WASHINGTON, Jan. 17, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Congressman Chaka Fattah (D-PA), the Senior Democrat on the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and a Member of Energy and Water Subcommittee met with leading scientists in energy, neurology and space technology this week to advance his comprehensive Science agenda in the 113 th Congress.
"If America is to remain at the forefront of innovation, the federal government must invest in research and development," said Fattah. "Whether we're looking into research in energy, space and technology or investigating if adults, suffering from mental illness, possessed any predetermining factors during early childhood and adolescence, we must provide the financial resources necessary to further pioneering discoveries."As a co-chair of the new House Science and National Labs Caucus, Rep. Fattah met with Dr. William Brinkman, Director of the Office of Science at the Department of Energy, to update him on the work being done in the caucus to strengthen support for federal investment in scientific research. Fattah also met with Dr. Thomas R. Insel, Director of the National Institute of Mental Health, and Dr. Raquel Gur, professor of Psychiatry, Neurology and Radiology at the University of Pennsylvania. The two have teamed up to study some 10,000 Philadelphia children to research the common disorders that appear during childhood and later materialize as full blown mental illness in adulthood. Fattah has spotlighted brain science by winning bipartisan Congressional approval to raise the national priority of neuroscience and to coordinate multi-agency research in the White House Office of science and Technology Policy via the interagency Working Group on Neuroscience. The Fattah Neuroscience Initiative seeks major progress in understanding the human brain by intensifying, in a collaborative fashion, Federal research efforts across brain disease, disorder, injury, cognition and development. The initiative aims to coordinate Federal research across agencies and draw on public-private partnerships including pharmaceuticals, and the world of academia. On Wednesday, Duane Ratliff, Director of Operations for CASIS, the nonprofit nongovernmental organization hired by NASA to manage the International Space Station U.S. National Laboratory, provided Fattah an update on the progress in research and development at the space station. Congressman Fattah, a leading advocate for federally sponsored research, will reintroduce legislation later this month declaring 2013 as "The Year of the Federal Lab," recognizing that federal laboratories remain at the cutting edge of scientific and technological advancement.