NIH

A tenet of Research!America’€™s advocacy has always been to implore scientists to tell their stories ’€“ not their data. Stories connect with other people, i.e., non-scientists, in a way that data cannot. A hundred heartfelt words do more than 100 million data points. We know this because people, i.e., non-scientists, have told us. They have demonstrated it to us. Alan Alda’€™s improv classes at Stony Brook University turned scientists into storytellers. We’€™ve heard from Members of Congress that stories keep them engaged. And if that’€™s not enough, we have an in-person demonstration from part of the crew at the traveling show/podcast called The Story Collider . Ben Lillie, PhD, is the co...
By Olivera J. Finn and Robert E. Schoen An excerpt of an op-ed by Olivera J. Finn, PhD a distinguished professor and chair of immunology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and Robert E. Schoen, MD, MPH professor of medicine and epidemiology at Pitt’s School of Medicine and Graduate School of Public Health published in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette . Olivera J. Finn, PhD Robert E. Schoen, MD, MPH Every day, physicians and scientists see the hope and promise that medical research brings to patients and families. For nearly 70 years, research funded by the National Institutes of Health has increased understanding of the causes of disease, contributed to longer life expectancy and...
By Megan Kane, PhD Megan Kane As reported on Research!America’€™s blog and in numerous media channels, scientists are facing a difficult funding environment made even worse by sequestration. I am one of the members of the ’€œentire generation of scientists at risk’€ that NIH Director Dr. Francis Collins and others have referenced in their warnings about the long-term harm of sequestration. Due to tightening budgets in research laboratories, I was forced to make a decision earlier this year: either delay my graduation from my doctoral program or look for immediate employment outside of a lab environment and possibly never get back to the bench. A colleague pointed me to the advertisement...
This post is an excerpt of a Bloomberg column by Albert R. Hunt on how sequestration hurts medical research, especially in the fight to better understand’€”and hopefully cure’€” Alzheimer’€™s disease. Albert R. Hunt Many Republic ans, and Democrats, never thought the automatic across-the-board spending cuts known as sequestration would take effect. After all, they might produce dangerous, if unintended, consequences such as potentially bankrupting the U.S. health-care system, along with millions of families. Typical Washington hyperbole, right? It actually is happening under sequestration, which kicked in three months ago, a product of America’€™s political dysfunction. Because the cuts...
Dear Research Advocate: On Wednesday, the House Appropriations agriculture subcommittee approved the funding bill that includes the Food and Drug Administration. The bill allocates nearly $100 million above the post-sequester levels. Unfortunately, the baseline budgets in the House are so low that this increase is still lower than FY12 FDA funding. We must not fall into the trap of lowering our expectations and applauding an artificial victory. The true mark of success is funding that keeps up with need. We must keep working. As demonstrated particularly by the 18.6% cut targeted for the House LHHS appropriations FY14 budget, the pressure to shrink government by slashing discretionary...
A recently published, unexpected discovery coming from researchers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine at Yeshiva University suggests that vitamin C may be a useful component to treating drug-resistant tuberculosis. This finding may sound more like something out of a television medical drama than real life, but the research €”funded by the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Disease at the National Institutes of Health suggests that ascorbic acid may help kill the bacteria that cause TB. These preliminary findings have laid a foundation for clinical trials using vitamin C in tandem with other drugs. Researchers observed that vitamin C treatment of the cultured bacteria led to...
Now, more than ever, young scientists are grappling with important career decisions. For newly minted PhDs, there are fewer and fewer academic faculty positions available. These coveted ’€œtenure track’€ positions have been the ’€œtypical’€ career path for research scientists in a variety of biomedical fields. Yet in an environment with flat funded research budgets combined with sequestration, a decade of cuts, more scientists are pursuing ’€˜alternative’€™ careers. This desire to learn about the diversity of career options for scientists prompted nearly 1,400 graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and other scientists-in-training to register for the recent Career Symposium hosted by the...
The U.S. House Appropriations committee approved a spending bill for FY14 that slashes the Labor, Education, Health and Human Services bill to its lowest since 1998 when adjusted for inflation. The bill makes deep cuts for medical research and other domestic programs. The proposed funding is 18.6 percent below 2013 funding levels under sequestration, 22.2 percent below the original appropriations for FY13. These cuts will jeopardize medical innovation and programs that protect Americans’€™ health. How low is the suggested appropriations amount? In terms of absolute dollars, it is less than the FY01 funding level. If the 18.6% cut are applied across the board to each program, this proposed...
Dear Research Advocate: I invite you to join me in speaking out during the Memorial Day congressional recess (May 27-31) as part of a social media campaign using the hashtag #curesnotcuts. Our goal is to continue to position research and innovation to improve health where it belongs: as a fundamental national priority that Americans can count on because their elected representatives rank it so highly. In our social media campaign, each day of the recess has a specific theme that can be customized with your information and patient/researcher stories. We have made it easy to get involved: click here to see sample social media messages, a list of selected congressional offices and their...
Dear Research Advocate, “2013 is a bad year to have a good idea,” was the bleak statement Laura Niedernhofer, MD, PhD, made about the impact of sequestration in a recent FASEB report . None of us want this year, or this country, to be a bad starting point for good ideas ’€¦ but that’s what’s at stake. Think about telling someone with a serious illness that this isn’t a good year, or a good decade, for research. Think about telling them that from here on out, it may always be a bad year for a good idea. Is there hope for turning this around? We have bipartisan support and we have champions; that we need more is a reality, but by no means an impossibility. Cancer research advocates gathered...

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