John Edward Porter Neuroscience Research Center at NIH To Be Dedicated
03 October 2013
WASHINGTON, D.C. 3 October 2013 – Hogan Lovells proudly announces that the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director, Dr. Francis Collins, will host the dedication of the John Edward Porter Neuroscience Research Center on the NIH campus in Bethesda, Maryland. Immediately preceding the dedication ceremony will be the Porter Scientific Symposium where approximately 400 scientists will meet in the new building’s conference center for a day and a half to discuss developments and opportunities related to neuroscience research.
Built in two phases, the building’s 843,442 gross square feet of laboratory, meetings, conferences, and work space will be among the largest of NIH’s 68 buildings and facilities on its 70 acre campus, housing most of its 27 institutes and centers. It is a model of green architecture, including its use of chilled water to aid its air conditioning system, energy saving photovoltaic cells to minimize electricity use, geothermal energy to aid heating, and energy efficient lighting. The Porter building will bring together, to work side-by-side, scientists from eleven of NIH’s different institutes which have traditionally worked separately in their own institute’s buildings.
At the dedication, NIH will honor Porter, a 21-year Member of Congress, who represented the North Shore, northwest suburbs of Chicago, and the eastern half of Lake County, Illinois, for his long-time devotion and advocacy for medical research. Porter served for 20 years on the House Appropriations subcommittee that founded NIH, and all federal civilian health programs, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Agency for Health Research and Quality (AHRQ). Prior to his retirement in 2001, he served his final six years on the subcommittee as its chairman. As chairman, Porter protected medical research funding from his own party’s deep budget cuts in 1995, and then doubled funding for NIH from $13.5B to $27B over five years.
Scheduled to speak at the dedication, in addition to Dr. Collins are U.S. Senators, Tom Harkin of Iowa and Mark Kirk of Illinois. Harkin was the ranking Democrat on the Senate’s same appropriations subcommittee during Porter’s House chairmanship, and they worked together on a bipartisan basis with the late Senator Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, and Congressman David Obey of Wisconsin. Senator Kirk was Porter’s Chief of Staff in the late 1980s and his successor in Congress for the Illinois District from 2000 to 2010 when Illinois elected him to the Senate.
In addition to his work on appropriations, in Congress, Porter also founded, and co-chaired for 18 years, the bipartisan Congressional Human Rights Caucus, a voluntary association of more than 250 members of Congress working to identify, monitor, and end human rights violations worldwide. He also served as chair of the Population and Development Coalition, as co-chair of the Global Legislators for a Balance Environment (GLOBE), and sponsored the legislation creating Radio Free Asia. He also served as a trustee of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.
After his retirement from Congress, Porter joined the international law firm now known as Hogan Lovells. He also served on the boards of The Brookings Institution, RAND Corporation, the American Heart Association, and PBS, where he served chairman from 2008-2010. He currently serves as chairman of Research!America, vice chairman of the Foundation for NIH, and on the boards of the Heinz Center for Science, Economics, and Environment, the First Focus Campaign for Children, the National Space Biomedical Research Institute, the James S. Kemper Foundation, and the PBS Foundation. Porter is a member of the Institute of Medicine, the Council on Foreign Relations, and the Bretton Woods Committee.
Porter attended MIT and graduated from Northwestern University (BSBA) and the University of Michigan Law School (JD with distinction). He has ten honorary degrees. He started his career as an Honor Law Graduate Attorney with the US Department of Justice.
Porter’s wife, Amy, served as Executive Director of the Foundation for NIH for eight years until she retired in 2010 to head the National Osteoporosis Foundation. Together they have seven children and twelve grandchildren.