Mary Woolley

Dear Research Advocate: Now that the President has signed off on the budget agreement, Appropriations Committee leadership is negotiating to establish the dollar level for each appropriations subcommittee to work with. Given the December 11 deadline for action, the committees are already working to set allocations for each federal agency and program. Here is a list of the Twitter handles for each House and Senate appropriator, along with suggested tweets. Please take a minute to tweet these leaders on why it is so important to increase funding for NIH, CDC, FDA, AHRQ and NSF; federal agencies that help keep the wheels of science and medical progress turning! It’s a mistake to just assume...
Dear Research Advocate, Former VP candidate and Ways and Means Chairman Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI-01) appears poised to become the next Speaker of the House. This turn of events improves the outlook for a budget deal, potentially including FY16 funding, sequestration relief for one or two years, and a new debt limit. See our letter with United for Medical Research and two major defense industry associations on the negative consequences of sequestration. Senate HELP Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) made news this week reaffirming his willingness to consider mandatory spending for NIH in his Innovation Initiative. To turn “maybe” into “yes,” advocates must be heard. Earlier this week, a...
Dear Research Advocate, The Nobel prize winners announced this week showcase the role of both private sector (William Campbell’s work at Merck) and federal funding (Paul Modrich’s and Aziz Sancar's NIH and NSF grants) in driving scientific progress, and more broadly, the profound return science delivers to our nation and the world. Read our statements on the winners . The next few weeks are crucial for science funding and policies. Congressional leadership is working with the President to arrive at a budget deal that lifts the sequester caps, allowing for increases in NIH and other research agencies. If a deal lifting the caps is not made before Speaker Boehner retires, the new speaker (...
Dear Research Advocate, It was down to the wire, but Congress passed and the President signed a continuing resolution (CR) yesterday evening to keep the government operating, at least through December 11, 2015. Speaker Boehner’s sudden resignation last Friday came as a shock. But since he has made it clear there is still a lot he’d like to accomplish before he leaves Congress on October 30, hopes have soared in many quarters! He is reportedly working with Leader Pelosi (D-CA-12), Senate leadership and the White House on a longer term budget deal, one that we hope will jettison sequestration. Now is a good time to thank members of Congress for taking action to prevent a shutdown, and urge...
Dear Research Advocate, It was a privilege to address the terrific crowd at last night’s kick off reception for the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Rally for Medical Research. Forceful champions including Senators Durbin (D-IL), Moran (R-KS), Murray (D-WA) and Klobuchar (D-MN) joined NIH Director Francis Collins to thank and encourage the more than 300 advocates who are blanketing both Houses of Congress today. Adding in social media attention, the Rally is likely to reach every member of Congress. During remarks at a Rally breakfast this morning, House “Labor-H” Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Tom Cole (R-OK-04) revved up the crowd when he said that “the stars are...
Dear Research Advocate, There is still time to join us -- virtually -- at today’s sold-out Health Research Forum. WebMD is livestreaming the event, which will begin a little before noon EST at the Newseum in Washington, DC. Find details on the event HERE , and livestreaming info HERE . Follow and join the conversation on social media by using the hashtag #RAForum15. Also today, on the advocacy front, NDD United is sending a letter with 2,500+ signatories, Research!America among them, to members of Congress. The letter calls for an approach to sequestration relief that includes both defense and non-defense discretionary spending. NDD advocates will be on the Hill today handing out baseball...
Dear Research Advocate, A refreshing number of members of Congress have allocated time during this recess to champion medical research, among them Senators Capito (R-WV), Franken (D-MN), and Kirk (R-IL), and Representatives Burgess (R-TX-26), Dold (R-IL-10), Israel (D-NY-03), Lance (R-NJ-07) and Walden (R-OR-02). Rep. Dold, for example, visited Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine as well as private industries in his district, like Marathon, to discuss ways to speed up medical innovation. Visiting the genetics lab at Northwestern, Rep. Dold commented: “We spent a little over 330 billion dollars this year in treating diabetes alone. Can we get some [additional] research...
Dear Research Advocate: Research!America is proud to serve as a lead sponsor of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Rally for Medical Research, a two-day event in Washington, DC next month. The Rally will unite individuals from across the medical research advocacy community to push for making National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding a higher national priority. Events begin on Wednesday, September 16 with an afternoon advocacy training and an evening congressional reception. On Thursday, after a breakfast featuring remarks by House Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Tom Cole (R-OK-04), nearly 200 advocates will participate in Hill meetings. Add your...
Dear Research Advocate, Although we are 452 days away from Election Day 2016, with all the media attention right now one would be forgiven for thinking it is coming up next month! The overwhelming majority of scientists surveyed by the Science Advisory Board in advance of last Thursday’s debate said that science and research should be a topic of discussion. But as predicted by the same 90+ percent majority, science wasn’t even mentioned, underscoring the importance for scientists, patients, and all who care about research to engage candidates before the next debate. If you -- a potential voter -- don’t let candidates know you care about medical progress and science writ large, they will...
Dear Research Advocate, Research!America is on the Hill and in the media continuing to make the case for timely action in Congress to boost medical progress. I appreciated the opportunity to discuss the 21st Century Cures Act and the Senate’s Innovation initiative in a recent issue of Roll Call . The bottom line is this: we need to keep this ball rolling. Congress has a notoriously short attention span - too many issues, not enough time - so advocates should not only be pushing for what they want to see in the Senate bill, they should be pushing to see a Senate bill ASAP. Unless you’ve managed to steer clear of all forms of media in recent days, you probably know that the first official...

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Funding research gives all of us a better chance of living a healthier life.
Pam Hirata, heart disease survivor