Proposed NIH Budget Cuts Could Devastate Medical Innovation and Cripple Critical Cancer Research and Prevention Efforts

Washington, D.C., —Today the president introduced his proposed 2018 budget, which includes deep cuts to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Cancer Institute (NCI), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Medicaid. If approved by Congress, the cuts would decrease the NIH budget by 21 percent, decrease the NCI budget by 21 percent, cut the CDC’s chronic disease program by nearly 20 percent and reduce Medicaid funding by more than $600 billion.

A statement from Chris Hansen, president of the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) follows:

“Cutting the NIH budget by $7.1 billion would seriously jeopardize the development of new, potentially life-saving cancer diagnostic tools, prevention methods and treatments. It would also risk eroding the basic scientific research that, when combined with private investment, spurs American medical innovation and economic development. Most specifically, the cuts would completely undermine the increases for research secured in the bipartisan 21st Century Cures Act meant to accelerate progress against diseases like cancer.

“According to a poll released Monday, an overwhelming 90 percent of voters believe federal funding for medical research is ‘very’ or ‘extremely’ important and 75 percent want Congress to significantly increase NIH funding. More than two-thirds oppose the cuts as proposed in the president’s previously released ‘skinny’ budget.

“Cancer research is on the verge of significant new breakthroughs that could help save lives from a disease that continues to kill more than 1,650 Americans each day. Just last week, the American Cancer Society released a report showing one in every five adult cancer diagnoses and two of every three childhood cancer diagnoses are considered rare. These patients and their families depend on the promise and progress of continued research investment to develop new therapies that will help to get and keep their specific diagnoses in check.  

“In addition, cutting the CDC chronic disease budget by nearly 20 percent threatens to substantially weaken vital tobacco prevention and cessation programs as well as important efforts to address nutrition, physical activity and obesity—all significant cancer risk factors.

“The results of these cuts combined with the more than $600 billion reduction for Medicaid funding, could leave millions of Americans without access  to meaningful health care and prevention services.

“To date, the federal government has played a critical role in our ability to reduce the cancer burden. Such drastic budget reductions would have the potential to devastate the nation’s standing as the global leader in cutting-edge medical research and scientific discovery, hamper progress in detecting cancer early when it’s least expensive to treat and most survivable and severely restrict low-income patients’ access to critical safety-net health care coverage through Medicaid.

“On behalf of all those affected by cancer, ACS CAN urges lawmakers to preserve their bipartisan commitment to research and prevention and reject these cuts when crafting the FY 2018 budget.” 

Warren named associate VP of development

Kathi Dantley Warren, currently the senior executive director of development for Duke Cancer Institute, has been named associate vice president of development at Rice University, effective July 10.

Kathi Dantley Warren

With more than 17 years of experience at higher education and medical institutions, Warren will be responsible for the day-to-day operations of individual fundraising programs and also oversee various departments within the Office of Development and Alumni Relations, including gift planning, major gifts, school-based fundraising and annual giving.

All of us at Rice are incredibly excited that Kathi will be joining the Development and Alumni Relations team,” said Vice President Darrow Zeidenstein. “Educated as a scientist, Kathi brings incredible smarts and a wealth of development experience from her work at Cornell and Duke, two of the best development programs in the country. I have zero doubt that both faculty and staff will enjoy working with Kathi as we seek to secure resources to enhance Rice’s mission.”

In her development role with one of the original eight comprehensive cancer centers designated by the National Cancer Institute, Warren transformed the fundraising program from a yearly $18 million enterprise to a $30 million enterprise and successfully completed a $200 million campaign.

Before joining the Duke Cancer Institute and Duke Health in Durham, N.C., in 2014, Warren served as assistant dean for alumni affairs and development at Cornell University’s College of Engineering, where she created its first alumni affairs and development strategic plan and alumni engagement plan. Over a four-year period she increased annual revenues by 245 percent – from $22.7 million to more than $56 million – and helped achieve the second-best fundraising year in the college’s history. Through philanthropy she also enabled the college to create and endow several new programs, including an engineering leadership program and teaching excellence institute.

“It gave me great joy to see the legacy that this created,” Warren said. “Faculty and students are benefiting from those programs that were the result of a partnership with donors and institutional leadership.”

Warren has an M.A. in cell and molecular biology and microbiology from Duke University and a B.A. in biology from Hampton University. She found herself drawn to the development profession after thinking about how she had been impacted as the recipient of an undergraduate scholarship and graduate fellowship. She learned more about the profession that made that scholarship and fellowship possible and became a development associate at the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland, College Park, where she worked her way up to associate director of development.

She met a refugee from an African country at a University of Maryland scholarship event for donors and recipients and kept in touch with him. After graduating, the refugee got a job at the United Nations and then returned to his home country to try to assist people there, but none of that would have happened if he had not received the scholarship. “That was hugely impactful,” Warren said. “The scholarship changed not only his life, but the lives of others.” She said experiences like this helped her to find meaning in the development profession. “It’s very rewarding,” she said.

Warren’s career in development includes more than 10 years of leading teams during fundraising campaigns of more than $1 billion. She said the best institutions find a way to blend the scientific tenets of fundraising with “the art of cultivating meaningful, lifelong relationships with an institution,” and Rice’s ability to do that was a key factor in her decision to join the university’s development team.

“Rice has an excellent story to tell and a visionary leader in President David Leebron,” Warren said. She noted that Rice’s prestige as a research institution, its liberal arts programs, its residential college system and its unique landscape in an urban setting are “very compelling and really engender not just investments but partnerships with donors” and can lead to “transformational gifts.”

Originally from Alexandria, Va., Warren said she is excited to come to Rice and to make a home in Texas for her family, which includes her husband, Stephen; her 11-year-old son, Bennett; and Pearl, a Piston terrier who is “the sweetest dog on the planet.” Warren is an avid sports enthusiast who likes to run, lift weights and play basketball with her son. She also enjoys cooking and acrylic painting.