To listen to the entire interview between, click the audio player above. A transcript of the conversation is below.

Bob Seay: There's no doubt one universal issue impacting all Americans is the rising cost of health care. President Trump yesterday released his 2018 budget request, and it includes massive cuts in spending on scientific research, medical research, and disease prevention programs. Under the president's proposed budget for next year, the National Institutes of Health budget — the primary government agency that funds biomedical and public health research — will be cut by nearly $6 billion. We sat down with Dr. Laurie Glimcher, the new president and CEO of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. She's also a distinguished immunologist and no stranger to Boston and Harvard Medical School. We begin today with part one of our two part conversation with Dr. Glimcher. Good morning and thank you for joining us.

Laurie Glimcher: My pleasure.

BS: Tell us a little bit about your experience here in Boston and your education here.

LG: Well I'm a native of Boston, born and bred here. I went through the Harvard system — I went to Harvard undergrad and then Harvard Medical School, trained in internal medicine and rheumatology at the Massachusetts General Hospital, and then rose up through the ranks to become a professor of medicine here at Harvard.

BS: And we understand you were in line to become the dean of Harvard Medical School. What happened?  

LG: You know I was asked if I was interested in the position. And at that time I was already in conversations with Dana-Farber. I was very excited about Dana-Farber, which is an amazing institution.

BS: But you certainly were very much in demand, that's for sure. How big a role do you see Dana-Farber and the other medical institutions and resources here in Boston playing in the worldwide concern about addressing health care?

LG: One of the great things about Boston and one of the reasons I wanted to come back here was that there is no other place in the world that has the collection and talent that we have in Boston in the life sciences arena. We have outstanding academic institutions and hospitals, including Dana-Farber, and we have a very vibrant biotechnology, bio-pharma, pharma environment in Boston. Pharma companies come here, biotech comes here to Boston because of the amazing intellectual talent that we have in Boston. Institutions like Harvard, MIT, institutes and hospitals like the Dana-Farber, which ranks as the number one cancer hospital in pediatric oncology and the only cancer hospital in the country that ranks in the very top range in both adult and pediatric oncology. So we got a lot of talent here in Boston, enormous amounts of talent. We want to make very sure that we continue to grow that talent and grow that amazing life science community.

BS: Now, despite the calls from hospital associations and doctors not to change Obamacare but perhaps improve upon it, the message does not seem to be getting through to Congress, nor does the message about increased funding for research appear to be getting through. So what is the strategy to try to convince legislators in Washington, D.C. to support the kind of research and the kind of care that we're talking about?

LG: I believe there is very significant bipartisan support for biomedical research and for improving a health care delivery system that treats more people with higher quality care. For example, as you know, the fiscal year 2017 budget was just approved with a $2 billion increase in NIH funding. That I take as a good sign and a measure of bipartisan support. I don't think there's anybody in the world who doesn't want to improve health care and improve new treatments for patients who have cancer or many other diseases. I like to use Alzheimer's as an example: one out of three people over the age of 85 will develop Alzheimer's disease, given the aging demographics of this country and across the world. There are no adequate treatments for Alzheimer's disease now, and it is costing $250 billion a year just for Alzheimer's disease. That's predicted to rise to over a trillion dollars a year by 2040. That will take down our healthcare system. To me, the only solution for that is for our scientists and researchers to figure out how to prevent Alzheimer's disease, how to treat it, or at least how to delay its onset for five years. Without adequate funding to do that, we are going to have a serious problem on our hands for every economy in the world.

BS: And we continue our conversation with Dr. Glimcher tomorrow, when we zero in on the impact of budget cuts to the National Institutes of Health — the primary government agency that funds biomedical and public health research.