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UNC Lineberger researchers are among a group of UNC School of Medicine faculty members headed to Washington to rally for research.

From top left: Blossom Damania, Phd, David Peden, MD, Brian Strahl, PhD, and Robert Duronio, PhD.

Four University of North Carolina School of Medicine researchers are headed to Capitol Hill this week to take part in the Rally for Medical Research on Thursday to bring awareness to the need for more federally-funded medical research.

They are among hundreds of researchers from around the country who plan to meet with various Congressional leaders to urge them to ensure that funding for the National Institutes of Health is a national priority and to support continued investment in medical research.

“The ultimate purpose for increased funding is to translate research into clinics to help people,” said Blossom Damania, PhD, a UNC Lineberger member, assistant dean for research in the UNC School of Medicine and Boshamer Distinguished Professor of Microbiology and Immunology. “It is an absolute fact that NIH research saves countless lives. But funding for biomedical research has stagnated over recent years, and although UNC has done well to secure NIH grants, we need to be sure Congressional leadership understands what’s at stake.”

UNC faculty members are scheduled to meet with Senators Thom Tillis and Richard Burr, and Representative David Price, and other Congressional leaders from around the nation.

The four UNC researchers heading to Capitol Hill are:

• Blossom Damania, PhD, assistant dean for research at the UNC School of Medicine, Boshamer distinguished professor of microbiology and immunology, and co-director of the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center Programs in Virology and Global Oncology.

• Robert Duronio, PhD, a UNC Lineberger member, assistant dean for research at the UNC School of Medicine, professor of genetics and biology, and director of the Integrative Program for Biological and Genome Sciences

• David Peden, MD, director of the Center for Environmental Medicine, Asthma and Lung Biology and professor of pediatrics, medicine, toxicology, and microbiology and immunology.

• Brian Strahl, PhD, a UNC Lineberger member as well as a professor and director of graduate studies in the department of biochemistry and biophysics.

The Office of Research in the UNC School of Medicine sponsored this trip.

You can follow along on twitter at #RallyMedRes

You can ask your state’s senators and representatives to increase NIH funding by using this website.