The John A. Burns School of Medicine is hosting a regional meeting October 7th and 8th that should draw hundreds of young scientists from the Western US (including Hawai’i) to Honolulu. One of the key features for these scientists is the opportunity to meet with federal officials who oversee key research programs for the National Institutes of Health. The government shutdown may not permit these federal officials to travel and would thus deny the young scientists the opportunity to showcase their research and compete successfully for future research grants. We are uncertain of the impact of this factor upon the overall out-of-state attendance at the meeting and thus its immediate impact on the local economy.
We do know federal funding for research at the medical school serves as an economic driver for Hawai’i. New research awards at JABSOM in FY 2013 totaled $56 million, second highest among units at the UH Manoa. Our faculty and staff compete on a national scale to bring those funds into Hawai’i in cooperation with our State and local elected officials. Such medical research promises improved treatments for those in Hawai’i and improved health across the U.S. and the Pacific.
Jerris Hedges, MD
Dean and Professor
John A. Burns School of Medicine
University of Hawai`i Manoa