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AIRI & Member Institutes Present AIRI Legislative Champion Awards


The Association of Independent Research Institutes (AIRI), in collaboration with its member institutes the Stowers Institute for Medical Research, the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation, the Van Andel Institute, and the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, is honored to present AIRI Legislative Champion Awards to Members of Congress who have demonstrated leadership in enhancing the biomedical research enterprise and supporting priorities important to biomedical researchers. We are proud to recognize the following Members of Congress with AIRI Legislative Champion Awards:
  • Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO) and Representative Tom Cole (R-OK) for their efforts to support and increase funding at the National Institutes of Health (NIH)
  • Senator Jim Inhofe (R-OK), Senator James Lankford (R-OK), and Representative Steve Russell (R-OK) for their efforts to raise the micro-purchase threshold to $10,000 for procurement activities under federal awards to independent research institutes and universities
  • Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) and Representative Fred Upton (R-MI) for leading passage of the 21st Century Cures Act, which includes additional funds for NIH and provisions to reduce research administrative burden

Left-to-right): Chip Morgan, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer,
Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation (OMRF), and Stephen Moffitt, Chief of Staff,
Representative Steve Russell (R-OK)

Left to right: Adam Cohen, Senior Vice President and General Counsel, OMRF,
Chip Morgan, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, OMRF,
Greg Slavonic, Chief of Staff, Senator James Lankford (R-OK), and Tim Hassen,
Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, OMRF

Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center (left to right): Rhonda Curry,
Director,Communications & Government Relations; Steve Stadum, JD, Executive
Vice President and Chief Operating Officer; Randy Main, AIRI Past President,
Vice President and Chief Financial Officer; Senator Patty Murray; Garnet Anderson,
PhD, Senior Vice President and Director, Public Health Sciences Division; and
Alex Salter, MD/PhD student in Stanley Riddell’s immunotherapy laboratory. 

AIRI is a national association of more than 80 independent, not-for-profit research institutes that play prominent roles in NIH biomedical and behavioral research. Our impact on scientific research is significant, with independent research institutes consistently competing successfully for peer-reviewed research grants, receiving approximately 10 percent of NIH extramural funding. Due to the increases in NIH funding and streamlining of research regulations, we can expand our impact on human health and continue our pursuit towards biomedical breakthroughs in diseases like HIV, cancer, and Alzheimer’s.
“AIRI and our member institutions are appreciative of the support our champions and their staff have provided over recent years. With the support of the AIRI Legislative Champions, we were able to achieve significant advances for biomedical research. Significant progress has included increased NIH funding coupled with decreased regulatory burden, advances that are necessary for our scientists to continue their important work. We look forward to continuing to partner with our champions while wishing them great success in the new Congress,” said Cary Thomas, AIRI President and Chief Information Officer, The Scripps Research Institute.

AIRI and its members are grateful for the support of the 2017 AIRI Legislative Champions. Through their ongoing work and dedication, important biomedical research and scientists are supported in their efforts to improve human health and quality of life for all.

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