research funding

There was a time when people didn’t know that suicide is preventable. Before suicide prevention research began in earnest, people were afraid to even talk about suicide, because they thought they could cause someone to die by suicide if they spoke the word: that it would put the idea in their head, and the person in distress would act on it. The only time the brain was even mentioned was if there was physical damage to the brain as the result of a suicide attempt. People placed social judgments on those with mental health conditions because they didn’t understand that the brain is an organ that can be remedied, just like other organs. Research, a guided process of inquiry, has led us to...
Research!America is hosting a digital advocacy initiative on September 11–12 to urge Congress to #RaisetheCaps during negotiations of the FY18 budget. The 2011 Budget Control Act (BCA) established austerity-level federal spending, and in FY18 the sequestration budget caps or automatic spending cuts for federal agencies will be back in full force. This will tie policymakers’ hands and stall major projects ranging from supercomputers to biohazard labs that researchers need to effectively prevent emerging epidemics, develop the next generation of super materials, and find the links between genes and disease. It is crucial that advocates raise their voices now and convince Congress to #...
Dear Research Advocate: This afternoon I participated in a stimulating forum on “Transformational Imperatives,” hosted by the Stanley Manne Children’s Research Institute at the Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. Board members and friends of the Institute engaged speakers on topics of the moment; in fact, my presentation was all about the moment, i.e., “Research in Context.” Scientific opportunities can be enabled or derailed by our elected representatives, who determine funding and policies-- which is to say, a major part of the ‘context’ of research. While they don’t do their decision-making in a vacuum, it can seem like that, especially when scientists and all of us...
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is the “crown jewel of federal spending,” said Dr. Keith Yamamoto at a Capitol Hill briefing sponsored by the Coalition for the Life Sciences and the Congressional Biomedical Research Caucus on July 14 titled, NIH 101: An Introduction to the National Institutes of Health. Yamamoto, vice chancellor for research at the University of California, San Francisco and Research!America board member, was the featured speaker at the event, sponsored by the Coalition for Life Sciences and the Congressional Biomedical Research Caucus. He discussed the mission and budget of the NIH, as well as the rigorous scientific review process that ensures the budget achieves...
Investing in basic science helps fuel the U.S. economy and society in general. However, as science investments stagnate, there’s a growing concern that other countries will outpace the U.S. in research and development. The American Association for the Advancement of Science hosted a panel discussion February 22 highlighting the benefits of basic research in a new report, “ The Future Postponed 2.0: Why Declining Investment in Basic Research Threatens a U.S. Innovation Deficit . ” The report is a collection of scientific advances written by researchers that highlight the role basic science plays in innovation. “If we don’t make the investments [in research], we short ourselves and even more...
Dear Research Advocate, Tomorrow, our 45th U.S. President will be inaugurated. The challenge and opportunity that President Trump - and all our elected representatives - face is to ensure that the next four years deliver better health, safety and prosperity. I hope President Trump’s inaugural address signals that his Administration will leverage research and innovation to meet our nation’s normative and strategic objectives. With NIH, CDC, AHRQ and FDA under the purview of the Department of Health and Human Services, the new Secretary will influence the nature and pace of medical progress, the capability of our public health infrastructure, and other critical science-relevant variables in...
Dear Research Advocate: While Senate leadership had originally planned to pass a continuing resolution (CR) this week and leave town, negotiations are ongoing. Odds still are that a short-term CR providing $1.1 billion in emergency Zika funding will be signed into law before the 9/30/16 deadline. We’ll keep you posted. The 21st Century Cures Initiative (Cures) is on hold once again. Earlier today, House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton’s (R-MI-06) staff reported progress on a compromise bill crafted to pass both houses of Congress this year, but said it will not be considered until after the elections. Cures advocacy may have a “rock of Sisyphus” feel to it, but there’s...
Hillary Clinton has been clear about her support for vaccines, but Donald Trump appears to be revising his views on immunizations. While supporting vaccination laws established by the states, Gary Johnson thinks the federal government should be allowed to intervene if there is a national or regional health concern. Jill Stein is concerned about declining vaccinations rates and has a plan to reverse it. The presidential candidates’ thoughts on vaccinations and 19 other science-related questions were released last Tuesday by ScienceDebate.org. Trump suggested a year ago at a GOP debate there’s a link between vaccinations and autism, giving an example of a 2 ½ year old child who developed a...
Cancer researchers hope support for the Cancer Moonshot will speed the pace of discovery of life-saving technologies. Speakers at a Capitol Hill briefing held Thursday, September 15, agreed that the moonshot could heighten awareness of the importance of sustained federal funding for cancer research. The briefing, hosted by the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering, focused on advances in cancer research that hope to someday replace current treatments such as radiation and chemotherapy. As a result of current therapies, cancer has on average seen a decline in incidence and mortality. However, this is not true of all cancers, said Dr. Krishna Kandarpa, director of research...
Dear Research Advocate: First, it is not too late to sign up for our webinar, The Microbiome Initiative: A Closer Look , which will take place tomorrow , September 16, from 1:00 to 1:30 ET. I am not surprised that interest is strong in this program, which features Dr. Stefano Bertuzzi, CEO of the American Society for Microbiology. Please join us! I was in New York following the birth of my grandson (Ferdinand, 8 pounds, 14 ounces!) and missed our National Health Research Forum last week; however, I watched the video and the panel discussions were absolutely terrific! From the need for a standing public health emergency fund that grounds threat response in pragmatism rather than politics, to...

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We have health challenges in this country that science will provide answers for if given the chance and we haven't given science that opportunity
Mary Woolley, President and CEO, Research!America