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NIH Record  
Vol. LlX, No. 6
March 23, 2007
NINDS Grantee Birbeck Studies Epilepsy in Africa
Readers' Survey Is Largely Positive for NIH Record
Koroshetz Named NINDS Deputy Director
'Recruiting 101' Seeks Gifted Ambassadors for NIH
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Zerhouni Presents 2008 Budget Request to Congress
NIH director Dr. Elias Zerhouni (r) responds to questions at a House appropriations subcommittee hearing, with NICHD director Dr. Duane Alexander (l) and NIAID director Dr. Anthony Fauci.
NIH director Dr. Elias Zerhouni appeared Mar. 6 before the House appropriations subcommittee on Labor/HHS/Education to present NIH's FY 2008 budget request and to discuss priorities for this year and beyond. Flanked by 10 institute and center directors, he requested $28.9 billion, up $313 million from the FY 2007 request of $28.587 billion.

Subcommittee chair Rep. Dave Obey (D-WI) welcomed Zerhouni and his colleagues: "Let me say, doctor, that we want numbers put in context. What will this country look like in 10 years?"

"Major factors will force a transformation of medicine and health," Zerhouni replied, and laid out the megatrends. Due to advances over the past 30 years, Americans are now living longer and healthier, thanks in partto the total NIH investment of $44 per year for each American. Deaths from cancer, heart disease and stroke have decreased, while life expectancy has risen. Meanwhile, there are challenges in the shift from acute to chronic conditions; an aging population; health disparities; infectious diseases; obesity; and biodefense. As for expenditures, "in 10 years, these will double," Zerhouni predicted, projecting $4.1 trillion in health costs by 2017.

Fighting To Be a Fighter Pilot
Tuskegee Airman Headlines NIH Black History Salute
Col. Hiram Mann, an original Tuskegee Airman
Col. Hiram Mann, an original Tuskegee Airman.
The third time was the charm for Hiram Mann's dream. In 1940, he was a young man with a year or so of college behind him. Tensions between the U.S. and its foreign enemies were heating up. Mann felt a war was unavoidable. But he was also a newlywed whose bride threatened to shoot off his toe if he even considered enlisting in the seemingly inevitable conflict. Even that didn't stop Mann from yearning to be a fighter pilot. He wrote to the Army asking to attend flight school. The Army replied "in no uncertainterms," Mann recalled: "There are no facilities to train Negroes to fly in any branch of the American military service." Twice more he'd appeal for combat flight training before he got his wish. More than 65 years later, Mann remembers like it was yesterday. A man doesn't forget being rejected to serve his country simply because of his race.