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UT president, chancellor meet with house speaker, NIH director

Speaker of the House of Representatives John Boehner, left, spoke with UT President Lloyd Jacobs, Dr. Jeffrey Gold, and leaders from other Ohio medical schools during a July 19 meeting in Washington, D.C. Seated with his back to the camera is Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health.

University of Toledo leaders met July 19 with Speaker of the House John Boehner and National Institutes of Health Director Dr. Francis Collins to discuss the importance of medical research to UT and other institutions across the state and the country.

President Lloyd Jacobs and Dr. Jeffrey Gold, chancellor and executive vice president for biosciences and health affairs, and dean of the College of Medicine and Life Sciences, joined several leaders of other medical schools in Ohio to talk about the economic and health-care impact clinical research funded by the NIH can have on society.

“The line item in the federal budget that funds the National Institutes of Health is responsible for so many of the scientific and medical breakthroughs that treat and cure diseases and conditions that in the past caused great pain and suffering,” Jacobs said.

“I was very grateful that Speaker Boehner and Director Collins were able to discuss the important role research plays in advancing our nation,” Jacobs said. “Given their extremely busy schedules, taking time to meet speaks volumes about their commitment to and understanding of the economic and societal impact NIH-funded research can have.”

Boehner, center right, and Collins, center left, spoke with the group about medical and scientific research and the role the NIH can play in funding those efforts.

Gold, who serves as chair of the Ohio Council of Medical School Deans, announced in late May that the state’s medical colleges and teaching hospitals had an economic impact in excess of $42 billion in 2011 alone.

“Advancing medical care through basic scientific and translational research is a defining piece of this institution’s mission,” Gold said. “The opportunity to share with top national leaders some of our NIH-funded research successes and to provide information on research partnerships like the Academic Health Center offers UT a chance to reaffirm our commitment to providing the best health care available.”

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