advocacy

Dear Research Advocate: Despite their fierce partisan standoff regarding confirmation of a Supreme Court nominee, members of the Senate acted in a strongly bi partisan manner yesterday to confirm Robert M. Califf, M.D., as the new FDA Commissioner. Dr. Califf brings an accomplished career of expertise and insight to the position. The goals he has set include increasing patient involvement in the FDA regulatory process, streamlining clinical trials, and attracting and retaining the best scientists, according to STAT News . For more on Dr. Califf’s confirmation, please see my statement . Commissioner Califf will be joining us as a keynote speaker at Research!America’s Annual Meeting at noon...
Dear Research Advocate, The President released his FY17 budget on Tuesday, launching this year’s appropriations process. Unfortunately, his proposed budget falls short of expectations and far short of putting adequate resources to work to find solutions for what ails us. Cuts to the baseline budgets of NIH and CDC , and flat funding for FDA 's drug ($492 million) and biologics ($215 million) programs are proposed. While temporary, mandatory funding is provided for several important initiatives -- $755 million for the cancer moonshot initiative, $107 million for precision medicine, and $1.8 billion to address the Zika virus, this nation cannot sustain a robust research infrastructure with...
The February issue of The Research Advocate is now online . Highlights from this month include: Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO) and Representative Tom Cole (R-OK) will be honored with the Whitehead Award for Medical Research Advocacy at Research!America's 2016 Advocacy Awards Dinner for increasing investments in research and elevating the importance of medical progress among national priorities. Vice President Biden’s ‘moonshot’ initiative to defeat cancer has received support from many Americans who say they are willing to pay more in taxes to support cancer research, according to a new national public opinion survey commissioned by Research!America. A member spotlight featuring the American...
AMGDB Annual Meeting in Costa Rica: Jan 13-17th, 2016 We were delighted to have the honor of hosting Mary Woolley, president & CEO of Research!America, at the annual meeting of Biochemistry Department Chairs from North America. In attendance were chairs from 47 different departments of biochemistry from across the U.S., as well as three from Canada and one from Puerto Rico. A major theme of this year’s meeting was to identify potential strategies in response to the reduction in funding for biomedical research in the United States in recent years. Last year we had reports presented by the presidents of the American Association of Medical Colleges (AAMC) and Federation of American...
The National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), recently released a new report, the Action Plan for Lupus Research to assess opportunities for increasing scientific understanding of lupus, which will ultimately lead to safer and more effective treatments and, eventually, curative strategies. The report reflects the current need and gap in lupus research for helping to improve upon a basic understanding of the disease and to identify targets for advancing lupus drug development. Lupus is an unpredictable and misunderstood autoimmune disease that ravages different parts of the body. It is difficult to diagnose...
Dear Research Advocate, If flight cancellations triggered by winter storm Jonas did not dampen plans to travel south for some much needed warmth, the new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) travel warnings about the Zika virus might. The President was briefed early this week by CDC Director Tom Frieden, HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell, and NIAID Director Anthony Fauci in the ‘situation room.’ According to Dr. Fauci, "an extensive research and development effort" to address this emerging concern has already begun. The Zika virus, which may be linked to the development of severe birth defects, is also gaining the attention of major industry members like GSK and Sanofi, who are...
Dear Research Advocate, In his final State of the Union address, President Barack Obama spoke about his vision for the future, “For the loved ones we’ve all lost, for the family we can still save, let’s make America the country that cures cancer once and for all. Medical research is critical .” The President has placed Vice President Biden at ‘mission control’ for this ‘moonshot’ to cure cancer, and the Vice President is poised to lead. (See my SOTU statement. ) Historically, presidential articulation has driven the national commitment to science in ways that leapfrog incremental progress by pulling out all the stops. That’s the kind of moment we’re seeing right now, and it is has captured...
The January issue of The Research Advocate is now online . Highlights from this month include: Research!America's policy wish list for 2016, which focuses on a number of important policy priorities to build on the progress achieved last year to combat costly and devastating diseases that are taking a toll on our nation’s health and economy. Federal policy update, including information on the FY16 omnibus bill. Member spotlight featuring the Galveston National Laboratory. Talking points from the International Summit on Human Gene Editing held in Washington, D.C., December 1-3, hosted by the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Medicine. A study published in Annals of...
Dear Research Advocate, As the year draws to a close it is important to reflect on accomplishments made on behalf of patients and their families. We do have a lot to celebrate. Advocates for research for health accomplished not one, but FOUR, major goals: A meaningful increase in federal funding for medical research. The NIH has received an additional $2 billion for FY16, the FDA and CDC saw a 5% increase in funding over FY15 levels, and NSF received an additional $118 million and the freedom to continue their work in the social and behavioral science fields unhindered. If we keep at it, we will look back on these increases as the beginning of a heightened national commitment to science...
Dear Research Advocate, This holiday season, Congress has delivered a most welcome package with plenty of trimmings for patients and all of us who care about the future of health. The bipartisan deal-making is complete. A final short-term spending measure, expiring Tuesday, December 22, allows the House and Senate time to review and pass a spending bill and tax package before adjourning for the year. These two major pieces of legislation represent a real win for research; the jumpstart we need to restore the NIH budget to robust annual growth and fuel a new era of medical innovation and global leadership in both public and private sectors. As federal policymakers consider how to vote on...

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We have health challenges in this country that science will provide answers for if given the chance and we haven't given science that opportunity
Mary Woolley, President and CEO, Research!America