National Institutes of Health

Dear Research Advocate, During a visit today to Augusta University, which is home to the former Medical College of Georgia, I heard grad students distill their multiple-hour thesis presentations into 3 minutes. You may be familiar with the “ 3MT ” concept, but this was my first experience of it. What a terrific grounding for researchers who want to engage in public outreach and advocacy! I also heard-- not for the first time-- that grad students in science want communications training, but rarely receive it. More widespread adoption of 3MT would undoubtedly help bridge that gap. During a House Labor-H Subcommittee hearing this week focused on NIH, champions from both sides of the aisle...
Promising research funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has found that the survival rate for babies born very prematurely is improving and among them, there has been a decline in neurological impairment. Researchers analyzed data from more than 4,000 infants born between 2000 and 2011 and saw a jump in survival rates from 30% to 36% during that time period. And the proportion of survivors born without neurological impairment grew from 16% to 20%. Contrary to what many experts believed in the past, increased survival rates for pre-term and extremely pre-term babies did not result in a higher proportion of disabilities among infants. “Every individual is different, and no single...
The more researchers know about how different therapies work and for whom they work, the faster they can make progress in finding treatments, said Dr. William Nelson, director of Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center during a panel discussion on March 8 about precision medicine moderated by The Washington Post’s Laurie McGinley. The discussion was part of Johns Hopkins Medicine’s On the Road to Precision Medicine Health Care Leader Series , which explores topics of cost, communication, research, and health care delivery in relation to precision medicine. Regarding concerns that the drug approval process is too lengthy, Nelson said that the efficiency achieved by focusing on creating targeted...
The future of science and research for health under a Trump Administration and a Republican majority in Congress was the focus of Research!America’s 2016 Post-Election Briefing at the American Association of the Advancement of Science (AAAS) on November 15. Kicking off the program was John Zogby, founder of the “Zogby Poll” and senior partner of John Zogby Strategies. He noted that it’s too soon to know how research will fare under a new Administration but he said people understand that medical research is vital. Following his remarks, a panel comprised of Research!America Chair Hon. John Porter; Vice Chair Gov. Mike Castle; American Association for the Advancement of Science CEO and board...
As 2015 comes to an end, let’s revisit the top ten most popular Research!America blog posts of the year (based on page views) that emphasized the importance of communicating the value of research and making research and innovation a higher national priority. We would like to thank our outstanding guest bloggers, including early career scientists, and leaders representing academia, industry, patient groups and scientific societies, who believe in the endless possibilities of scientific discovery, development and delivery to improve our nation’s health. 1) Lessons learned from a workshop on effective science communication April 24 : Our most popular post of the year! Debra Cooper, Ph.D., a...
Dear Research Advocate, The President’s signature on hard fought funding and tax legislation was enough to end the year on a high note, but there’s more good news: In an interview on C-SPAN , Senate HELP Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) said what many of us have been waiting to hear: “Number one, what we want to turn our attention to [in 2016] is what we call the Innovation Bill.” After the 21st Century Cures pay-fors were used to help offset lost revenues in the FY16 Omnibus/Tax package, the prospects for mandatory NIH and FDA funding seemed weak. However, not only did Chairman Alexander reiterate his support for mandatory funding, but House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman...
Candidates running for national office never miss an opportunity to share their solutions on the many problems facing our country with voters. From terrorism to transportation to education, the presidential candidates clamor for attention on hot button issues of the day. Yet they are not outlining their proposed solutions for healing what literally ails Americans - Alzheimer's disease, cancer, mental illnesses, and many other health threats. Despite the prevalence of disease and its impact to our health, economy and national security, candidates seem to be giving this issue a pass. Only 14% of Americans say they are very well-informed of the positions of current candidates for President...
Louisiana State University (LSU), a land-, sea-, and space-grant institution, is the only public Carnegie designated Research Extensive University in Louisiana. With more than 2,000 funded research projects underway at any given time, LSU has developed a research strategy centered on enhancing, expanding and positively impacting the intellectual enterprise, cultural resources, and economic activities in Louisiana, the nation and the world. LSU’s research focus areas include materials science and engineering, coastal sustainability and environment, conventional and renewable energy, high performance computing, biotechnology and biomedical research, communication and expression, and...
Dear Research Advocate: The short answer to what defense and public health have in common is that they are critical long-term investments for the nation. We have been hearing a lot of talk about funding increased investment in defense by taking it "off budget," and now former House Majority Leader, Eric Cantor, is calling for the same approach for investment in research. Cantor made the case today in the Huffington Post for increasing non-defense discretionary spending, specifically by increasing scientific and medical research, citing the “stimulative” economic power of innovation and basic research. Former Majority Leader Cantor’s call may resonate particularly strongly in the current...
This week, communities across the country are celebrating National Public Health Week . This annual observance recognizes the invaluable work public health professionals contribute to keeping our communities healthy and safe. It also reminds us of the importance of prevention in ensuring the health of our nation. We face a growing burden of chronic disease that is clearly unsustainable. Largely preventable conditions like heart disease, diabetes and stroke are taking too great a toll in lives and investments lost. We must reduce rates of disease and disability if we hope to create a healthier nation. Conducting research that promotes health and prevents disease is an important step in the...

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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