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Congressman Tom Cole

Representing the 4th District of Oklahoma

Science and Technology

The health and longevity of the Oklahoma economy depends in large part on the acceleration of scientific and technological innovations. Maintaining Oklahoma’s leadership in these fields requires a concerted effort to ensure ongoing investments in technology, education and scientific investigations.  

In Oklahoma, we are all too aware of the tangible impact our environment can have on our lives, making the study of weather patterns of great importance to our safety. The Fourth District of Oklahoma is the proud home to the National Weather Center, a massive research center that provides facts and predictions regarding the weather and information on emergency preparedness. Not only does the center provide lifesaving resources to Oklahomans, but it also benefits our state’s economy and workforce as a major employer to our district for scientists, researchers and meteorologists from around the world.

Health research is a growing and key economic force in Oklahoma. The state’s bioscience community includes business and research endeavors that support more than 51,000 Oklahoma jobs and have contributed more than $6.7 billion to the state and yielded over $4.1 billion in annual revenues. Included in the bioscience sector are studies in applied science, medical devices, pharmaceuticals and agriculture feedstock and chemicals. 

Plant research has enormous potential to improve nutrition, health and even commercial applications that impact plant productivity and seed management. The high-tech development of new products and services will improve the agriculture industry for Oklahoma and play a key role in ensuring that the rapidly growing population of the world continues to have a sufficient supply of high quality food, drug therapies and alternative sources for fuels well into the 21st century.

I am also supportive of grant programs geared towards the skills students learn by studying science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). There are dozens of federal grant programs that provide support for high-quality learning opportunities in STEM subjects. In particular, Oklahoma has successfully used federal dollars to bring high-quality STEM content and experiences to students from low-income, high-need schools. I believe such training will inspire these students to become leaders who can solve the most pressing challenges facing Oklahoma and the nation at large.

More on Science and Technology

May 23, 2017 News Stories

Vox - Julia Belluz

The Republican leadership in Congress wants to cut spending on public health and repeal Obamacare.

Yet when it comes to medical research, they’re willing to throw down extra — even when President Trump wants to cut back.

In the administration’s first comprehensive budget proposal, out today, Trump is expected to call for a $5.8 billion trimming of the National Institutes of Health’s budget as part of an effort to curtail spending while increasing America’s already gigantic defense budget and expanding tax cuts.

April 19, 2016 News Stories
When Vice President Joe Biden laid out plans for his major cancer research initiative in January, some public health advocates were alarmed. The plan to work toward a cure was ambitious, but there was virtually no mention of the importance of cancer prevention.
March 3, 2016 News Stories
The two legislators with arguably the most clout over the budget of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) promised yesterday to give NIH “at least” the $1 billion increase that President Barack Obama has requested. It would be the second step in “sustained” annual boosts for the agency, said Representative Tom Cole (R–OK) and Senator Roy Blunt (R–MO).
February 22, 2016 Weekly Columns

Like most rhetoric coming from President Barack Obama, his latest budget was filled with initiatives that sound good until you get into the details, especially the details regarding how to pay for these initiatives. This couldn’t have been more clear than in the method he proposed to deal with health threats to society posed by diseases like cancer and conditions like opioid abuse. While the president saw the value of enlisting biomedical and scientific researchers to deal with these problems, his proposed plan to pay for these policies is extremely irresponsible.

February 9, 2016 News Stories
Rep. Tom Cole, an influential voice in spending on health and medical research, said President Barack Obama should come up with a way to pay for his new budget proposals, including one to expand treatment for people addicted to opioids.
February 2, 2016 News Stories

STAT - Dylan Scott

Congressional Republicans said on Tuesday that they’re open to boosting federal funding for cancer research, as the Obama administration proposed the day before. But they aren’t willing to simply rubberstamp the $755 million that the White House is asking for in the next fiscal year.

January 20, 2016 Press Release
Alexandria, VA - Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO) and Congressman Tom Cole (R-OK) have been selected to receive the Edwin C. Whitehead Award for Medical Research Advocacy for their steadfast commitment to increasing investments in research to advance innovative studies focused on preventing and eradicating diseases that take a tremendous toll on families and our economy. They will be honored at Research!America’s Advocacy Awards Dinner on Wednesday, March 16, 2016 at the Mellon Auditorium in Washington, D.C.
January 13, 2016 News Stories

The Atlantic - Nora Kelly

When Americans go to the ballot box, they expect the congressional candidates they support to take their interests to the Hill—to fight for the political issues and programs they prefer with an enthusiasm and dedication that’s deeply personal. That doesn’t always happen. But in the last year or so, members of Congress responded to what one member called a “constituent-driven movement” to rally around the National Institutes of Health and the biomedical research it funds.

January 4, 2016 News Stories

The Oklahoman - Stephen Prescott, M.D. 

For the sake of Oklahoma's energy sector, let's hope the New Year brings a bump in oil and gas prices. But even if that doesn't happen, there are still plenty of economic silver linings to be found in the state.

In particular, the ongoing development of the bioscience sector has helped diversify our state's — and particular Oklahoma City's — economy. For 2016, here are five bioscience success stories that should just keep getting better.

Making cancer history

January 4, 2016 News Stories

National Journal - Rachel Roubein

Wristbands that track your daily activity. Kits that can purportedly analyze your genetics. Smartphone apps that track your daily intake of protein, sugar, and carbs.

It’s the age of “precision medicine,” as doctors and patients look to leverage vast amounts of individualized information available to fight diseases in a way they’ve never been able to before—with treatments that take into account environment, life-style, and even genes.

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