NIH

In the 18 months since former President Barack Obama announced the Cancer Moonshot Initiative (CMI), led by then-Vice President Joseph Biden, great strides have been made in the mission to accelerate the pace of cancer research. Among the goals of the initiative is to increase collaboration between public- and private-sector organizations, and government agencies to develop new methods of targeting cancer. CMI’s emphasis on innovation – specifically immunotherapy – and new approaches to research are especially important for rare cancers such as mesothelioma because traditional research and treatment methods often do not work. Immunotherapy, which uses a person’s own immune system to help...
Dear Research Advocate, Last Friday, I joined ASM CEO Stefano Bertuzzi and Georgetown McDonough School of Business professor and social marketing guru Bill Novelli in a lively session on advocacy for science. Bill emphasized the pivotal role strong leaders play in securing paradigm shifts such as a cultural shift in the value Americans assign to science and innovation. I thought of this when the welcome news broke that President Trump reappointed Dr. Francis Collins as NIH Director. Dr. Collins is second to none in his ability to connect the dots for the public and policymakers on the wide-ranging impact of research and innovation. More good news: the House E&C Committee passed the FDA...
Dear Research Advocate, Word of a plan to pass an FY18 omnibus bill in the House by the end of July has surfaced . The plan would require the House to rapidly draft, mark up and stitch together 12 appropriations bills. If House leadership takes this route, it is unclear what overall budget numbers they would work from; rumor has it they may adhere relatively closely to the “sequestration” budget caps established in 2011. Ironically, that would be significantly better than the president’s budget but, as I discussed last week , far worse than what is needed: an agreement to raise the caps and permit more budget flexibility. Call your members of Congress to make the case ; and follow up with a...
Dear Research Advocate, I hope you had an opportunity to read America’s ‘Miracle Machine’ is in desperate need of, well, a miracle in last Friday’s Washington Post. The authors, Eric S. Lander and Eric E. Schmidt, build a case for “investing in curiosity about the natural world” that exemplifies advocacy at its most compelling. The term “aha moment” may be overused, but it applies to this commentary as surely as it does to President Franklin Roosevelt’s remarks on the dedication of the NIH’s then-new campus in 1940, when he proclaimed: “We cannot be a strong nation unless we are a healthy nation. And so we must recruit not only men and materials, but also knowledge and science in the...
Dear Research Advocate, This Saturday, advocates will celebrate science at events in Washington, D.C., and hundreds of cities across the globe to call attention to the value of science -- how it impacts our health, economy and planet. I encourage you to participate in the March for Science in your local communities and help us raise awareness of scientific progress. Our new video featuring one of our science fellows will be shown on jumbotrons on the National Mall in D.C. during the event. Read more about this celebration in our Board Chair’s statement , my op-ed in the Miami Herald and an LTE by Research!America’s Suzanne Ffolkes in the Hartford Courant. The March is the beginning of a...
Dear Research Advocate, OMB has recommended cuts to FY17 appropriations , which would precede, if you will, the proposed FY18 cuts. As noted in our statement , these proposed cuts contradict worthy goals the President established for his tenure in office. They also fly in the face of public opinion. Fortunately, it appears Congress is not playing ball . Please use this editable message to say no to reductions and yes to passage of an FY17 omnibus bill. Reliable sources say the bill includes a $2 billion boost for NIH, as well as increases for CDC, FDA and NSF. The media is chock-full of commentary and quotes supporting investment in research and public health. A masterful Washington Post op...
Dear Research Advocate, House Republican Leadership released an ACA replacement bill this week (section summaries available from the Energy & Commerce and Ways & Means committees). The bill has been creating waves, concerning many in the public health and health care fields. The cost and coverage impact have yet to be estimated, but we do know that the bill repeals the Prevention and Public Health Fund (PPHF), which accounts for approximately 12% of CDC’s budget. House Labor-H Chairman Cole (R-OK) discussed CDC’s crucial role in a recent STAT article. Use this editable message to make the case for CDC and PPHF. Trust for America’s Health is a terrific resource for more background...
Fight Colorectal Cancer’s mission is to raise our voice to empower and activate a community of patients, fighters and champions to push for better policies and to support research, education and awareness for all those touched by this disease. This March, for National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, Fight Colorectal Cancer will be raising awareness that leads to action. Our mission cannot be fulfilled if people are simply aware that colorectal cancer exists. We must spur them to action in order to make a meaningful impact. This action must be tied to personal health advocacy (for example, getting screened), AND to policy and research. When all goals are working in harmony with one...
Dear Research Advocate, I have exciting news! Joe Biden, the 47th Vice President of the United States, will join us at our 21st Annual Advocacy Awards Dinner on March 15 to receive the Gordon and Llura Gund Leadership Award . As he has demonstrated through his leadership of the Cancer Moonshot Initiative, his work in Congress, and in so many other ways, the former Vice President is a true advocate for research. Join us for a remarkable evening. A foundational goal for this annual event is to spotlight advocates for science -- often those who both practice and champion it -- as embodying the “secret sauce” that empowers science by driving public and policymaker support. More scientists are...
Dear Research Advocate, Budget conversations are back to the fore. President Trump has made it clear that his budget will cut non-defense discretionary (NDD) deeply. NDD makes up only about 16% of the federal budget, but fuels a wide range of crucial American priorities like education, criminal justice, services for veterans, public health, child protection and science. As Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN) recently made clear cutting non-defense discretionary (NDD) funding is not a viable strategy for addressing our nation’s fiscal issues. We agree and challenge advocates for research to speak up for the role of science in stabilizing our fiscal future. On The Bio Report podcast today, I...

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You can change the image of things to come. But you can’t do it sitting on your hands … The science community should reach out to Congress and build bridges.
The Honorable John E. Porter