This is important. Make sure you click through and read to understand what I’ve been on about for the last 6yrs wrt modular NIH funding.

With no adjustment for inflation in two decades, we now have 55.5% of the purchasing power that we had in 2001 for biomedical research grants.
The implications of this are huge.

1) Scientists are having to hold *multiple* R01 grants just to keep on the treadmill.

2) This increases the risk of losing a grant non-linearly, resulting in destabilization of the discovery process.
3) Junior scientists applying for their first R01 need to understand that they *cannot* do the same amount of work that their mentors/predecessors did on the same grant mechanisms 20 years ago, or even 10 years ago.

4) Study sections need to recognize this and adjust accordingly
5 The general public has no idea how hard scientists work, *just to obtain funding*, so they can then do the hard work of discovery. I’ve talked w/more than one VC/Silicon Valley peep who were stunned to know that we do cutting edge biomedical research on $250k/yr for entire labs
6) You want cures for cancer, blindness, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s, heart disease, Parkinson’s, ALS, kidney disease, diabetes, etc…? Then science needs to be part of the national infrastructure.
7) We spend 1 penny per tax dollar on ALL federally funded science in America. That is NIH (biomedical), NSF (basic science), DOE (energy), NASA (space and earth), NOAA (weather/atmosphere), USGS (geology), NIST (standards), DoD (military), among a bunch of other agencies...

Imagine if we doubled that to two pennies/tax dollar. We’d revolutionize science by doubling what we spend.
Note: This will still not get us back to where we were in 1963 when we spent 2.5% of GDP on science in this country (we now spend 0.6% GDP), but it would be a huge help.
People need to understand that spending money on science *is* infrastructure spending for this country. Every dollar invested in science is a multiplier for the economy.

And grants are getting thin enough that scientists can no longer easily purchase equipment like microscopes.
A basic confocal microscope, not even a fancy super-resolution one that I need to find the funding for can run upwards of $500,000 or more.

That is two years of direct grant funding before any work can even be done. Then there are the service and support costs.
Equipment support costs alone keep many labs from purchasing equipment.

This is not the way that science used to be done. You used to be able to make purchases of major equipment from grants, but no longer.

The hoops I have to jump through to buy anything >$5k are phenomenal.
For example: My current light microscopes are… >20 years old. We have retrofitted them with new light sources and rebuilt them, etc…etc…etc…
When we *can* manage to purchase major equipment, those dollars go to companies that also drive the economy by making highly technical tools that require expertise to manufacture. Those companies source goods to build those scopes from other companies.
The same is true for even the small things like antibodies and slides, purchased from small mom and pop companies. Or reagents, or hard drives and computers to do the analysis, etc…etc…etc…

Other labs are similar...
All this economic support happens *while we are discovering new things*, pushing knowledge forward and coming up with better materials, and cures for diseases, and new forms of entertainment, better and faster computing, a more complete understanding of the universe around us.

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More from @BWJones

14 Dec
Dealing with someone trying to get a COVID test here in Utah this morning...

The hoops they are having to jump through, just to try and get the test scheduled reveals precisely why our COVID case numbers are waaaaaay lower than my models suggest they are.

This is nuts.
We should be testing to saturation here, particularly given that we *know* people can be asymptomatic and still shed virus.
I hear from colleagues at @UCLA that employees on campus are getting screened twice/week whether they have symptoms or not.
Read 4 tweets
5 Oct
How does one normally handle a sociopath?

Should it be different, that the sociopath is the President of the United States?
P.S. Who put on his makeup for this outing? He clearly has makeup on.

Is it self applied? If not, who is the makeup person risking their life for this?
Trump was not discharged from medical care. He was transferred to the White House with a still active and raging COVID infection.

Think of all the people that work in the White House. Cleaners. Food service workers. Valets.

These people do not have infectious disease training.
Read 4 tweets
5 Oct
I will say that personal experience with dexamethasone was interesting.

After blowing out my back and getting surgery to decompress nerve roots, my doc said: “you’re gonna feel really good. I’ve loaded you full of dexamethasone... so be cool. Take it easy and don’t be stupid”.
Looks like the dexamethasone is kicking is kicking in…
Watching the video of Trump re-entering the White House makes me wonder if his physician has noted that Trump is not following advice.

I don’t know what the dosage is, but Trump is going to run into dexamethasone crash, and if it coincides with COVID viral spike, it could be bad
Read 4 tweets
4 Oct
The more I think about it, the more this makes me sad.

It is absolutely pathetic that the *image* of strength of competence is what this administration keeps pushing.

A beloved leader who sacrificed for his nation would be able to be seen in pajamas and taking it easy to heal.
Instead, we get fake images or propaganda scenes where the appearance of getting work done is more important than the actual work getting done, or of honesty in leadership.

One way or another, lies are being told here. The President has COVID, or he does not. It’s bad, or not...
I’d love to have a chat with the photographer, Joyce Boghosian, and get her perspective on all this...
Read 16 tweets
3 Oct
I find it curious that the President is taking *TWO* experimental drugs in response to his COVID-19 diagnosis.

That feels… odd to me.
The Regeneron monoclonal antibody cocktail is truly experimental, and has only been used in a few hundreds of patients.

Using that, in combination with an anti-viral drug, Remdesivir that has *some* indications for efficacy.
And studies involving BOTH of those drugs at the same time, are effectively non-existent to my knowledge.

This feels… desperate.
Read 13 tweets

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