In response to a recent New York Times article "Budget Battles Keep Agencies Guessing" (Business Day, September 4, 2013), Dr. Teresa Woodruff wrote the following response:

Sequestration is about more than red tape and bureaucracy. Huge budget cuts threaten the lives of millions of patients counting on medical innovation.

By slashing investments in medical research, the government hinders efforts to develop treatments for diabetes, cancer, infertility, osteoporosis, hypertension and thyroid conditions. Because of cuts in financing, my lab will not be able to examine important questions about how environmental pollutants have an impact on reproductive health. That is a disservice to the public living in contaminated communities and a career buster to students interested in reproductive biology.

When laboratories lose financing, they lose people, ideas, innovations and patient treatments. Our government leaders must prioritize biomedical research. We can't afford to lose the health advances made through research financed by the National Institutes of Health and the people power behind those discoveries!


Chicago, Sept. 5, 2013

The writer is a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the Feinberg School of Medicine of Northwestern University and president of the Endocrine Society.