The Society for Developmental Biology has joined the Genetics Society of America and the American Society for Cell Biology to support the continued federal funding of Model Organism Databases (MODs) by the National Institutes of Health National Human Genome Research Institute. NHGRI which supports FlyBase, WormBase, ZFIN, and the Mouse Genome Database has proposed a change in their funding approach that would combine all of these databases into a single 'uberMOD' and cut funding by 30%. SDB has signed a letter of support to be presented to NIH Director, Francis Collins on July 14, 2016 at the Allied Genetics Conference in Orlando, Florida
As the letter states, "We enthusiastically support the initiative to integrate elements of the existing MODs and to increase accessibility of the information contained therein, especially to medical researchers. However, we are deeply concerned by reported plans to reduce overall support for MODs themselves. Each MOD collects, curates, analyzes, and disseminates unique sets of data that reflect the unique biology and specific research usage of their model organism. We strongly advocate for the continuation of adequate and sustained funding to the individual MODs to maintain essential and species-unique information and to respond to new data initiatives for their communities."