Mary Woolley

Dear Research Advocate, With so much going on in -- and about -- Washington, D.C., it’s easy to overlook the matter of still-unresolved FY17 appropriations. There are members of Congress on both sides of the aisle and in both chambers calling for completion of those bills, and we agree. That’s what our elected representatives should be doing instead of kicking the can down the road with yet another extension of the continuing resolution (CR). Yes, it’s true that if Congress takes up work to complete FY17 spending bills, members will be tasked with developing FY17 and FY18 bills at the same time. Some think this will be difficult for the Senate, with its schedule packed with confirmation...
Dear Research Advocate, Happy New Year! As I contemplate my list of New Year’s resolutions, I know there will be additions even after January 1st. I look forward to the wealth of opportunity for positive change in 2017. My first resolution is to engage -- and encourage and assist other stakeholders to engage -- with our elected representatives in 2017. The new year and the new President and Congress will bring changes we can count on, but outcomes that are unclear. For instance, the President-elect has placed significant emphasis on strengthening our nation’s infrastructure. One clear weakness in that infrastructure shows itself when infectious disease outbreaks threaten the public health...
Dear Research Advocate, Research advocates played a critically important role in shaping and ultimately assuring passage of the 21st Century Cures (21st CC) legislation this week. It was a long road: advocacy is labor intensive, but it works. Read our full statement released after the Senate vote. Here is information on the bill and on the vote counts in the House and Senate . I hope you’ll use this editable email to thank your Senators and Representatives for voting yes (an overwhelming majority in both chambers of Congress did!). The end of the 114th Congress is nigh; we expect that tomorrow the Senate will pass the House-approved Continuing Resolution (CR) to flat fund most government...
A new report prepared by leading scientists, thought leaders and policy experts, A Vision and Pathway for NIH , includes recommendations for the new Administration to further advance the nation’s leading biomedical research and health agency-- the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The goal is to better align agency organization and policies with present and future strategies for achieving the highest impact in research and training, and improving health outcomes. The report, written by an ad hoc working group, led by Research!America board member Keith Yamamoto, Ph.D., Vice Chancellor for Science Policy and Strategy; Director, UCSF Precision Medicine; Vice Dean for Research, School of...
Dear Research Advocate, Thanks for your indulgence; I’m afraid we’ve been flooding your inbox over the past few days. Most recently, we sent an email moving up the deadline for signing on to a letter to congressional leaders urging them to refrain from passing another Continuing Resolution (CR), and to instead complete their work on FY17 appropriations. We sent that letter out tonight, proximal to today’s announcement by House Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers (R-KY) that he will in fact pursue a CR that would flat-fund government until March of next year (further delaying, and potentially squandering, any increase in funding for NIH and other health agencies in FY17). While his...
Dear Research Advocate: I begin with a moment of personal privilege-- congratulations to my hometown team, the Chicago Cubs on their stunning World Series victory! In 1908, when they last accomplished this feat, airplanes were virtually unknown, there was of course no internet, and women couldn’t vote in this country. Speaking of which...this election is now in the bottom of the ninth. I believe it is in the nation’s best interests to elect candidates who appreciate the significance of scientific discovery as well as the value of innovation to achieving faster medical progress. Because the more you know, the better you are able to choose your candidates. Consult our interactive map to see...
Dear Research Advocate: The election is only 18 days away, still time for candidates for Congress and President to share details about how they plan to speed medical progress. Use this editable message to reach out. Quoting the sentiment of former HHS Secretary and President Emeritus of Morehouse School of Medicine, Dr. Louis Sullivan, in his recent op-ed on the landscape of science this election cycle: “Let’s hear some specifics!... We’re all ears.” A few days ago I joined ScienceDebate.org, YouTube, the Young Turks and leading science champions in a provocative discussion about the role of science in this year’s elections. Check out A More Scientific Union , on YouTube ( panel 1 , panel 2...
Dear Research Advocate: With congressional primaries back in full swing -- four states held primaries this week alone, with five more to come this month -- we have fresh opportunities to ask candidates for national office what they would do, if elected, to speed medical progress and incentivize innovation. Check out our interactive map to see what your candidates have to say -- we have been adding quotes daily. This is important: if you don’t see your candidates on the record, please send them a message urging them to register their thoughts. Research!America has joined ScienceDebate.org and other organizations to call on presidential candidates to respond to a questionnaire about...
Dear Research Advocate: Both the Republican and Democratic platforms highlight the importance of achieving medical progress, responding to the fact that Americans place a high value on achieving health and wellness (see my Huffington Post blog last Friday discussing our newest survey results ). A portion of the first day of the Democratic convention this week was devoted to public health topics, including the opioid abuse crisis . Secretary Clinton chose Senator Tim Kaine as her running mate, a policymaker with a solid track record on public health; a strong proponent of prevention. In Sen. Kaine’s speech last evening, he emphasized the importance of research to defeat Alzheimer’s and...
Dear Research Advocate: Not surprisingly since it is the last week before an extended recess, Congress has been quite busy. There have been highs, lows and a lot that’s in between. Congress passed the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA), but without a dedicated funding stream to jump start progress. The House Appropriations Committee passed an FY17 Labor-H appropriations bill with a robust $1.25 billion increase for NIH and a pledge from Chairman Tom Cole (R-OK) to make this number even higher. However, there was bitter partisan disagreement on restricting CDC gun violence prevention research and how to address the Zika crisis, leading to passage along party lines of a bill that...

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If concerted, long-term investments in research are not made, America will lose an entire generation of young scientists.
Brenda Canine, PhD; McLaughlin Research Institute, Montana