Interdisciplinary Research

By Neal Sweeney, PhD, President. Sweeney is a postdoctoral scholar at UC Santa Cruz studying stem cell therapies for eye disease. Neal Sweeny, PhD

As the Memorial Day Congressional recess ends, we wrap up our week of social media engagement with a strong message to our representatives: go back to Washington, DC and give us cures, not cuts! Medical and health research has already improved the quality of life for so many Americans.

Spectral karyotyping sequencing (SKY)A report this month by the McKinsey Global Institute ’€” the subject of a story on The Washington Post’€™s Wonkblog ’€” identified 12 ’€œdisruptive technologies’€

On May 15, Research!America hosted a forum, ’€œNeglected Tropical Disease Research in Louisiana: Saving Lives and Creating Jobs.’€ The forum, featuring leading NTD experts from the region, was held at Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine in New Orleans.

In 2012, months before sequestration was enacted, scientists were already pressed to find jobs. Take the example of ’€œRebecca,’€ whose story was featured in a recent Huffington Post article. She had completed her PhD in chemistry and was working in an academic research laboratory. When her lab didn’€™t get a new grant to allow her to continue the research, she ended up unemployed.

The 2012 State Technology and Science Index from the Milken Institute provides a state-by-state breakdown of technology and science capabilities and how well states have converted those assets into companies and high-paying jobs. Where does your state rank? Massachusetts ranked number one for the past 5 indices’€”released every two years’€”topped by an all-time high score in 2012.

A team of researchers from Research!America members Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital recently announced a major step forward in regenerative medicine: a working kidney has been grown in the laboratory.

How much financial benefit do we reap from biomedical research? What are the economic gains that result from introduction of new medications, changes to personal health behavior or reworking the Medicare and Medicaid health systems? These and other questions were discussed at a recent Capitol Hill briefing on health economics research co-sponsored by Academy Health, Research!America and other organizations.

MIT-Washington DC-2013

CVD 2013 student delegation at the Capitol;  Photo Credit: Charles Haynes

Just because you’re not in Washington, DC doesn’t mean you can’t still watch the Rally for Medical Research! Cokie Roberts of National Public Radio will emcee the event featuring members of Congress, cancer survivors like actress Maura Tierney (ER, NewsRadio), leaders from the scientific community including NIH Director Francis Collins, MD, PhD, and  Research!America Chair, Hon. John Edward Porter.

Here’s the video:

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