National Institutes of Health

World AIDS day is observed on December 1 every year to help raise awareness, commemorate those who have died from the virus, and encourage advocates and policymakers to increase their efforts in fighting the epidemic and supporting those whose lives have been impacted by it. This year, the World AIDS day theme is “Increasing Impact through Transparency, Accountability, and Partnerships.” Although the U.S. government is at the forefront of tackling the HIV/AIDS epidemic, its success depends on partnerships with other governments, the private sector, philanthropic organizations, multilateral institutions, and patient advocates. As a result of these strong partnerships, 19.5 million people...
Despite the best efforts of scientists and researchers, clinical trials on Alzheimer’s therapies have had a 99% failure rate and it has been 14 years since the Food and Drug Administration approved any Alzheimer’s-related medication. Like millions of others whose families are personally affected by Alzheimer’s disease, I am increasingly concerned that the medical, scientific, and advocacy communities are disproportionately focused on the hope that a blockbuster drug will suddenly emerge from a biopharmaceutical laboratory. This is not to say that increased investments in research should not be our foremost priority. NIH funding for Alzheimer’s-related research still lags well behind the...
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is the “crown jewel of federal spending,” said Dr. Keith Yamamoto at a Capitol Hill briefing sponsored by the Coalition for the Life Sciences and the Congressional Biomedical Research Caucus on July 14 titled, NIH 101: An Introduction to the National Institutes of Health. Yamamoto, vice chancellor for research at the University of California, San Francisco and Research!America board member, was the featured speaker at the event, sponsored by the Coalition for Life Sciences and the Congressional Biomedical Research Caucus. He discussed the mission and budget of the NIH, as well as the rigorous scientific review process that ensures the budget achieves...
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...

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