President Barack Obama touted scientific potential and jobs expected to stem from more than $5 billion in federal economic stimulus funds awarded by the National Institutes of Health. An apparently giddy Francis Collins, NIH director and former director of the National Human Genome Research Institute, announced the total to applause before Obama's remarks at the NIH in Bethesda, Md., and responded with a gleeful, high-pitched whoop.
Obama stressed the jobs expected to be created by the funding, as well as potential therapies from research into the human genome, cancer and autism. “From the beginning our goal has been to rescue the economy at the same time as we're laying a new foundation for lasting economic growth,” he said. The more than 12,000 grants account for roughly half of the $10.4 billion in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 funding to the NIH, according to the NIH.