To listen to the entire interview between Morning Edition Host Bob Seay and Dr. Laurie Glimcher, click the audio player above. A transcript of the conversation is below.

Bob Seay: Good morning. You're listening to WGBH's Morning Edition. Today we conclude our discussion with Dr. Laurie Glimcher, the new President and CEO of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. As we reported, President Trump released his 2018 budget request and it includes massive budget cuts — nearly $6 billion in spending on scientific and medical research. In part two of our conversation with Dr. Glimcher, I begin by asking her: should these dramatic budget cuts go through at the National Institutes for Health, what could be the repercussions?

Laurie Glimcher: I think any prominent academic medical center or institution is worried about the future of government funding. We all already have suffered a decline of 20 to 25 percent in our NIH budget across the country since 2003. Considering another 18 percent cut would bring us back to a level that we haven't been at since 2003. So we are talking about losing multi-billion dollars. In an 18 percent cut, the NIH budget would go from $32 billion down to $25 billion, approximately. That would be a tsunami. That would be devastating for the future of biomedical research in this country.

BS: So what would your suggestions be in terms of what Congress should be doing in terms of the funding?

America is known as the world's innovator in coming up with these new therapies. I don't want to see 'Made in China' turned into 'Invented in China,' and that's, I'm afraid, where we will be heading.

LG: There is huge bipartisan support for biomedical research. You know our health care costs in the United States are very high. And to my mind, the only way to reduce them is through coming up with new therapies and new treatments for diseases that we cannot yet treat, diseases like Alzheimer's disease, cancer, diabetes and so forth. America is known as the world's innovator in coming up with these new therapies. I don't want to see 'Made in China' turned into 'Invented in China,' and that's, I'm afraid, where we will be heading. China is putting $300 billion into research and development over the next five years. The United States is in danger of losing our preeminence in research and development and in being the innovators of the world.

BS: Of course there’s a lot of concern right now about what's happening to so-called Obamacare. Does that debate trouble you as well?

LG: It does. I think we would all admit that Obamacare is not perfect, just as Medicare wasn't perfect — huge initiatives like this need to be amended over time, just as Medicare was. Ideally, we would continue to work just to perfect and improve Obamacare, which has done a number of wonderful things for the people in this country and would make it even better. So what's being proposed by the administration would be devastating for patients in this country. We're looking at 22 to 24 million people losing their health insurance; we're looking at the loss of 10 very basic health benefits that were guaranteed by the ACA; we're looking at patients with preexisting conditions not being able to obtain insurance, as they can now, that would have major consequences for cancer patients who are high-acuity patients and who need chronic care; and further looking at a decline in Medicaid support, and this is especially important in Massachusetts. So overall I'm very hopeful that the Senate will take a close look at what's been passed by the House and find ways in which it can be altered to actually lead to an improvement in the current system.

BS: Well Dr. Glimcher, you're the first woman to head the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, but you've been known for helping other women along the way. Now why is that important to you?

LG: Well I have a special place in my heart for women. We can't afford to lose 50 percent of the talent in our citizens in the United States or elsewhere, and women represent that 50 percent. It's tough to combine an active career with also raising a family; I know that from personal experience — I have three kids myself. And, you know, biology intersects with careers — women are having children at about the same time that their careers are growing. So I think we can make it a lot better than it is now. We need to have more women in senior leadership positions, we need to support those women with creative approaches to work-life balance, and I think we can do it.

BS: And we've been talking with Dr. Laurie Glimcher, the new President and CEO of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.