Re: the June 8 letter "Arizona is at forefront of fight against cancer."
The National Institutes of Health (NIH, with “Institutes” plural) is the primary federal agency funding biomedical research in the United States, and I was pleased to see Senator McSally’s letter favoring federal dollars for the University of Arizona’s Cancer Center. However, the description of NIH and the UA Cancer Center, as “the only National Institute (sic) of Health’s National Cancer Institute based in Arizona” is garbled.
NIH is made up of 27 institutes and centers, each with its own mission supporting research. One of these is the National Cancer Institute, which funds, among other programs, Comprehensive Cancer Centers. NIH does not fund “National Cancer Institutes”. Rather, the National Cancer Institute funds a Comprehensive Cancer Center at the UA, as well as other research projects across Arizona. Precise and accurate language describing federal funding conveys understanding of fiscal matters, promotes accountability, and builds trust.
Bill Grace, retired employee of the National Institutes of Health
Disclaimer: As submitted to the Arizona Daily Star.