NIH

Dear Research Advocate, This week’€™s Nobel Prize announcements are a fine reminder of how government-supported research plays a critical role in expanding our knowledge, leading not only to worldwide recognition but taking us closer to understanding and curing disease. The winners of the prize for chemistry, Dr. Robert Lefkowitz, Howard Hughes Medical Research investigator and professor at Duke University Medical Center, and Dr. Brian Kobilka of Stanford University School of Medicine both received grants from the National Institutes of Health, as did one of the physiology and medicine awardees, Dr. Shinya Yamanaka. They are among the many Nobel laureates whose important work throughout the...
October 10, 2012 We congratulate Dr. Robert Lefkowitz and Dr. Brian Kobilka on the announcement of the Nobel Prize in chemistry for their groundbreaking work on protein receptors, paving the way for the development of new drugs to halt the rampage of disease. Patients benefit from unwavering commitment to putting research to work. Lefkowitz, an investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and professor at Duke University Medical Center, and Kobilka of Stanford University School of Medicine, have demonstrated that scientific discovery is the result of painstaking work supported by both the public and private sector. Throughout their careers, both have received government funding for...
We don’t usually link to blogs that focus on Baylor University’s athletic teams, but today is as good as any. The manager of the Our Daily Bears blog, Mark C. Moore, wrote a heartrending post on his young son’s diagnosis and prognosis with spinal muscular atrophy . Shortly after William was born, a friend remarked that he looked like a ragdoll in his mother’s arms; the comment stuck with Mark and Beth, his wife. They called a doctor, who was able to see them on October 4, 2011; that was the beginning of a journey that led to teams of doctors at both Children’s Medical Center (in Dallas) and UT Southwestern. The 1-year anniversary was the occasion for the blog post. The SMA Foundation notes...
Dear Research Advocate, The first presidential debate gave us little to go on regarding research for health. Americans are dying to know more ’€“ many, quite literally dying ’€“ about what either presidential candidate would do to speed up medical progress in the face of Alzheimer’€™s disease, Parkinson’€™s disease, ALS and the host of other disabling and deadly health threats that breed suffering, compromise independence and drive spiraling health care costs. Add to that the pivotal role medical innovation plays in our economy, and Americans absolutely deserve to know whether candidates will champion or shortchange it. All of us must say to candidates: Tell us what you will do, share your...
Dear Research Advocate, The first presidential debate will be held Wednesday, October 3 at the University of Denver. This debate will likely be the only one in which health issues are discussed: Will the candidates talk about research and innovation in that context? This is our chance to speak up, whether they do (bravo!) or don’€™t (why not??). While watching, include the Twitter handle for the debates (@NewsHour) in your tweets, and afterwards, send a letter to the editor of your local paper. This is the final phase of our Your Candidates - Your Health voter education initiative. We know from experience over the years that all of us ’€“ stakeholders and advocates for research ’€“ become...
National Institutes of Health Director Francis Collins, MD, PhD , and a Research!America Board member, former Congressman Mike Castle , will appear on BioCenturyTV during the next two weeks to discuss declines in federally funded research. “BioCentury This Week” airs at 8:30 a.m. Sundays on WUSA-9 in the Washington, DC, area. In other areas, the program is available on the show’s website at www.biocenturytv.com . The September 23 show will feature Collins, who will discuss sequestration, NIH grant rates, ways to reduce the costs of clinical trials and the NIH’s public-private partnerships. The September 30 show will feature Castle; Daniel Ford, MD, MPH , vice dean for clinical investigation...
Dear Research Advocate, To call attention to the unintended consequences of the sequester, we held a press briefing today in partnership with United for Medical Research. Two Members of Congress who are still in town, Reps. Ed Markey (D-MA) and Brian Bilbray (R-CA), spoke about the high priority the nation must place on NIH and about the usefulness of data from a new national public opinion poll showing that 51% of Americans say that across-the-board cuts are not the right way to reduce the deficit. To see more poll results for use in your advocacy, click here . Other speakers this morning spoke about what’€™s at stake for everyone who cares about the research enterprise: patient hopes for...
On Friday, September 7, at the National Institutes of Health campus, the Trans-NIH Global Health Working Group hosted a lecture titled, ’€œRapid, automated diagnostics for tuberculosis: a potential new benchmark.’€ Mark Perkins, MD, who has worked at the Global Tuberculosis Programme of the World Health Organization and is currently the chief scientific officer at the Foundation for New Innovative Diagnostics (FIND), discussed the development of a new testing method for tuberculosis. Identified as the cause of death for 1.4 million individuals in 2010, including people in the United States , TB is a significant global health concern. However, it is consistently underdiagnosed due to...
As reported in the Washington Post, the number of West Nile virus cases in the U.S. is on the rise. Traditionally a disease that affects people in Africa, the Middle East and Asia, 48 states in the U.S. have reported cases in 2012 alone. Nearly 2,000 cases and 87 deaths, including one Wednesday in DC, have been reported overall. The West Nile virus, a neglected tropical disease or NTD, can cause flu-like symptoms or, in severe cases, even brain damage. Peter Hotez, MD, PhD, director of the Texas-based product development partnership Sabin Vaccine Institute, recently wrote a New York Times op-ed addressing the increasing thread of West Nile right here in the U.S., ’€œTropical Disease: The...
A recent unsigned editorial by Bloomberg View restates what we’ve been saying for some time: Americans are not immune from global health problems. The editorial focuses on West Nile virus and dengue, though there are certainly other diseases and conditions that were worthy of inclusion. Worldwide travel means diseases are more transmissible than ever, and climate change gives disease-carrying mosquitoes more hospitable climates, the editorial notes. And a lack of treatments exacerbates the problem. “Patients receive acetaminophen for fever and pain, fluids if they are dehydrated, and get-well wishes,” the editorial states. “No vaccines, no cures and no specific medicines exist to prevent or...

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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