The opinion piece "Bad medicine" details the damage being inflicted upon the National Institutes of Heath by budget sequestration ("The Washington Post: Bad medicine," Opinion, Dec. 3).
The NIH is the most significant source of biomedical research funds for investigators in this state. The "success rate" of getting a grant funded is now at 15 percent, but that is only half the story. Each institute develops its own cut-off percentiles and the Allergy and Infectious Disease Institute is currently trying to fund with a pay line of 8 percent, which means that is my chance of getting an immunology-based grant funded.
NIH funding is the driver behind the research at the University of Utah School of Medicine. I am watching colleagues lose their funding and being forced to mothball amazingly creative projects that could bring dramatic results. Dr. Erik Jorgensen's discovery detailed in the Tribune required a setup phase of years before he got his exciting data ("Nerve cells are 'ultrafast' recyclers, Utah study finds," Tribune, Dec. 7).