Gautam Dantas is associate professor of molecular microbiology and of pathology and immunology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and associate professor of biomedical engineering in the School of Engineering and Applied Science. He is a leader in the fields of antibiotic resistance and drug discovery:
President Trump touts his interest in promoting American greatness. I implore him and his team to champion the scientific process as a necessary pillar in achieving such greatness.
Fundamentally, this means embracing data-driven conclusions rather than making decisions based on emotional conjecture. Practically, this means a sustained commitment to both basic science research as well as transformative innovation.
Now more than ever, our venerable national institutions that support scientific research — such as the National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Science Foundation (NSF), and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) — deserve sustained increases in federal funding. Time and again, basic science discoveries enabled by such public investments have changed the face of modern medicine and directly benefited American taxpayers. Indeed, my lab’s recent work to discover new cures for infectious diseases was directly helped by early support from the NIH. Similarly, investments by NIH and CDC have enabled my colleagues and me to make critical advances in understanding antibiotic resistance, which will enhance our abilities to more safely and effectively treat infectious diseases that harm millions of Americans.
The president has an incredible opportunity during these next 100 days to announce an unprecedented increase in federal financing of the American scientific enterprise, which would guarantee that our nation continues to be the world leader in science, discovery, and innovation. Please, rise to this challenge.
Read more “First 100 Days” messages at Election2016.wustl.edu.