Sanford Health System's search for a cure to juvenile diabetes is getting a portion of T. Denny Sanford's 400-million dollar gift.
But won't be enough. The project will also need a significant amount of federal funding.
And that's where U. S. Senator Tim Johnson comes in.
He joined Sanford health officials today to talk about the importance of medical research.
Johnson says, "Stick to increase funding for medical research. This is no time to quit."
Sanford President/CEO Kelby Krabbenhoft says, "We think we can actually make a big difference in actually finding a cure for diabetes, juvenile diabetes but all of that research is going on here."
But there's a problem. The effort needs more money.
"We need to house all these scientists and those pictures of Sanford Research Park and hope in 2011 to move into there and consolidate all the research around the community into one facility," says David Link, Executive Vice President.
Johnson asked a handful of questions hoping to find what holds back medical research.
Research Vice President Ben Perryman says, "Competition is becoming fierce. Other places in the world are making vast improvements in China, India in research infrastructure."
Which is why T. Denny Sanford's gift is only the beginning. Federal funding is also essential, officials say, if Sanford hopes to reach its goal of becoming a research powerhouse that travels in the same circles as the Mayo Clinic, Harvard and Duke universities.
Despite President Bush's proposal to leave critical research funding unchanged in his budget for next year -- Johnson was able to secure more than a 3 percent increase for the National Institute of Health.
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