NIH

Dear Research Advocate, Ironically, the government is closed down today. But that’€™s due to a major snowstorm, not because of failure to agree on increasing the debt limit! Agreeing to increase the debt limit is an encouraging sign that this Congress, weighed down as it is by ideological and political differences, and with record- low approval rankings from the public, can get its job done! Our job is to be sure research is a top priority in this election year ’€” spoken of with conviction by all candidates and by the media and others who influence them. Standing tall among Members of Congress who champion science are the Chair and Ranking Member of the House Appropriations’€™ Commerce,...
Reps. Wolf and Fattah to Receive the Edwin C. Whitehead Award for Medical Research Advocacy at Research!America’€™s Advocacy Awards Dinner on March 12 ALEXANDRIA, Va. - February 12, 2014 -Reps. Frank Wolf (R-VA) and Chaka Fattah (D-PA) will receive the Edwin C. Whitehead Award for Medical Research Advocacy for their leadership and unwavering commitment to supporting policies that promote federal and private sector medical research and innovation. Reps. Wolf and Fattah have spearheaded efforts to create a legislative and regulatory climate conducive to medical innovation. “Representatives Wolf and Fattah are exceptional champions for research,” said Research!America Chair John Edward Porter...
Excerpt of an op-ed by the Albert and Mary Lasker Foundation President Claire Pomeroy, MD, published in the Huffington Post . As an HIV physician, I began my career early in the AIDS epidemic before effective antiviral medications existed. I held my patients’ hands as they cried when receiving their diagnosis and I went to their funerals. I saw hope in their eyes when new antivirals became available. And when protease inhibitors were licensed and “triple therapy” became the norm, I could help patients plan how they would live, rather than how they would die. Scientific breakthroughs happened only because of our nation’s commitment to biomedical research, but this power of research to make...
Dear Research Advocate: Since President Obama declared 2014 as a ’€œyear of action’€ in his State of the Union address, several people have asked my view on how the president might advance science by executive order. Some options that come to mind: the president can (1) pump up the budget for NIH and other science agencies in his FY15 budget blueprint, scheduled for release in early March; (2) require an assessment of the impact on innovation, access and economic growth before making any administration-initiated cuts to drug, biologic or device reimbursement; and (3) designate a task force to formulate a national science strategy. As several Members of Congress noted after the president’€™...
Dear Research Advocate: Anticipating the 2014 State of the Union address next Tuesday evening, I have been searching for the right descriptor ’€” the union is ’€œin a state of resignation’€? ’€œThe state of the union is not as bad as it could be’€? ’€œThe union is in a state that falls short of its potential’€? ’€œThe Americans forming this union are in a state of disappointment regarding their elected leaders’€? A headline from The Washington Post last week addresses the latter point: ’€œCongratulations on your budget, Congress. America still hates you,’€ i.e. no uptick for those low ratings for congresspersons of either party! The president’€™s rating with the public is a bit better...
Guest post by ASH Government Relations, Practice, and Scientific Affairs. Between presentations of cutting-edge research and sessions on emerging trends in hematology, attendees of the American Society of Hematology (ASH) annual meeting last December emailed Congress and strategized ways to encourage Members of Congress to protect existing and future NIH funding and reform physician payment under Medicare. The 2013 ASH Annual Meeting presented a vital opportunity for hematologists to mobilize on these two challenging issues facing the field and ASH’€™s group of member advocates, called the ASH Grassroots Network, had a strong presence at the recent annual meeting in New Orleans. During the...
Dear Research Advocate: The omnibus appropriations bill about to become law demonstrates that bipartisanship and pseudo -regular order is achievable. We won’€™t know for sure if we have true ’€œregular order’€ until Congress proceeds through the FY15 appropriations process in a timely manner ’€” something that hasn’€™t happened for many years. The importance of regular order is that the public’€™s interests are heard from in hearings, and every Member of Congress participates in priority-setting instead of only having the opportunity to cast a single up-or-down vote. Regular order is worth working toward, since at least one priority we all care about did not fare well in the omnibus. The...
We applaud portions of the omnibus bill that support the nation’s research, innovation and public health ecosystem, which works to assure our future health and economic well-being. The growth in funding for the Food and Drug Administration, fueled in part by the common-sense return of the 2013 user fees, as well as the increases for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and the National Science Foundation are welcome news. But funding for the National Institutes of Health has been kept well below the level of scientific opportunity. We must eliminate sequestration once and for all, and grow our investment in NIH in order to slow and...
Dear Research Advocate: The end of the year is a good time to think ahead and consider our nation at the end of the decade; how will we fare in the world order? My letter this week to the editor of the New York Times highlights poll data indicating that Americans don’€™t believe the U.S. will be the world leader in science and technology by 2020. This data reflects opinions grounded in numerous media reports on China’s accomplishments and determination to lead the world in science. Chinese accomplishments in space of late and their plans for a space station in 2020 ought to be a 21st century “Sputnik moment” for the U.S. It should be a wake-up call to policy makers: get serious about...
Dear Research Advocate: Here’€™s a holiday surprise! I am not referring to the budget deal, but to the fact that Merriam-Webster’€™s 2013 word of the year ’€” determined via the greatest increase in online searches ’€” is “science.” I find this to be refreshing news, providing evidence that interest in science is growing, which in turn is an indication of substantial room for researchers and research advocates to contribute to public understanding and support of science. We appear to have an opportunity ready for the taking to overcome the “invisibility” problem that contributes to holding decision makers back from assigning a higher priority to science. And speaking of those decision...

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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