innovation

Dear Research Advocate: Today the House and Senate passed a short-term continuing resolution (CR) to flat-fund the government through December 22. Congressional leaders hope this stop-gap will buy them enough time to negotiate a bipartisan budget deal that raises the Defense and non-Defense (NDD) spending caps. If the budget deal (#RaisetheCaps) is finalized by the 22nd, Congress may well pass yet another short-term CR to allow a month or two to complete an FY18 omnibus spending bill based on the new, higher funding levels. Continued momentum behind a budget deal is definitely good news, but momentum can wane; here is a new resource, culled from our state-by-state fact sheet series, that...
More than 250,000 Americans will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year, and 40,000 individuals will lose their lives to the disease (most to metastatic breast cancer, or MBC, which is breast cancer that has spread to other organs in the body). From Susan G. Komen’s point of view, investment in breakthrough breast cancer research, especially in projects focused on metastatic disease, is one of the most significant ways we can make progress and save lives from breast cancer. But research is expensive, and metastatic disease is cunning. An estimated 94% of women who are diagnosed with MBC were previously diagnosed with an earlier stage of the disease, maybe even decades prior. Then the...
Dear Research Advocate: The opioid crisis is responsible for an estimated 1,000 emergency department visits every day in the United States. That is just one of the alarming, and heartbreaking, statistics that has stayed with me since our webinar on the crisis. If you couldn’t join us for it, I promise it is well worth viewing. The opioid epidemic, as well as the local economic impact of higher education and research and innovation, were prominent themes at a health research forum we co-hosted at Shepherd University in West Virginia on Monday. Shepherd President, Dr. Mary Hendrix, a Research!America board member, welcomed attendees and introduced West Virginia’s senators. Sen. Joe Manchin (D...
The percentage of working-age civilians in West Virginia who are employed has dropped below 50% for the first time in decades, partly due to a steep rise in opioid addiction across the state, said Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) during Research!America’s program “West Virginia Research and Innovation: A Catalyst for Better Health and Economic Growth” on October 16 at Shepherd University. Sen. Manchin and other speakers at the event discussed possible solutions to West Virginia’s opioid crisis and ways to reposition the state as a regional and national research leader. “We’ve got thousands and thousands of jobs in West Virginia going unfulfilled,” Manchin said. “Every job fair we had over 100...
As the Chief Science Officer of the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation (ADDF), I am often asked: what is drug discovery? It is the “innovation engine” that drives breakthroughs in treating diseases. Diseases of the brain, such as Alzheimer’s, are complex. Though the cause of Alzheimer’s isn’t fully understood, scientists continue to uncover new processes that contribute to it. And each new finding into the cause of the disease represents a potential target for drugs to treat it – and an opportunity for innovation. When the ADDF was founded in 1998, the pipeline of drugs in development for Alzheimer’s was limited. The few drugs being developed almost all focused on the same target, beta-...
“Clinical trial design, cost, regulatory burden and recruitment are some of the challenges associated with clinical research,” said Victor J. Dzau, M.D., president, National Academy of Medicine and Research!America board member. Dzau joined other experts in basic science, clinical and translational research and patient advocacy to explore developments in clinical research during a Research!America Capitol Hill Briefing titled “Innovation Intersection” on June 12, 2017. “We must look at ways to leverage technology and utilize data sharing to make [clinical research] more efficient,” Dzau said. “And, of course, it’s important to shift towards looking at segments of the population, instead of...
Dear Research Advocate, Last Friday, I joined ASM CEO Stefano Bertuzzi and Georgetown McDonough School of Business professor and social marketing guru Bill Novelli in a lively session on advocacy for science. Bill emphasized the pivotal role strong leaders play in securing paradigm shifts such as a cultural shift in the value Americans assign to science and innovation. I thought of this when the welcome news broke that President Trump reappointed Dr. Francis Collins as NIH Director. Dr. Collins is second to none in his ability to connect the dots for the public and policymakers on the wide-ranging impact of research and innovation. More good news: the House E&C Committee passed the FDA...
Investing in basic science helps fuel the U.S. economy and society in general. However, as science investments stagnate, there’s a growing concern that other countries will outpace the U.S. in research and development. The American Association for the Advancement of Science hosted a panel discussion February 22 highlighting the benefits of basic research in a new report, “ The Future Postponed 2.0: Why Declining Investment in Basic Research Threatens a U.S. Innovation Deficit . ” The report is a collection of scientific advances written by researchers that highlight the role basic science plays in innovation. “If we don’t make the investments [in research], we short ourselves and even more...
This article appeared in the March/April edition of Ohio Matters, the official publication of the Ohio Chamber of Commerce. As Ohio’s leading sector, the biomedical industry plays an important role in the state’s economy, and the resources to support the research being done by colleges, universities and industries to advance societal health must continue to expand. From protecting us against mosquito-borne pathogens such as the Zika virus or food-borne pathogens such as E. coli O26, Salmonella and Listeria, we constantly need new methods of detection, prevention and treatment, all of which are made possible by the research conducted by dedicated biomedical scientists, research that costs...
Dear Research Advocate, The shocking attacks in Beirut and Paris serve as reminders of the global interconnectedness of our society. In so many ways, the tragedies others face are also ours and their challenges are our challenges, health challenges very much included. Last evening I interviewed Dr. Tamar Kokashvili, a grantee of CRDF Global, at their 20th anniversary dinner. Dr. Kokashvili, who hails from the nation of Georgia, collaborates with University of Maryland scientists to characterize genetic diversity of cholera bacteria (over 200 strains, complicating both diagnosis and treatment). Just in the last few weeks we have learned of cholera outbreaks in Syrian refugee camps, and...

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Without continued support for health research, many of the most promising young scientists, their ideas and a myriad of potentially life-changing scientific breakthroughs will vanish into oblivion.
Paul Marinec, PhD; University of California San Francisco