SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) — Officials at UCSF are projecting a loss of $28 million in funding this year from the National Institutes of Health, due to the federal budget sequester. The school is the largest public recipient of funding from the agency.

Executive Vice Chancellor Jeff Bluestone said Friday that the forced budget cuts will have an impact on public health and health research funding over the coming decade.

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“The loss of NIH funding affects programs and initiatives long term and has a chilling affect on the whole scientific process,” he said.

House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi was also on hand for the discussion on the impact of the spending cuts.

“Some people in Washington think you have to make a choice between faith and science. We say science is an answer to our prayers,” said Pelosi.

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The cuts will also impact low-income clinics. John Bressman, president and CEO of the San Francisco Community Clinic consortium, said difficult questions will have to be answered.

“Which patient won’t be able to see their doctor for their diabetes care,” Bressman offered.

The forced $1.2 trillion in budget cuts over 10 years went into effect March 1st as Congress and the Obama administration failed to reach a deal.

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