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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...
Dear Research Advocate: If you’ve read Ron Chernow’s “Hamilton,” you know that the partisan stand-off we are witnessing in the House, and more broadly across the nation, is not new. Chernow reminds us that political parties -- not originally foreseen by the Founding Fathers -- grew out of intense and often ugly disagreements between Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson during the second administration of George Washington. That insight doesn’t make this week’s turn of events less dramatic, but it does offer perspective. In the midst of the Democratic sit-in on preventing gun violence, the House adjourned earlier than expected and won’t resume business until July 5. Just before adjourning...
The April 2016 issue of The Research Advocate is now online . Highlights from this month include : A summary of Research!America's 27th Annual Meeting of Members and Advocacy Awards Dinner, including a special insert on the award honorees. Federal policy update, including information on the appropriations process for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Science Foundation (NSF) and Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). Member spotlight featuring the University of North Texas Health Science Center . Learn more about the Parkinson's Disease Foundation You Can Help Us #EndParkinsons campaign, which launched in April for Parkinson's Awareness Month. Pfizer has...
Dear Research Advocate: We celebrated steadfast advocates for research to improve health at last week’s Advocacy Awards Dinner; pictures are now available. Champions like Whitehead awardees Chairmen Blunt and Cole keep us energized in the fight for medical research, even in the face of its virtual absence on the presidential campaign trail. Indeed, Research!America Chairman, Hon. John Porter, urged everyone present to take it upon themselves, as advocates, to make it clear how vital this election is to the future of science, research, and health. Since this is the mission of Campaign for Cures and related Research!America election-year activities, we can help you in your advocacy! Our...
Dear Research Advocate: Three outstanding speakers addressed Research!America’s annual meeting of members yesterday. Newly confirmed FDA Commissioner Dr. Robert Califf kicked off the meeting, outlining his priorities for the agency. Having known Dr. Califf for some time, I wasn’t at all surprised to hear how determined he is to ensuring FDA engages the patient perspective as it works to improve policies and processes. For example, he underscored how important it is to calibrate risk/benefit calculations to take into account the seriousness of an illness and the availability of treatment options...in other words, how important it is to think like a patient, not for a patient. Bravo! Senator...
Research conducted at Louisiana institutions benefits not only those in the state but also people across the country, said Senator Bill Cassidy (R-LA) during his opening remarks at the Louisiana Research Summit held on February 16 at the University Medical Center in New Orleans. The summit, co-hosted by Research!America, assembled federal, state, university, and business leaders to discuss current challenges and opportunities for advancing research in Louisiana. At several junctures during the summit, Senator Cassidy stressed the importance of making Louisiana "easy to work with" by lowering administrative barriers and building on success to date. He also emphasized that the summit was not...
Dear Research Advocate: This week I had the pleasure of participating in a research “summit” hosted by Louisiana State University (LSU), Research!America, and our honorary host, Senator Bill Cassidy (R-LA). I moderated a powerhouse panel featuring NIH Director Francis Collins, M.D., NSF Director France Cordova, Ph.D., and FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER) Director Janet Woodcock, M.D., each of whom offered state-specific illustrations of the impact federally-funded Louisiana research has had to date, and signalled the many opportunities Louisiana has to do more. This standing-room-only, high-content gathering drew research, academic, business and philanthropic leaders...
Dear Research Advocate: As task force meetings for Vice President Biden’s “moonshot” initiative began this week, a new public opinion survey commissioned by Research!America showed that 50% of Americans favor a tax increase to fund cancer research. While this manner of funding the moonshot is not currently on the table, the survey finding underscores the high priority Americans place on curing cancer. The President told Majority Leader McConnell and Speaker Ryan that assuring resources for research, cancer in particular, is one of his five priorities for working across the aisle this year. His FY17 budget proposal -- scheduled for release next Tuesday -- will reportedly request additional...
This was an exceptional year for publicly-funded research projects. Investments in science led to a greater understanding of preventing and treating disease such as using genetic variants to identify people at risk for coronary heart disease and tailoring breast cancer treatments to avoid the need for chemotherapy. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) also supported the work of three Nobel Prize winners and clinical advances in cancer, heart disease, MS and many other conditions. The National Science Foundation (NSF) funded interdisciplinary projects including one that led to a holistic approach to strengthening the security and effectiveness of mobile medical applications . Evidence-...
Dear Research Advocate, The current continuing resolution (CR) expires tomorrow. Congress has yet to reach agreement on FY16 appropriations, so they will buy more time to hammer out a funding package by passing another CR lasting til midnight Wednesday, December 16. The major sticking points at this moment are additional policy riders attached to the funding omnibus, spanning the spectrum from immigration and refugees to labor and environmental issues. As it looks right now, some research-related budgets stand to gain, while others face a less positive fate. There’s more on NIH in my interview with The Atlantic , and we continue to press for increases for CDC, FDA, AHRQ and NSF. Social,...

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If concerted, long-term investments in research are not made, America will lose an entire generation of young scientists.
Brenda Canine, PhD; McLaughlin Research Institute, Montana