Following the tour of the CRC, I introduced Dr. Varmus to a large audience interested in cancer research at a forum entitled "Understanding Cancer as Rare Diseases" at the Stowers Institute for Medical Research. This forum provided us the opportunity to visit with area scientists, researchers, patient advocates and biomedical business leaders about the importance of supporting medical research at the local, state and national levels. During my introduction, I discussed how NCI designation is a tremendous achievement for the University of Kansas Cancer Center that will enable KU's patients to have access to the most advanced cancer care close to home and better position KU to recruit the brightest researchers to develop cutting-edge treatments and cures right here in Kansas. Our students, who previously had to leave our state to conduct this high-level research, now will have new opportunities to stay home in Kansas and make their mark in improving the world. This accomplishment will also have a transformative effect on our state's economy, enabling Kansas to continue developing into a research powerhouse for medical, pharmaceutical and technological advancement. NCI designation would not have been possible without strong support from the local community in Kansas City and across our state. As a member of the Appropriations Committee, I have the responsibility of working to craft a responsible federal budget. I have and will continue to advocate for fiscal responsibility in our federal government, and I will also prioritize the programs that effectively serve the American people. I believe our nation's consistent support of medical research is essential to saving and improving lives, growing our economy, and maintaining America's role as a global leader in medical innovation.