Senate HELP Committee Advances Nomination of Dr. Monica Bertagnolli for NIH Director

  • by AGD Washington Advocacy Representative
  • Nov 8, 2023
On October 25, 2023, the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pension (HELP) Committee voted to advance the nomination of Dr. Monica Bertagnolli for Director for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) by a vote of 15 to 6. All Democrats on the Committee voted in favor of advancing Dr. Bertagnolli’s nomination, except Chairman Bernie Sanders (I-VT). Ranking Member Bill Cassidy (R-LA) and Republican members including Senator Susan Collins (R-ME), Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT), and Senator Roger Marshall (R-KS) supported the nomination as well. The vote comes after Chairman Sanders delayed Dr. Bertagnolli’s confirmation hearing for several months because he believes that NIH should be taking more aggressive action to lower drug costs. Despite his objections, Dr. Bertagnolli received bipartisan support from HELP Committee members and her nomination will now move to the Senate floor for a full vote, which has not yet been scheduled. If confirmed, Dr. Bertagnolli will be the first permanent director of the NIH in nearly two years.

Impact on General Dentistry: NIH is the nation's medical research agency and has been without a permanent director for several years. NIH's research can be very relevant to general dentistry; in particular, NIH’s National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) is aimed at improving dental, oral, and craniofacial health.