With the Mayo Clinic still smarting from federal budget cuts that slashed grant funding last year, CEO Dr. John Noseworthy is hopeful that President Obama’s State of the Union speech signals a brighter future for medical research.

The National Institutes of Health lost $1.71 billion during sequestration and has seen a 25 percent reduction in overall funding since 2003.

The agency is the largest provider of federal research money to universities and labs across the country, including the Rochester-based Mayo Clinic.

On Tuesday, Obama called for restored research funding to “unleash the next great American discovery -- whether it’s vaccines that stay ahead of drug-resistant bacteria, or paper-thin material that’s stronger than steel.”

The president said such a move could undo damage done by the sequester and shutdown of 2013, which forced many researchers to postpone their work.

“I was very pleased to hear [the president’s plan],” said Noseworthy, who attended the State of the Union as the guest of U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar.