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Official says clash with NFL shows NIH has mettle

An official at the National Institutes of Health has underlined the agency’s independence, after allegations that a donor tried to interfere in grant-making process.

Walter Koroshetz, director of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, told Research USA that the incident shows the NIH can’t be swayed from addressing critical research questions. “We decided what we were going to do, and they were not enthralled with funding the grant, but we did it,” he says.

In 2012, the National Football League donated $30 million to the Foundation for the NIH to support research on the effects of concussions and sports-related head trauma. Research in the last decade has shown that football players are susceptible to a neurodegenerative disease called chronic traumatic encephalopathy.

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