH funding -- universities and academic health centers -- must find ways to balance the supply of biomedical researchers putting demand on NIH funding to better support innovation in science and better fulfill their obligation to society.

While many have called for increased research funding from the NIH, Martinson argues that approach promotes universities to produce ever more biomedical researchers, creating unsustainable levels of competition for finite funding resources.

"Difficult funding decisions are increasing ill-will, perceptions of injustice, and eroding the bases of ethical behavior among academics," says Martinson. "Excessive competition for NIH funds ultimately reduces opportunities for the sort of creative thinking that leads to major scientific breakthroughs."

Brian Martinson is available for interview regarding this commentary.

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