NIH

A recent editorial in The Washington Times by Rep. Brian Bilbray (R-CA) and John C. Reed, MD, PhD, chief executive officer of Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute , makes a parallel between President John F. Kennedy’s call for a lunar mission in 1962 and the future of medical research’s battle against cancer. In seven years, the authors note, America went from Kennedy’s proclamation to Neil Armstrong stepping out of the lunar module. (The op-ed ran two days before the legendary astronaut’s death.) Because of our understanding of cancer and the treatments we now have for it, the authors write, we are in a better position to conquer cancer than the space program in 1962. Moreover, they...
Dear Research Advocate, As you know, the Republican Party Platform was unveiled Tuesday during the convention in Tampa. There are direct references to medical and health research and other statements that ’€” if not explicit ’€” definitely imply the need for such research. We can draw from both to enhance our advocacy efforts. The following exemplifies the direct and indirect nature of the platform’€™s embrace of medical and health research: ’€œWe support federal investment in health care delivery systems and solutions creating innovative means to provide greater, more cost-effective access to high quality health care. We also support federal investment in basic and applied biomedical...
Dear Research Advocate, With Rep. Paul Ryan joining the Romney ticket, health is back on the national agenda. Partisan politics aside, this conversation is overdue, since health is indeed an issue that will make or bankrupt us. Research has always figured prominently in the wellbeing of Americans and America ’€“ research brought an end to the polio epidemic, which could have bankrupted the nation in the 1950s, and research is the only answer to the scourge of Alzheimer’€™s that threatens health, quality of life and our national checkbook today. And that is just a starting point for the conversation I hope you are having with everyone who wants to talk about the election. Take the...
WASHINGTON’€”August 7, 2012 ’€” Research!America, a nonprofit advocacy alliance, says too many congressional candidates are minimizing the importance of our nation’€™s faltering role in fighting deadly and disabling diseases as a campaign issue. Polling indicates that Americans rank medical research a high priority but also shows a majority of likely voters are not aware of their representatives’€™ views on research. Some candidates have indicated that they ’€œdon’€™t have time’€ to fill out a short questionnaire gauging their views on the importance of continued medical progress. Research!America and its partner organizations are calling on candidates to elevate the fight to save lives in...
The Minneapolis Star Tribune ran a recent editorial supportive of medical research; though it appeared last week, it’s still worth sharing. The editorial, “ Worst possible time to cut research ,” ran July 30. Medical research is an important topic for Minnesota. In FY11, the state ranked 17th in awards and 12th in funding from the National Institutes of Health, thanks mostly to two organizations. The University of Minnesota, in downtown Minneapolis, earned 583 NIH awards and more than $264 million in funding. Eighty-five miles to the south, in Rochester, the Mayo Clinic (a Research!America member) earned 370 awards and more than $200 million in funding. The state is also home to a thriving...
Dear Research Advocate, Just before leaving Washington for five weeks, Congressional leaders Harry Reid and John Boehner announced agreement on a continuing resolution (’€œC.R.’€) to fund the government until March 2013. In what has become routine, appropriations decisions will be deferred far beyond the October 1 beginning of the federal fiscal year. The leaders’€™ agreement, motivated by the need to avert a government shutdown, would leave NIH, FDA, AHRQ, CDC and the NSF with steady-state budgets, which is at least a better outcome than proposals for cuts pending before the House right now. But don’€™t take your eye off the ball! All kinds of mischief is possible between now and March,...
Dear Research Advocate, Sequestration, the looming fiscal cliff, a dangerous House appropriations bill ’€“ all were addressed in our members-only call yesterday with Chairman John Porter. As Porter pointed out, we have to keep the big picture in mind, pushing for tax and entitlement reform as part of the larger ’€œfix,’€ AND, in the immediate, we have to cry foul about the House bill and sequestration. Right now, while Congress is still in session, we must flood their offices, and the Administration, with calls and e-mails. Take 30 seconds to send a message to your representatives to remind them that medical research should be among our nation’€™s highest priorities. And – as was...
Dear Research Advocate, ’€œShell-shocked’€ is a fair way to describe reaction to the latest appropriations bill in which the House Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies subcommittee released its funding recommendations. The NIH was flat-funded and seriously micromanaged in unprecedented ways, CDC funding was cut deeply, and funding for the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) was terminated . See our press statement on the bill here and the Nature article that included our quote. The Science Insider article also has details. As if this wasn’€™t bad enough, an amendment to the subcommittee bill would have slashed another $8.3 billion ’€“ fortunately...
Dear Research Advocate, What do sequencing and sequestration have in common, besides being mysterious words to most people? It’€™s pretty simple: We won’€™t have more of the former if the latter takes place. Why isn’€™t it a Sputnik moment to learn that there is more sequencing capacity at Beijing Genome Institute than we have total capacity in our country? And, to learn that the Chinese government is subsidizing the cost of sequencing so that it is fast becoming the go-to place for industry and academia worldwide? It’€™s time for advocates to talk this up so that policy makers will once again plus-up research as a U.S. priority. Jeffrey Zients, the Acting Director of the White House Office...
By any measure, New York is one of the country’s top states for medical research and development: In FY11, the state attracted more than $2 billion across 4,606 awards from the National Institutes of Health. Only California and Massachusetts were better in either category. With robust academic research (not to mention a significant presence of independent research institutes, like Research!America members Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory and Masonic Medical Research Laboratory ) and NYC-based pharmaceutical giants Bristol-Myers Squibb and Pfizer , bioscience pays off for New York and its residents: According to a new report, the industry directly and indirectly supported 250,000 jobs across...

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Sidebar Quote

Without continued support for health research, many of the most promising young scientists, their ideas and a myriad of potentially life-changing scientific breakthroughs will vanish into oblivion.
Paul Marinec, PhD; University of California San Francisco