Federal health and science agencies made great strides in 2016 to combat some of the nation’s most pressing health challenges and improve science literacy among the public. Among the achievements, the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) clinical advances in blood pressure management, age-related macular degeneration, and malaria research. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) worked tirelessly to fight antibiotic resistance, opioid addiction, cancer and other health threats. The National Science Foundation (NSF) supported and highlighted the work of numerous scientists, including one astronomer who stressed the importance of fostering scientific literacy, particularly among...
Dear Research Advocate, Happy New Year! As I contemplate my list of New Year’s resolutions, I know there will be additions even after January 1st. I look forward to the wealth of opportunity for positive change in 2017. My first resolution is to engage -- and encourage and assist other stakeholders to engage -- with our elected representatives in 2017. The new year and the new President and Congress will bring changes we can count on, but outcomes that are unclear. For instance, the President-elect has placed significant emphasis on strengthening our nation’s infrastructure. One clear weakness in that infrastructure shows itself when infectious disease outbreaks threaten the public health...
As 2016 comes to a close, we’re taking a look back at our 10 most popular blog posts (based on page views) for the year! The posts cover a wide range of topics including basic and clinical research, public health, mental health and the 21 st Century Cures legislation. We thank our distinguished group of guest bloggers including young researchers, academics, industry experts, public health professionals, and patient advocates who are united in their support for stronger investments in research and innovation to combat diseases and build a safer, healthier nation. 1) NIH Plan to Expedite Lupus Treatments and Cures January 29 : In our most-read post of the year, Sandra C. Raymond, president...
Dear Research Advocate, As I reflect on the accomplishments of the year for advocacy for research and innovation, the passage of the 21st Century Cures Act is foremost in my mind, but more work lies ahead as it is executed and more work broadly speaking, to ensure that research for health -- and science and innovation overall -- is treated as a top national priority for the incoming Administration and Congress. I discussed this at UConn’s Connecticut Institute for Clinical and Translational Science (CICATS) Kavli Seminar last week, emphasizing that all of us who care about our scientific enterprise must step up our engagement with decision-makers. I invite you to view the presentation or...
Smoking rates, the number of uninsured Americans, and preventable hospitalizations among Medicare beneficiaries are all down, according to United Heath Foundation’s latest America’s Health Rankings report. But those gains are undercut by a sharp rise in obesity and deaths from drug- and cardiovascular-related ailments. The 2016 report shows a 9% increase in drug deaths over the past five years, and a 4% increase in drug deaths over the past year alone nationwide. This is in part attributed to a growing opioid epidemic that lawmakers on both sides of the political aisle hope to stem with $500 million in funds from the new 21 st Century Cures Act. Cardiovascular deaths also increased, for the...
Congressional passage of the 21 st Century Cures bill “is proof that advocacy works,” says Research!America president and CEO Mary Woolley. She stressed the importance of scientists cultivating relationships with the new Administration and new Congress to increase support for the scientific enterprise during a presentation at the University of Connecticut on December 16. The presentation, titled “Your Role in Changing Hearts and Minds for Science,” was part of a seminar series organized by the Connecticut Institute for Clinical and Translational Science (CICATS) and supported by a grant from the Kavli Foundation . CICATS is a partnership between the University of Connecticut, regional...
Dear Research Advocate, On Tuesday, I had the great honor of attending the bill signing for the 21st Century Cures Act (21stCC). It was particularly meaningful that this bill crossed the finish line during Vice President Biden’s tenure. His determination to deliver other families from the cancer tragedy experienced by his own lent a special strength to our collective efforts over a protracted period of congressional debate. If we continue to channel the Vice President’s level of commitment and determination, we can ensure that achieving faster medical progress remains at the forefront of national priorities. As you know (but it never hurts to reaffirm), it is important, but not sufficient,...
New leadership in the White House means new leadership in key government positions such as those at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), which houses the Transdisciplinary Collaborative Centers ( TCC ) for Health Disparities Research Program. Through this program, the TCC supports academic, community, and government coalitions that research social determinants and analyze various health- or non-health-related policies that affect health disparities. Social determinants, such as education, income, and community conditions — which are often tied to race and ethnicity — play a significant role in why certain communities experience higher rates of infant mortality , diabetes , stroke ,...
In an exclusive Q&A, Lynn Goldman, M.D., MPH, Michael and Lori Milken Dean of Milken Institute School of Public Health at the George Washington University talks to Research!America about the achievements and gaps in the field of public health . You’ve published a paper as part of the Institute of Medicine’s Vital Directions initiative that says we have a long way to go to strengthen our public health system. Why is a strong public health system so important? Despite the fact that we spend a disproportionate amount of our GDP per capita on health and health care in this country, we do not enjoy the highest level of health as measured by basic metrics like life expectancy and infant...
Tweet Follow @ResearchAmerica Six science-savvy teams comprised of researchers from around the globe are currently in the running for a grand prize of $230,000 to develop new big data methods for advancing biomedical research. The two-phased Open Science Prize contest was made possible through a collaboration between the National Institutes of Health (NIH) , the Wellcome Trust and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute . During the first phase, the teams received prize money to help create tools or services that could be used to tackle important issues in biomedicine and improve health. They designed prototypes to address subjects such as neuroimaging, rare diseases, mental and neurological...

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Laurie MacCaskill, a seven-year pancreatic cancer survivor