Mary Woolley

Dear Research Advocate: Just when you thought that there is no good news coming from Washington, it looks as though we have a new congressional champion for research. Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) penned a most welcome op-ed in the Asbury Park Press this week. We trust this is just one way he works to convince his constituents and his fellow lawmakers of the high priority the nation should be assigning to research. Championing research can be a heavy lift, since it’€™s no secret that some policymakers don’€™t see why government should have any role in R&D. A recent article in Forbes pushes back. As part of the BRAIN Initiative, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is...
Dear Research Advocate: Labor Day might mean a last chance for R&R, but it also means that election day is right around the corner. It only takes a minute to send a quick email or direct a tweet to candidates. Think of them as candidates for the role of R&D champion! And take a moment to share this call to action with your colleagues, friends and family. The power of social media is undeniable. There are only 10 days until Congress returns to Washington to face a lengthy to-do list, which is unlikely to shrink much before the November elections. Appropriations action for FY15 has stalled out, with new battle lines being drawn over the time span for a Continuing Resolution (CR)...
Dear Research Advocate: You have by now heard about the ALS ’€œice bucket’€ challenge (show support for ALS research by dumping a bucket of ice water over your head and/or writing a check for $100 to the ALS Association, then challenge three others to do the same.) Whether viewed as a welcome late-summer distraction from imponderables like conflict in the Middle East, on-going clashes in Ferguson, Mo., or the mounting death toll from Ebola, or, rather, as the emergence of a new kind of advocacy similar to what produced the walks, runs and bike-rides for research that are ubiquitous today, the ’€œice bucket challenge’€ is worthy of attention. I think that public attention to the ’€œice...
Dear Research Advocate: Today, Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) ’€” one of the most effective and dedicated champions of medical and health research ever to serve in public office ’€” introduced major new legislation, the Accelerate Biomedical Research Act. This visionary legislation would increase the budget caps in order to boost National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding to $46.2 billion by FY 2021, a strategy for restoring NIH purchasing power without cutting into funding for other national priorities. You can view my statement on the legislation here and our thank you letter to the Senator here . It would be terrific if you would write a letter of support for the legislation and send a...
Dear Research Advocate: My colleagues at Research!America have shared the role as author of our weekly letter during my recent sabbatical. My thanks to them for providing timely and actionable information to our wide network. As I am ’€œre-entering’€ the Washington space, I have been struck by (1) the significantly worse condition of the roads ’€” potholes everywhere, and now even sinkholes in DC! I’€™ve been in several global capitals this spring, including in less-developed countries, and DC doesn’€™t look good in comparison. Via recent domestic travels, I can attest to the poor condition of our roads nationwide, taking a toll on vehicles and our economy, while eroding public confidence...
Dear Research Advocate: In recognition of his many accomplishments as a champion for research, Research!America Chair and former Congressman John Edward Porter was honored by the National Academy of Sciences with the Public Welfare Medal, the Academy’€™s most prestigious award. This well-deserved acknowledgment of Porter’€™s tireless efforts to advance innovation and engage scientists in advocacy should motivate advocates to follow his lead and speak up about threats to our nation’€™s research ecosystem. Read our statement on the award ceremony here . In his remarks , Mr. Porter noted that ’€œpolitical judgment should never be allowed to be substituted for scientific judgment.’€ This point...
Research!America and partners launch national voter education initiative to elevate the priority of medical progress ALEXANDRIA, Va. ’€” April 8, 2014 ’€”Two-thirds of Americans (66%) say it’€™s important for candidates running for office to assign a high priority to funding medical research, according to America Speaks , Volume 14, a compilation of key questions from public opinion polls commissioned by Research!America. Polling shows that Americans place a high value on U.S. leadership in medical innovation, yet only 12% say they are very well informed about the positions of their senators and representative when it comes to their support of medical and scientific research. www...
Dear Research Advocate: The doubling of the National Institutes of Health budget between FY99 and FY03 is an example of Congress at its most productive ’€¦ and it hinged on bipartisanship. A small group of Republicans and Democrats recognized the power of medical progress, and they worked together to increase the budget baseline for NIH by nearly $11.5 billion. Without that doubling, and with the stagnation of virtually all non-defense discretionary funding that followed on its heels, which groundbreaking medical discoveries would still lie dormant? Which of those we hold dear would not be alive today? Research!America Chair and former Congressman John Porter, who chaired the House Labor-...
Research!America members and partners extend warm congratulations to Research!America Chair The Honorable John Edward Porter for his well-deserved recognition by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) with the dedication of the Porter Neuroscience Research Center. Our nation has benefited from Mr. Porter’s leadership in advancing medical and health research as chair of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education during his tenure in Congress, and as an indomitable force in the research advocacy community. As a U.S. representative, he worked across the aisle to cultivate champions for research, articulating the societal and economic benefits of...
Dear Research Advocate: There is still time ’€” if you act quickly ’€” to urge your representative to sign on to the House letter authored by Representatives McKinley (R-WV-01), Davis (D-CA-53), Carson (D-IN-07) and King (R-NY-02) urging more support for NIH ’€” it will be finalized by close of business today. A similar Senate letter, authored by Senators Casey (D-PA) and Burr (R-NC), will be finalized Tuesday, April 1; ask your senators to sign on today! An appropriations mechanism known as a “tap” made the news Tuesday when, during a hearing on NIH, Members of Congress asked advocates questions about the use of a tap by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to move money from...

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Sidebar Quote

The capabilities are enormous, a little bit of research can pay off quite a bit in the long run.
Paul D’ Addario, retinitis pigmentosa patient