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The new NIH funding has money for a major initiative to map the connections of the brain, and a significant increase for Alzheimer’s research.
The Minnesota Department of Health has received nearly $321 million from the NIH and NIH-related grants in the five years analyzed by the Star Tribune, ranking it third behind the U and Mayo Clinic. Last year, it got $55.6 million, 16 percent less than the average of the preceding four years.
Federal funds make up 73 percent of the agency’s $485 million annual budget. Dr. Ed Ehlinger, commissioner of the health department, said cuts from the NIH budget sting, but cuts from the Centers for Disease Control — the agency’s primary federal funding source — have been even deeper. CDC money pays for public health programs such as disease surveillance, emergency preparedness, obesity prevention and immunization.
Ehlinger said he heard Friday that the agency will lose about $3 million in grant money that paid for disease-prevention work in northern Minnesota.
“That one came as a shock,” he said, adding that health efforts “need to focus on prevention, because that’s the only thing that’s going to save us money.”
Dan Browning • 612-673-4493