Biochemistry community commends president's focus on basic research

January 25, 2012

ROCKVILLE, Md., Jan. 24, 2012 -- On Tuesday night, in his State of the Union Address, President Obama outlined a "blueprint for the future" that he said he believes will create jobs and strengthens the nation's economy.

"After all, innovation is what America has always been about," said the president. "Most new jobs are created in start-ups and small businesses. So let's pass an agenda that helps them succeed. Tear down regulations that prevent aspiring entrepreneurs from getting the financing to grow. Expand tax relief to small businesses that are raising wages and creating good jobs. Both parties agree on these ideas."

Specifically, President Obama continued, "Innovation also demands basic research. Today, the discoveries taking place in our federally-financed labs and universities could lead to new treatments that kill cancer cells but leave healthy ones untouched. New lightweight vests for cops and soldiers that can stop any bullet. Don't gut these investments in our budget. Don¹t let other countries win the race for the future. Support the same kind of research and innovation that led to the computer chip and the Internet; to new American jobs and new American industries."

In response to Obama's remarks, Suzanne Pfeffer, president of the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular biology, said in a statement: "Last night's State of the Union address carried with it a message of job creation through continued investments in basic research and education. As a scientific society representing 12,000 of the country's biochemists on the cutting edge of biomedical research, ASBMB applauds the president for his calls for reforms to the nation's education system and his focus on the critical role basic research plays in driving an innovation economy. In addition to the improvements to the health, quality of life, and well-being of Americans, the American biomedical research enterprise can play a critical role in creating new high-tech, high-paying jobs, helping to keep the U.S. a global leader in innovation."

Pfeffer also said that the society supports strongly Obama's calls for investments in basic biomedical research and ASBMB will work with lawmakers on both sides of the aisle to tell the story of how investments in agencies such as the National Institutes of Health, Department of Energy and National Science Foundation can strengthen our economy and lead to an improved quality of life for all Americans.
About the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

The ASBMB is a nonprofit scientific and educational organization with more than 12,000 members worldwide. Most members teach and conduct research at colleges and universities. Others conduct research in various government laboratories, at nonprofit research institutions and in industry. The Society's student members attend undergraduate or graduate institutions. For more information about ASBMB, visit

American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

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