Roswell Park Supports "Rally for Medical Research"

April 8, 2013 Updated Apr 8, 2013 at 6:38 PM EDT

By Ed Reilly

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April 8, 2013 Updated Apr 8, 2013 at 6:38 PM EDT

WASHINGTON DC (WKBW) Fifty researchers from the Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo joined with thousands of other scientists from across the nation to protest budget cuts to the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

The Federal budget sequester cut $1.6 billion dollars from the NIH budget and that is being felt at research institutions nationwide.

Here in Western New York, $120-million dollars in Federal money helps fund bio-medical research at Roswell Park Cancer Institute, the University of Buffalo, and the Hauptman-Woodward Research Institute.

Officials at Roswell Park held a mini-rally in support of the national effort at the Zebro Family Conference Center in Buffalo.

Congressman Brian Higgins joined with leaders of Buffalo's research institutions to view the "Rally for Medical Research" that was broadcast live over the internet.

"Congress has failed you," said Democratic Congressman Higgins, who added that Congress needs to get out of its partisan mindset to solve the sequester budget problems.

"The solution is to get a budget in this country that can prioritize the right programs including medical research," commented Republican Congressman Chris Collins.

While the budget debate continues in Washington, medical advocates warn that time is critical when it comes to finding new cures.

Officials at Roswell Park say some research projects are already being scaled back due to lack of NIH funding.

"Even if a project is able to be recovered, a delay of four or five years has a terrific impact on the patients who need that help today," said Roswell President & CEO Donald Trump MD.