Above photo: LE&RN President & CEO William Repicci (third from right) and Tim Padera, Ph.D. (far right) pictured with the staff of National Heart, Lung, Blood Institute (NHLBI).
Dear Lymphatic Researchers,
Growing the lymphatic research portfolio at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is central to LE&RN's mission. To this end, each year we meet with the leadership of all relevant NIH Institutes. We also regularly engage all Institutes during our Trans-NIH Coordinating Committee in Lymphatics conference calls throughout the year.
There is one significant hurdle brought to light by these meetings. Without a Lymphatic Institute or Center at NIH, there is no single clearinghouse for lymphatic research. Instead of answering requests for lymphatic research proposals, many apply for grants focused on the broad continuum of lymphatic-related diseases such as diabetes (NIDDK), cardiovascular issues (NHLBI), rheumatoid arthritis (NIAMS), immune response (NIAID), or cancer metastasis (NCI), to name just a few.
This leaves NIH with a narrow grasp of what lymphatic research is being done overall, or even what lymphatic-specific research is being done within the entire NIH. NIH staff are aware of this issue thanks to the time they have spent with LE&RN. They are also interested in doing something about this.
The next step is up to you.
In the upcoming week, you will receive a series of e-mails from LE&RN focused on the topics listed below. Each of these e-mails will have an action step. Here is your chance to be an activist advancing the NIH-Lymphatic portfolio. Please respond to each of these e-mails.
In tandem with this, LE&RN is working toward the creation of a legislatively directed Lymphatic Commission that would ideally lead to the establishment of a Lymphatic Center housed at one of the Institutes at NIH.
More than 100 researcher signatories signed LE&RN's petition to Congress and NIH asking for increases in lymphatic research funding, playing a key role in this new wave of interest. We need to continue our momentum.
My thanks to all the activists in the research community who are helping us build a better future for lymphatic research.
LE&RN President and CEO
If you are not yet a LE&RN Supporting Member, join the fight today. We need all lymphatic researchers on board to ensure a better tomorrow for the 10 million Americans and the 250 million people around the world who are struggling with LE and LD.