Research!America

Dear Research Advocate: Ebola remains in the news. In the midst of the demoralizing finger pointing that seems to have taken the place of unity of mission that ought to characterize our nation, we are occasionally reminded that science is a problem solver. That’€™s a useful message to convey if we hope to keep the current politicization from worsening. But more of us have to speak out. Don’€™t stand on the sidelines when you could make a difference at this important time when people are paying much more attention to research than usual. With the election only a little over a week away, take the time to ask candidates a question or two. Email or tweet in questions to debates and contact...
Research!America congratulates this year’s Nobel Prize winners in physiology or medicine, Professor John O’Keefe of the University College London, and May-Britt and Edvard Moser, both of the Norwegian University of Science and Technology. Their discoveries of cells that provide the basis for how the brain maps surrounding space, allowing us to navigate complex environments, may lead to a better understanding of diseases such as Alzheimer’s, which afflicts 44 million people worldwide. O’Keefe, who as a postdoctoral fellow was supported by funding from the National Institutes of Health, made the first discovery of the brain’s “inner GPS” in 1971. The Mosers continued to develop his research,...
Excerpt of a joint op-ed by Research!America President and CEO Mary Woolley and Susan G. Komen President and CEO Judith A. Salerno published in The Huffington Post . February 23, 1954, was a milestone in the history of American medical research. That day, children at Arsenal Elementary School in Pittsburgh lined up to receive injections of a promising vaccine. Within months, schoolchildren all over the country were doing the same, and polio was on its way to being eradicated in the United States. The disease, which had killed and paralyzed children and adults alike, would no longer be a threat. This remarkable achievement would not have been possible without the work of Dr. Jonas Salk and...
Dear Research Advocate: Just when you thought that there is no good news coming from Washington, it looks as though we have a new congressional champion for research. Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) penned a most welcome op-ed in the Asbury Park Press this week. We trust this is just one way he works to convince his constituents and his fellow lawmakers of the high priority the nation should be assigning to research. Championing research can be a heavy lift, since it’€™s no secret that some policymakers don’€™t see why government should have any role in R&D. A recent article in Forbes pushes back. As part of the BRAIN Initiative, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is...
Dear Research Advocate: You have by now heard about the ALS ’€œice bucket’€ challenge (show support for ALS research by dumping a bucket of ice water over your head and/or writing a check for $100 to the ALS Association, then challenge three others to do the same.) Whether viewed as a welcome late-summer distraction from imponderables like conflict in the Middle East, on-going clashes in Ferguson, Mo., or the mounting death toll from Ebola, or, rather, as the emergence of a new kind of advocacy similar to what produced the walks, runs and bike-rides for research that are ubiquitous today, the ’€œice bucket challenge’€ is worthy of attention. I think that public attention to the ’€œice...
By Marilyn Flynn, dean of USC School of Social Work As one of the nation’€™s first schools of social work, the USC School of Social Work is widely recognized as a top-tier graduate program that offers rigorous career preparation for academic, policy, and practice leaders and provides an innovative and supportive environment for research on critical social problems. Researchers at the school are dedicated to exploring the social and behavioral determinants of physical and mental health issues, in addition to translating research findings into real-world strategies to improve the health and well-being of individuals and society. Because medical research is a critical component of this...
Research!America applauds Senator Tom Harkin for taking bold, decisive action to heal fissures in our nation’€™s research pipeline with legislation that will strengthen the National Institutes of Health (NIH) budget over the next six years. The Accelerate Biomedical Research Act will establish a pathway for sustained growth in the NIH budget. That budget has remained virtually stagnant over the last decade, jeopardizing promising research to combat disease and deflating the aspirations of early career scientists. NIH-funded research fuels the development of lifesaving therapies and treatments, and creates opportunities for public-private partnerships to better understand Alzheimer’€™s,...
Dear Research Advocate: Today, Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) ’€” one of the most effective and dedicated champions of medical and health research ever to serve in public office ’€” introduced major new legislation, the Accelerate Biomedical Research Act. This visionary legislation would increase the budget caps in order to boost National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding to $46.2 billion by FY 2021, a strategy for restoring NIH purchasing power without cutting into funding for other national priorities. You can view my statement on the legislation here and our thank you letter to the Senator here . It would be terrific if you would write a letter of support for the legislation and send a...
Dear Research Advocate: My colleagues at Research!America have shared the role as author of our weekly letter during my recent sabbatical. My thanks to them for providing timely and actionable information to our wide network. As I am ’€œre-entering’€ the Washington space, I have been struck by (1) the significantly worse condition of the roads ’€” potholes everywhere, and now even sinkholes in DC! I’€™ve been in several global capitals this spring, including in less-developed countries, and DC doesn’€™t look good in comparison. Via recent domestic travels, I can attest to the poor condition of our roads nationwide, taking a toll on vehicles and our economy, while eroding public confidence...
By Mark A. Reynolds, DDS, PhD, MA, dean of the University of Maryland School of Dentistry The University of Maryland School of Dentistry (UMSOD) is the world’€™s first dental school, founded in 1840 in Baltimore, Maryland. The school has a distinguished history of graduating exceptional dentists and dental hygienists who advance the oral and overall health of patients in Maryland and around the world. Researchers at the School of Dentistry are dedicated to discovering and developing new treatments for diseases. Our scientists are leaders in the fields of oncology, pain and neuroscience, and microbial pathogenesis. UMSOD recognizes that training dental scientists is essential to improve the...

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