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Biology Research Infrastructure and Recommendations In the United States the positive links between basic research and the health of citizens and the economy have always been appreciated. This realization has been justified, as for example in the research findings that have led to improved health care and agricultural efficiency, as well as to the development of a substan- tial data base of useful biological knowledge. Many components contribute to the overall strength of the field of biology, and these must be considered individually and in combination in order to ensure the health of the field over the next decade. Among these components are training, employment, equipment and facilities, and funding. In addition, the role of large data bases and repositories needs special consideration, as do the relative merits of developing large research centers compared with additional support for individual investigators.) U.S. Scientists Are Finding It Increasingly Difficult to Maintain Their Leading Position in Biological Research On He basis of the number of publications and citation rates, the United States continues to be the dominant force in biological research. In 1982, American life scientists (clinical, biomedical, biological, and agricultural sci- ences) published about 87,549 research articles, representing 40 percent of all biology articles published that year. This is a decrease from 42 percent in 1973 2 An estimate of the quality of U.S. publications can be measured by comparing the number of publications in the top 10 percent of citations (Table 12-1~. In 1980, the United States had nearly 13,000 publications in the top 10 percent, while the next most prolific countries-the United Kingdom, Japan, West Germany, and France-had only a small fraction of that (Computer Horizons, Inc., unpublished data, 1987~. However, Japan and West Germany are increasing their shares 403

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404 OPPORTUNITIES IN BIOLOGY TABLE 12-1 (~ of Biologic Reteach ~ Measured by Uhe Number of PubEca~ons in She Top 10 Percent of Papers Ciao United United West Sates Kingdom Japan Germany %of %of No. Tom % of% of % of No. TomNo. ToadNo. Tom No. Tow 1973 8,795 74 1,965 17 342 3 430 4 318 3 1980 12,869 70 2,641 14 1,081 6 1,058 6 618 3 Source: Conapu~r Horizons, Inc., 1987. relative to the United States, France, and the United Kingdom. These data pose many interesting questions. For example, is the percent increase demonstrated by Japan a reflection of improved publication quality, increased quantity, or both? Can Japan continue to increase at this rate? To what extent are these numbers merely a function of the level of research investment by governments? Patent activity in areas related to biology is another measure of our interna- tional research position. Two recent reports produced by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office analyze patent data on genetic engineering and on molecular biology and microbiology. A tabulation of patents of foreign origin granted in genetic engineering shows that patents of U.S. origin have increased from 25 percent of the yearly total (both domestic and foreign origin) in 1973 to 78 percent in 1986.3 For molecular biology and microbiology, the percentage of patents of U.S. origin has remained steady at about 56 percent of the total since 1973.4 Since these data were compiled from patents filed in the United States, they may not precisely reflect the international patenting situation. However, in the highly competitive U.S. patent system, the United States is maintaining its leadership role. The United States has long encouraged and benefited from international cooperation in biological research. As other countries increasingly emerge as valuable sources of quality research, this policy of cooperation should be strengthened.

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BIOLOGY RESEARCH INFRASIRUCrURE AND RECOMMENDATIONS TRAINING The Number of PhD.s Awarded Each Year in the Biological Sciences in the United States Is Leveling Off 405 The number of Ph.D.s awarded in the biological sciences increased sharply between 1965 and 1970; the total number in 1985 was 3,766, compared to 3,361 in 1970 [National Research Council (NRC), unpublished data, 19881. The num- ber of biology Ph.D.s earned in 1985 is more than twice that earned in either chemistry or physics (Figure 12-1A); in this year, an additional 1,982 Ph.D.s were awarded in the agricultural and health sciences. It currently takes about 6.4 years of registered time to complete a Ph.D. in biology after receiving a bachelor's degree; this is an increase of about a year since 1970 (NRC, unpublished data, 1986~. In comparison, it currency takes about 6.5 years to obtain a Ph.D. in physics and about 5.5 years in chemistry (Figurel2-lB). Support for around 70 percent of the total number of biology students comes from federal and university sources ARC, unpublished data, 1986~. In 1986 there were 36,916 biology graduate students in doctorate-granting institutions (exclud- ing agricultural and health sciences); of these, 8,606 were supported by fellow- ships and traineeships, 12,059 by research assistantships, X,609 by teaching assis- tantships, 5,516 were self-supported, and 2,126 had other types of support.s For postdoctoral support, the government contribution has remained at ap- proximately 60 percent of the total number of postdoctoral positions and the contribution by universities at about 15 percent from 1967 to 1985. However, private foundations have doubled their postdoctoral support, from 8.9 percent between 1967 and 1980 to 17.7 percent between 1981 and 1985. Chemistry and physics Ph.D.s obtain a larger percentage of their support from colleges and universities than do biology Ph.D.s. ARC, unpublished data, 1986~. As measured by Graduate Record Exam (ORE) test scores between 1964 and 1982, the verbal skills, but not the quantitative skills of students entering graduate school have declined. The GRE Biology Advanced Exam scores have changed little between 1973 and 1986. Students intending to pursue an advanced degree in biology or physical sciences have similar verbal and analytical scores. However, physical science majors score appreciably higher on the quantitative section of the exam. The proportion of "A" high school students intending to major in biology has dropped from 11.7 percent in 1974 to 6.6 percent in 1983.2 Concomitantly, the number of biologists being trained at the bachelor's and master's levels has sharply declined in the past decade. In 1983, the number of bachelor's degrees conferred was down 26 percent from 1976, and the number of master's degrees was down 13 percent.6

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406 o by - 4000 3000 In ~ 2000 a) ._ Q ._ C' a) CI: 1000 7 Cal ._ a) a) a) a) C] 6 En ~5 - A - B - OPPORTUNITIES IN BIOLOGY 4T 1960 1 965 Biology 0 Physics J Chemistry / 1970 1975 1980 1985 YEAR OF DOCTORATE FIGURE 12-1 (A) Number of Ph.D. recipients in natural sciences. (B) Time required to fulfill requirements for the Ph.D.

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BIOLOGY RESEARCH INFRASIRUCIURE AND RECOMMENDATIONS 407 In an attempt to assess the institutional training quality of universities grant- ing Ph.D.s in the life sciences, the top 25 institutions in total federal obligation to research and development supports were compared with the top 25 institutions in numbers of Ph.D.s awarded in the life sciences ARC, unpublished data, 19863. Of the top 25 research and development institutions, 11 are top producers of life science Ph.D.s. Funding Support for Training Falls Short of Covering Future Needs to Biological sciences in general and biomedical sciences in particular have enjoyed more support for training at the pre- and postdoctoral levels than most other fields in the natural sciences. This support has been rewarding; it has been one of the important ingredients leading to the spectacular vitality of U.S. biology in recent times. The majority of funds for training have come from the National Institutes of Health (NIH); from the Alcohol, Drug Abuse, and Mental Health Administration; and the National Science Foundation (NSF). Of the 10,382 NIH training positions awarded in 1986 (5,011 predoctoral and 5,371 postdoctoral), 83 percent were in institutional training grants and the remainder were awarded to individuals. Competitively awarded NIH institutional training grants are a good way to provide training support at quality institutions. Training-grant programs such as this should be encouraged, especially for pre- doctoral students. The number of NIH-supported trainees has apparently leveled off after a decrease after 1975 (Table 12-2~. Table 12-3 gives the total number of full-time training positions supported by NIH for 1980, 1984, and 1986; it provides a breakdown by the three NIH units most heavily involved in training [National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS), the National Cancer Institute (NCI), and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)~. At the predoctoral level, most NIH support has been allocated to interdepartmental training programs. In 1986, NIGMS provided funds for approximately 55 percent of all NIH predoctoral trainees and for about 9 percent of all NIH postdoctoral trainees, the rest of the support being divided among the other units of NIH (William Pittlick, NIH, personal communication, 1987~. In total, about one-third of the predoctoral training positions are in molecular and cell biology. The corresponding fraction for postdoctoral fellowships is more difficult to assess. The decline in training support since 1975 is alarming, especially when the following points are considered. NSF awarded only 760 predoctoral fellowships for 1988, which are distributed over all fields of scientific study. In addition, NSF granted only 40 awards per year for postdoctoral fellowships in plant biology and environmental studies, fields that have not been traditionally covered by NIH. The U.S. Department of Agriculture CODA) offers 100 postdoctoral fellowships per year in the Agricultural Research Service's Research Associates Program for work with USDA scientists. USDA has also recently initiated a small predoctoral

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408 OPPORTUNITIES IN BIOLOGY TABLE 12-2 NIH Support of Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Fellows Full-iime (Millions of training Year dollars) positions 1975 154.9 12,272 1980 176.4 10,664 1985 217.5 10,370 1986 212.8 10,382 1987 232.7 11,226a 19886 235.6 10,992 aEstimated. Proposed. Gaining program that provided 57 awards in 1987 Jane Coulter, USDA, personal communication, 1988~. The NIH budget for 1988 allocates funds pnmanly for continuing NIH training grants; support is not generally available for either competitive renewals or new grants. Moreover, the majority of NIH Paining grants are now funded below the levels recommended by NIH advisory councils. Despite impressive advances and great opportunities in bi- ology, we are rapidly approaching a crisis in training bio- logical researchers. Current levels of support appear in- adequate in the light of the shortages of trained personnel predicted for the late l990s (see Employment section). TABLE 12-3 Training Support (pro- and postdoctoral) for NIH as a Whole and for the Three Largest Sources of Support within NIH Number of Full-Time Training Positions Year Total NIGMS NCI NHLBI 1980 10,664 3,765 1,530 1,549 1984 10,514 3,581 1,465 1,688 1986 10,382 3,238 1,394 1,633 NOTE: NCI = National Cancer Institute; NHLBI = National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute; and NIGMS = National Institute of General Medical Sciences.

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BIOLOGY RESEARCH INFRASTRUCTURE AND RECOMMENDATIONS Women and Minorities The Number of Women Receiving PhD.s in Biology Has Been Steadily Increasing, but Minorities Are Still Underrepresented 409 Approximately 1,000 women received Ph.D.s in the life sciences in 1976, versus 2,020 in 1987.8 In 1987, women received 35 percent of all Ph.D.s awarded in the life sciences.8 However, in a 1983 survey of academically employed life science Ph.D.s reporting tenure status, only 64 percent of women reporting tenure status had tenured or tenure-track positions, compared with 8X percent of men.9 Women generally earn less than men in every field of science, although there is some recent evidence that this trend may be changing for women hired within the past decade. The recent employment and educational advances made by women in the life sciences must be fostered and encouraged in order to provide an attractive research and career envi ronment. In comparison with the figures for women in biology, the number of minor- ity-group students (U.S. citizens or foreign minority-group students with perma- nent visas) receiving Ph.D.s in this field has changed little, with minorities receiving between 7 and 8 percent of the degrees in 1975 and 1987.8 to The exact percentage of Ph.D.s awarded to minority groups is difficult to determine since the number of Ph.D.s reported with unknown ethnic or visa status is large. The number of foreign students receiving doctorates in the life sciences has remained constant at about 2Q percent between 1962 and 1987.8 In the life sciences, the visa status of foreign students has also remained fairly constant, with about 4 percent of all students having permanent and 16 percent having temporary visas.8 This is in contrast to engineering, where the number of students with temporary visas has increased from 18 to 41 percent of total students between 1962 and 1987.8 Every attempt should be made to encourage complete rep- resentation of members of minority groups in the biological sciences. This will require in turn that greater attention be paid to their precollege education so that equal Paining opportunities will exist in college. Current Training Needs Training Mechanisms Need to Optimize Research Opportunities In addition to a general increase in postdoctoral training, interdisciplinary training is also needed in most areas of biology. Sophisticated research requires

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410 OPPORTUNITIES IN BIOLOGY not only knowledge of many areas of biology, such as molecular biology, devel- opmental biology, and ecology, but also knowledge of other scientific disciplines, such as chemistry, physics, and engineering. For example, developmental biol- ogy requires expertise with several experimental systems. Other areas of research can be studied effectively only at the interface between two or more traditionally separate lines of research: We are now gaining insights into both plant and animal pathogens through pioneering work involving molecular biology and microbial pathogenesis. Another example is the interface between molecular biology and neuro- science. Here, a synergistic effect between classical neuroscience and molecular biology has created one of the most exciting areas of biology today. Biology is becoming more chemically and physically oriented, and in many areas training requires an increasing focus on chemical and physical technologies. This is especially important for research in structural biology, which provides an atomic level of analysis for much of modern molecular biological research. Similarly, evolution and diversity, systematics, population biology, and ecosys- tem studies require an increasingly interdisciplinary approach that includes train- ing in molecular biology, computer sciences, and mathematics. Structural Molecular Biology Requires Scientists Expertly Trained in the Physical and Biological Sciences The blend of molecular genetics and structural analysis that will be needed for the next decades of structural biology poses some serious problems for training the next generation of scientists. Today it is relatively rare for an individual to receive intensive training in both physics and biology. In fact, rigorous structural and molecular genetic studies are frequently not even available in the same academic department. One can deal with this problem within existing formats by encouraging individuals to do predoctoral training in one field and postdoctoral in another. However, creating unified programs that blend both disciplines at an early stage in training is worth serious attention as a way of producing the most highly skilled and innovative future investigators. It may be possible to develop curricula that require less mathematics and physics than is common in traditional structural biology, while still providing enough back- ground in these areas to enable a biologically oriented scientist to use structural tools and to appreciate the significance and limitations of structural results. Another approach is to develop joint undergraduate programs between biology and chemistry departments where students can learn about the many opportunities for applying these techniques. The major advances in developing new nuclear magnetic resonance ~MR) and x-ray diffraction techniques are made by scientists trained in physics. Nu- clear spin engineering-the production of sequences of radio frequency pulses- is crucial to the simplification of the complex, overlapping NMR spectra from

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BIOLOGY RESEARCH INFRASTRUCTURE AND RECOMMENDATIONS 411 large biological molecules. New methods to exploit anomalous x-ray scattering to solve the x-ray phase problem require both experimental advances in x-ray detection and the development of new computer algorithms. Thus, the future of structural molecular biology will require interdisciplinary cooperation between molecular biologists and highly trained and specialized x-ray diffraction and Now specialists. Some of this need may be met by scientists trained in both molecular biology and physics. Some of it, however, requires the participation of those with a rigorous background in traditional physics. Currently, the students and postdoctoral-level scientists trained in the physical sciences needed for the development of structural molecular biology are in short supply. Ecological and Evolutionary Sciences Require More Scientists Trained in a Greater Variety of Subjects and More Manpower in General The broad interdisciplinary nature of the modern training required in ecologi- cal and evolutionary sciences must be recognized. Not only should evolutionary biologists be conversant with the rapidly developing areas of genetics, molecular biology, cell biology, and biomechanics, but they must also function in the evolutionary framework of thought that emphasizes variation, interaction, history, and the question of why rather than merely how an organism functions as it does. In addition, ecologists routinely rely on statistical models that require an under- standing of computer science and mathematics. The perspectives of evolutionary biology, ecology, and systematics could be profitably incorporated into instruc- tion in other areas of biology, with beneficial effects for the entire field. Because the support of postdoctoral personnel by individual research grants is often inadequate, a program of individual or institutional postdoctoral training grants should be developed and targeted toward these areas. Training at the predoctoral level is also a problem. The individual predoc- toral fellowships now available are vitally important for attracting gifted young men and women into these lines of research. In addition, to attract good students it is also important to maintain the promise of the field in terms of availability of future positions and funding for research. An example of a problem area is systematics. In North America about 4,000 systematists work on 3,900 systematics collections. These numbers are mislead- ing because a large fraction of these specialists, perhaps the majority, are engaged only part time in systematics research. More to the point, few can identify organisms from the tropics, where the great majority of species exist. Probably no more than 1,500 professional systematists in the world are competent to deal with tropical organisms, and their number may be declining because of decreased professional opportunities, reduced funding for research, and assignment of higher priority to other disciplines. Favorable educational developments should be encouraged by special train- ing-grant programs targeted toward these areas of biology. Moreover, additional attention should be given to the concept of bringing together specialists from

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412 OPPORTUNTTIES IN BIOLOGY relevant fields to investigate ecological and evolutionary problems of mutual and overlapping interest. In recent years, this approach has proven highly effective in some areas of evolution and diversity, both as a research strategy and as a tech- nique for training graduate students. Training in the Plant Sciences Is Largely Restricted to Land-Grant Universities Almost nowhere is the need for interdisciplinary training exemplified more dramatically than in the plant sciences. Not only are there traditional disciplinary barriers to research that are experienced by all areas of biology, but also there are institutional barriers. Most departments of biology, for example, have little or no expertise in the plant sciences. Therefore, most research and training activity in plant biology is carried out in land-grant universities in conjunction with colleges of agriculture-thus, land-grant universities employ 80 percent of all plant sci- ence faculty. Many outstanding biology departments at private universities have no plant scientists on their faculties. The lack of plant scientists in many biology departments and the consequent lack of exposure of many biology students to the plant sciences seriously limits cross-fertilization by interdisciplinary activity and also limits the influx of talented scientists and students into plant biology re- search. An interdisciplinary approach to the plant sciences that incorporates them fully into the activities of strong biology departments and research groups is needed to stimulate plant biology research as it has research on microorganisms, Drosophila, nematodes, mice, and humans. To some extent, this is happening now, but it must be encouraged and supported. As biological research becomes more sophisticated, the need increases to develop interdisciplinary and flexible training programs for students, postdoctoral fellows, and established scientists. EMPLOYMENT The employment profile for doctoral life scientists is changing. In 1973, approximately 13 percent of all life science Ph.D.s were employed in industry, 67 percent in educational institutions, and 10 percent in government. However, by 1985, employment by industry had risen to 19 percent while employment in educational institutions and government had decreased to 61 and ~ percent, r,espectively.5 It Is Difficult to Forecast the Future Demandfor Biology PhD.s in Academia, but Some Shortages May Be Experienced in Some Fields Generally, three sources of Ph.D.s fill academic positions: new Ph.D.s, employees previously supported by grants such as postdoctoral fellows, and

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BIOLOGY RESEARCH INFRASTRUCTURE AND RECOMMENDATIONS 413 Ph.D.s working for industry. In 1983, slightly fewer than 50 percent of all new hires in academia (3,179 total) were of new Ph.D.s (63 percent of these in a tenure-track position. That year, the new hires represented 6.S percent of the 46,566 full- and part-time Ph.D.s employed in life-science fields at these institu- tions; of those, turnover accounted for4.3 percept end new positions 2.5 percent. It has been estimated that for every 100 job openings in academia, there are about 156 new life science Ph.D.s.~ In general, this discrepancy between Ph.D.s over academic positions will persist through the 1990s. At about the turn of the century, however, individuals in existing positions will retire in increasing num- bers (about 20 percent of the science faculty will reach age 65 in 10 years. At the same time, the undergraduate enrollment rate is projected to increase. Whether or not there will be enough Ph.D.s to fd1 the projected demand depends largely on the needs of industry during this period. For example, in 1987, 24 percent of new life science Ph.D.s (U.S. citizens and permanent residents) were hired by indus- try; in 1977 that figure was 17 percent.8 If industrial hiring trends continue, shortages of faculty members in some subdisciplines of biology may develop. Industry Has Become a Major Employer of Biologists In 1985, industry employed 19,200 life-science Ph.D.s, in 1973, 7,100.5 Industry has always offered an attractive employment option for biologists be- cause of higher salaries and larger research budgets. However, working for industry was generally viewed by many university biologists as intellectually stifling. Such is no longer the case; industrial research and development pro- grams are now contributing to major scientific discoveries. In addition, discover- ies in basic biology are leading to practical applications at an increasing rate. As a result, industry is now in direct competition with academia for some of the best biologists in the country. Biotechnology Research and Development Programs in Irulustry Are Growing Biotechnology, as defined by NSF and the Office of Technology Assessment, is a technique that uses living organisms or parts of organisms to make or modify products, to improve plants or animals, or to develop microorganisms for specific uses. The five main areas of research and development in the U.S. biotechnology industry are health care, plant agriculture, chemicals and food additives, animal agriculture, and energy and the environment. According to an NSF survey, the biotechnology industry spent about $1.1 billion in 1985, which was an increase of 20 percent from 1984. Of the 94 companies responding to the survey, health care accounted for 66 percent of the total spent, whereas plant agriculture-the next highest area in terms of research and development expenditures-accounted for only 13 percent of the total. The biotechnology industry employed approximately 8,000 scientists and engineers in 1986, which is an increase of 12 percent from

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414 OPPORTUNITIES IN BIOLOGY 1985.13 Thus, the biotechnology industry is a viable employment option, espe- cially for scientists with expertise in biochemistry, cell biology, microbiology, immunology, molecular genetics, and bioprocess engineering, as well as for technicians trained in instrumentation. There is a growing concern that recruiting scientifically competent people at the bachelor's, master's, and doctoral levels is going to become increasingly more difficult and that this difficulty may impede the growth of the industry. In support of this concern, is the fact noted earlier that the number of students receiving B.S. degrees in the life sciences decreased 26 percent between 1976 and 1983 and the number receiving master's degrees by 13 percent. In contrast, however, the number of Ph.D. degrees awarded remained relatively stable.6 Shortages of trained technical personnel in biology are now occurring at the bachelor's and master's levels. Attempts should be made to enhance university training programs at these levels, especially in biotechnology-related areas (bio- chemistry, cell biology, microbiology, immunology, molecu- lar genetics, and bioprocess engineering). Shortages of Ph.D s in biotechnology-related areas are an- ticipated in the late 1990s. Therefore, appropriate educa- tional programs should be initiated and supported immedi- ately. At the same time that we recognize the importance of biotechnology indus- tries as important employers of life-science graduates, it is crucial to realize that many fields of biology are not represented, or poorly represented, ~ industry. Systematics, evolution, and ecology, for example, are all central to our ability to manage He global ecosystem for sustained productivity. If the U.S. scientific enterprise is to continue to be strong, it must continue to find ways to utilize the talents of biologists of all kinds, not simply those who are working in fields Tat offer immediate rewards in terms of commercial prospects or major grants. LABORATORY COSTS AND EQUIPMENT NEEDS More Attention Needs to Be Directed to the Increasing Requirements for Quality Research Equipment and to the Increasing Expense of Laboratory Operation As biology experimentation becomes more sophisticated, the research equity ment and facilities needed often become more advanced and therefore usually more expensive. Currently it takes between $100,000 and $200,000 to adequately equip a laboratory for molecular biology research. For example, a centrifuge can cost about $70,000, a spectrophotometer about $20,000, a liquid scintillation

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BIOLOGY RESEARCH INFRASTRUClURE AND RECOMMENDATIONS 415 counter about $20,000 and these are only part of the equipment needed to equip a modern biology laboratory. It can cost three to four times that amount to equip a laboratory for x-ray crystallography studies. Once a laboratory is assembled, operation and maintenance costs (excluding salaries) can approach $50,000 per year for a modest research program. Therefore, modern biologists must have a source of research funds adequate to meet the high costs of equipment and research supplies. The amount of money spent on equipment for the life sciences at colleges and universities increased about 10 percent between 1983 and 1984 and 18 percent be- tween 1985 and 1986.S The total amount spent for research equipment at colleges and universities was $318 million in 1986.5 Results from a national survey,~4 is which focused on equipment costing from $10,000 to $1 million, indicated that, in biology, approximately 35 percent of actively used research equipment systems are located in shared facilities.~4 The 1983 national stock of such academic research equipment in the biological sciences and deparunents of medicine was estimated to have an aggregate original cost of $555 million and a replacement cost (in constant 1982 dollars) of $863 million.tS Results of the survey indicated that fewer than 20 percent of biological science department heads characterized the adequacy of their current research instrumentation as "excellent," and nearly 60 percent reported that researchers in their departments cannot conduct critical experiments because of a lack of neces- sary equipment. In addition, of the equipment in active use in 1983, half of the systems were in some degree of disrepair; 80 percent were not state-of-the-art.tS It is clear from this survey that the condition of much of the research equipment used in biology laboratories throughout the country is less than desir- able. Even worse, a considerable number of scientists have limited their research programs because they lack crucial equipment. Because of the ever-increasing need for and expense of LAbora- tory equipment, funds to provide for specific pieces of equip- ment should be available. This is especially true when re- quested equipment is to be placed in a shared facility. The development of instrumentation and general technology should be en- couraged nationally to further both basic science and its applications to socially and economically important problems. Specific encouragement by funding agen- cies should be given to the development of new areas (such as tunneling electron microscopy and fast computation technologies) and techniques that can improve productivity (such as robotics applied to biological and chemical systems). The development of instrumentation to be applied to a vari- ety of biological problems should be accelerated.

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416 OPPO~I7JNITIES IN BIOLOGY FUNDING It Is Crucial That Limited Funds Be Spent in Such a Way as to Ma~cirruze the Progress of Biological Research In the United States, the vast majority of biological research support has come from the federal government in the form of research grants, formula funds such as Hatch funds for agricultural research, and intramural research programs. Probably the most important component contributing to the success of U.S. biological research is funding. The U.S. government has made a sustained effort to provide appropriate support for research in the life sciences. From 1970 to 1985, federal funding for life science research increased from $1.44 to $6.37 billion. Although the effects of some of this increase have been offset by inflation, the percentage increase in constant 1972 dollars is still about 72 percent. For 1987, an estimated $2.84 billion was spent on general biology, $263 million on environmental biology, $612 million on agriculture, and $2.18 billion on medical sciences. In an attempt to evaluate the level of federal support for U.S. biological research (in 1972 dollars), Ph.D. biologists employed in scientific and engineer- ing jobs for 1973 and 1983 were compared with the level of federal support provided during those years. In 1973, approximately $34,000 per Ph.D. was provided, whereas in 1983, approximately $28,000 was provided. This does not mean that each scientist received that much support, but rather that the federal contribution supported, in part, that number of scientists.) The actual level of support per biologist has decreased over the years as increasing numbers of scientists have been added to the biology work force and even as the average costs of research have increased. Biology is a growing field, and the number of biologists is expanding; it is therefore important that the federal government continue to keep an adequate supply of research money available to reflect both the growth of biology and the increasing costs of doing research. How research funds are allocated in the future is a matter of prime impor- tance. To what extent should limited funds be used to support research centers versus individual investigators? To what extent should high-priority areas be funded over those of lower priority? To what extent could the funding of individual investigators be made more stable and longer term? Biological re- search is becoming more complex and therefore more expensive, and long-term commitments are often required if the desired results are to be obtained. This has tended to increase the level of funding needed to support individual research projects. Therefore, along with the overall increase in the number of scientists needed is an increasing need for greater research support. The 72 percent increase in constant dollars for the field as a whole over the past 15 years has not made it possible to attain all the potential results that might have been produced. In addition, there is an increasing demand for research projects that require long- term funding for 5 years or more; funding of this sort has traditionally been rare.

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BIOLOGY RESEARCH INFRASTRUCTURE AND RECOMMENDATIONS 417 Some granting agencies are now providing long-term support, and it is hoped this trend will continue. If additional long-term support for research becomes avail- able, new and imaginative ways need to be developed to review results of long- term projects. Funding for new faculty members is also a problem that needs immediate attention. New faculty members are faced with enormous research start-up costs and have considerable pressure to acquire external funding before their research programs have even begun. For many, this is a catch-22 situation; often prelimi- nary data to justify funding are not available, but funding is required if these data are to be obtained. Therefore, most new faculty members are either forced to continue research initiated while in graduate school or as postdoctoral students or to undertake an underfunded research program. Similarly, established scientists find it difficult to obtain funding in areas of research that are not directly con- nec~d with their main area of expertise. This greatly limits the growth and diversity of research programs of individual investigators and the level of innova- iion possible in the system as a whole. The NSF Presidential Young Investigator and the NIH First Awards Programs are good examples of support mechanisms for quality research by new faculty members. Agencies should increase their programs that provide long- term and start-up funding and should look with favor on innovative projects by qualified investigators that propose research in new, creative directions. In reviewing the progress of biology over the past 40 years, two things become clear that must be taken into account when considering future funding initiatives. First, throughout this enormously successful process of federal fund- ing, the driving force never came from the granting agencies or from great insights of an individual authority. Second, the role that the funding agencies play is that of the ardent listener, the support role. Inventiveness, creativity, and productivity are rewarded with peer-reviewed infusions of support. The driving force is the individual investigator staking career and reputation on the pursuit of novel insights with the funding agency more or less supporting these individual efforts. Therefore, research opportunities that merit funding should rise from within the research community, from individual investigators, and should not be predetermined. For example, the track record of most prophets of the use of recombinant DNA is dismal. A reading of some of the older literature shows a consistent underestimation of the rate of progress of molecular genetics and a tendency to be blindsided by breakthroughs. Engineering and the Biological Sciences Need to Develop an Interface Opportunities exist in instrumentation development and bioprocess engineer- ing, which require engineers and biologists to interact closely. For example, the development of automated procedures, such as those for DNA purification and

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418 OPPOI{TUNITIES IN BIOLOGY sequencing, would greatly facilitate the large-scale sequencing efforts that are currently being contemplated. However, limited funds are available at this time. In the NSF biotechnology program, which funds joint proposals of engineers and biologists, many meritorious proposals are not currently being funded because the money is unavailable, yet such projects are probably some of the most significant for the development of science as a whole. In 1987, this program supported 14 proposals at $200,000 per year per proposal (Frederick Heineken, NSF, personal communication, 1988~. A new thrust is needed in technology development for the biological sciences so Hat engineers can work in an interactive environment with biologists. Training programs could provide engineers a working knowledge of the needs of biologists, and vice versa. Industry Funding and Research Is Playing an Increasing Role in Basic Biological Research Besides being a key employer of biologists, industry contributes substantially to important basic discoveries and is increasingly involved in funding extramural research projects, both basic and applied, at universities. Industrial support and research collaborations with the academic community provide a mechanism for more rapidly converting basic biological discoveries to the solutions of major industrial and social research and development problems. Research in the Ecological and Evolutionary Sciences Has Traditionally Been a Relatively Low-Budget Enterprise Traditionally, the funding of research in these areas involves one or a few investigators working in the laboratory or field, and present funding mechanisms and levels of support reflect this history. The increased need for modern technol- ogy in many areas of research has not been matched with increased support, with the result that many research projects are carried out less efficiently or completely than they might be, solely because funds are lacking. The typical terms of support, which range from 3 to 5 years, are often inconsistent with the long-term nature of some studies in ecology. Investigators may be discouraged from committing their careers to a long-term study when faced with the risk that their funding may be terminated at the end of any 3- or 5- year term of support, even when the project is still incomplete. This is especially true when research funding is tight, as termination of support may not reflect on the quality of the overall research project, but rather the lack of available funds or shifted priorities in the granting agencies. Some aspects of ecology and related fields are subject to an organization of funding that may be less than optimal. For example, research proposals in population or evolutionary genetics are often reviewed by panelists who, while expert in the genetics of the relevant organism, lack knowledge in the field of

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BIOL:)GY RESEARCH INFRASlRUCTURE APID RECOMMENDATIONS 419 population genetics and are therefore unable to review the proposal in its appro- priate context. Peer review is thereby ineffective. Because of the composite nature of many of the subdisciplines of ecology and evolution, proposals may be unusually difficult to review adequately. Funding is scarce and provided mainly by a single agency (NSF); it is particularly important that the relevant panels in this area function optimally. Another problem concerns the neglect of traditional areas for the sake of emerging new ones. Without a revision of such attitudes, we are likely to simply allow a major fraction of the earth's species and their inherent biological diversity to pass into extinction without ever seriously attempting to learn about its exis- tence. The completion of biological surveys of selected groups of organisms for the entire world, and of all groups of organisms for certain areas, is a priority of fundamental importance that can be realized better now than will ever again be possible, owing to the rapid pace of extinction. Such activity may also make possible the preservation of a greater proportion of the organisms than would be possible otherwise. The organization and mechanisms of federal grant support of research in evolutionary biology and diversity should be seriously examined, especially since opportunities are being lost so rapidly. Plant Sciences Require a Stronger Funding Base to Ma~czmzze the Current Interest and Excitement in This Area The funds available to support basic plant sciences on a competitive basis are very limited. In 1985, competitive grants from federal agencies for basic biologi- cal and medical research amounted to $2.2 billion. Of this, only about 5 percent was awarded to the plant sciences. The main competitive grant support for basic plant sciences is provided by NSF (43 percent in 1986), with USDA, NIH, and DOE providing about 19 percent each. It was hoped that He Competitive Research Grants Office of USDA, established In 1978, would assume a major role in funding of basic plant research. This has not been the case. For 1987, the total funding for basic plant sciences was about $25.6 million (excluding forestry). The awards granted by the USDA office are usually for not more than 2 years at an average of $46,200 per year in 1986. This can be compared with an average of $70,000 per year for 3 years for an NSF award. Parasitology Is an Underfunded Research Area of Great Importance in Tropical Medicine Parasitology is conventionally limited to the parasitic families of protozoa, helminths (worms) and arthropods, and ectoparasites that include several insect families owing their significance to their role as transmitters of important dis- eases. For two main reasons, this group of infectious agents remains the premier cause of global ill health. First, human parasitic diseases primarily afflict the less

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420 OPPO~UNITI~ IN BIOLOGY developed nations, especially in the tropics. Second, parasites are technically tedious organisms to work with. The basic conditions for growth and experimen- tal study have often not been defined. LARGE DATA BASES AND REPOSITORIES Problems in Information Handling Are Becoming Critical The exponential increase in biological data has produced information back- logs and overwhelmed data bases. Macromolecular sequencing-the sequencing of the components of proteins and nucleic acids-represents one area in which current information-management systems are inadequate. Therefore, data-base systems and scientific networks need to be established to increase the flow of information among scientists and to allow for the rapid input, manipulation, and update of data. Some additional areas that require attention to information management are ecological modeling, genome mapping, structure-function rela- tionships of macromolecules, and biological inventories. As more information from diverse sources accumulates, the need to apply a matrix approach or other advanced data-handling methods to max~nize the knowl- edge potential of each item of information will increase. Therefore, it is becom- ing imperative that biologists receive the necessary education and training in information science. Although some information management issues are being addressed, such as practical aspects of the management of nucleic acid sequence data, other issues, such as information science education for biologists, are not. An assessment of the information-handling requirements for biology should be made. Special emphasis should be given to the training needs of biologists in the information sciences and to the maintenance and enhancement of large- scale data bases. Another important source of biological information consists of the resources of systematics collections, mainly held in museums. Comparative biology, evolu- tion, and ecology require such collections, properly curated and preserved and actively studied so that the information in them is readily available. More than a billion samples of plants, animals, and microorganisms are preserved in the museums of the United States, and huge numbers are housed elsewhere. Yet these collections represent only a fraction of the biological diversity on earth, and for the most part even the specimens in them have been inadequately studied. The museums and similar institutions where they are housed are usually inadequately funded. NSF's program on Biology Research Resources, which contributes major funds, provided $5.5 million in 1987 -tames Edwards, NSF, personal communication, 1988~. When a collection is located in a university, its potential is often neglected. For society as a whole and for the advance of biological

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BIOLOGY RESEARCH INFRASTRUCTURE AND RECOMMENDATIONS 421 knowledge generally, such collections are literally priceless, and ways must be found of funding their needs adquately and making the information in them available. The diverse nature of systematics collections makes it difficult to determine the total funding needed to provide adequate support, but clearly they are currently underfunded. Collections of living organisms, such as those housed in zoos, botanical gardens, aquaria, seed banks, and tissue culture centers, urgently require in- creased funding for their proper preservation. The particular strains of organisms used for specific biological experiments should be preserved for future studies; genetic material that has the potential of enhancing either scientific research or the economic potential of our industry likewise merits preservation. National fund- ing for such collections is low (for example, only $1.5 million in 1987 from NSF's program on living organisms genetic stock centers), while the collections themselves are growing rapidly in size and importance. In addition, living organisms from international sources are becoming increasingly difficult to im- port as a result of strict federal regulations. With as many as a quarter of the earth's species at risk over the next several decades, the selective preservation of species demands a high priority: Our actions now will determine in many in- stances which kinds of organisms will still exist in the future. Existing centers should be supported, and new efforts should be initiated to gather adequate samples of critical taxa that are approaching extinction. Tissue culture centers, repositories of DNA clones, and other facilities are likewise growing, yet our national effort in preserving them is minimal and must be systematized soon for the common good of science and society. A unified approach needs to be adopted in organizing and maintaining collections of preserved and living specimens and other biological materials. This will require increased funding and attention. RESEARCH CENTERS AND THE INDIVIDUAL INVESTIGATOR Research Centers Should Provide a Valuable Addition to Individual Investigator Research The past several years have witnessed a move toward the establishment of government-funded, university-based research centers. NSF funds various cen- ters at a total expense that reached $115 million in fiscal year 1987. These centers focus on a wide array of topics, including materials research, engineering, and biology. NSF also launched a presidential initiative on science and technology centers in 1987.~7 Centers should be established in such a way as to enhance the efforts of individual investigators. In the United States, it has often been the individuality

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422 OPPORTUNITIES IN BIOLOGY of particular scientists that has made advances possible; some fear exists that the creation of centers might stifle such individual efforts by consuming research funds once used by individual investigators and by institutionalizing an uncrea- tive environment within the center itself. This need not be the case; the research environment in centers is largely a matter of the ways in which the goals of the center are expressed and pursued and the roles that individual investigators play in them. Also, NSF seems committed to keeping their support for centers at 10 percent of the foundation budget. Therefore, it appears that NSF-funded individ- ual investigators will not experience new funding shortages as a result of the creation of NSF centers. It is hoped that centers will allow interactions between scientists representing many different specialties to create something greater than could have been achieved by any number of individuals working in isolation, even if funded generously. Centers can provide a valuable approach to research, but the operation of a center should not interfere with the fund- ing or creativity of the individual investigator. NOTES AND REFERENCES 1. Because of differences in methods of presentation among our sources of information, data are presented in this chapter for either the biological sciences or the life sciences. Generally, the life sciences consist of biological, agricultural, and health sciences. 2. National Science Board. 1985. Science Indicators: The 1985 Report. Washington, D.C.: NSF 85-1, National Science Foundation. 3. U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, The Office of Documentation. 1986. Technology Profile Report Genetic Engineering. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Commerce. 4. U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, The Office of Documentation. 1987. Technology ProfUe Report Class 435-Chemistry: Molecular Biology and Microbiology, Washington D.C.: U.S. Deparunent of Commerce. 5. NationalScience Board. 1987. Science and EngineeringIndicators- 1987. NSB87-1. Washington,D.C.: NationalScience Foundation. 6. Grant, W. V., and T. D. Snyder. 1986. Digest of Educational Statistics 1985-86. Washington,D.C.: U.S.Depa~entofEducation. 7 x7~. In ~ _ ~ _ ~ ^- ~ ma_ ~ ~ 1~a"~l=1 o`;l`;ll~;t; rounuanon. l Yd / . ~eaem Support to Universities, Colleges, and Selected Nonprofit Institutions: Fiscal Year 1986. NSF 87-318. Washington, D.C.: National Science Foundation. 8. National Research Council. 1989. Summary Report 1987: Doctorate Recipients from United States Universities. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press.

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BIOLOGY RESEARCH INFRASIRUCIURE AND RECOMMENDATIONS 423 9. National Science Foundation. 1986. Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering. NSF 86-301. Washington, D.C.: National Science Foundation. 10. National Research Council. 1976. Summary Report 1975: Doctorate Recipients from United States Universities. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press. 11. Syverson, P. O., and L. E. Forster. 1984. New Ph.D.s and the Academic Labor Market. Office of Scientific and Engineering Personnel Staff Paper No. 1. Washington, D.C.: National Research Council. 12. Lozier, G. G., and M. J. Doons. 1987. Is higher education confronting a faculty shortage? Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Association for the Study of Higher Education, Baltimore, Md., November 21-24, 1987. 13. NationalScience Foundation. 1987. Biotechnology Research and Development Activities in Industry: 1984 and 1985. NSF 87-311. Washington, D.C.: National Science Foundation. 14. Burgdorf, K., and H. J. Hausman. 1985. Academic Research Equipment in Selected Science/Engineering Fields, 1982-83. Washington, D.C.: National Science Foundation. 15. Hausman, J., and K. Burgdorf. 1985. Academic Research Equipment and Equipment Needs in the Biological and Medical Sciences. Bethesda, Md.: National Institutes of Health. 16. National Science Foundation. 1987. Federal Funds for Research and Development Federal Obligations for Research by Agency and Detailed Field of Science/Engineering: Fiscal Years 1967-1987. Washington, D.C.: National Science Foundation. 17. Panel on Science and Technology Centers. 1987. Science and Technology Centers: Principles and Guidelines. Washington,D.C.: National Academy of Sciences.

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