On April 22, I will be at the March for Science Los Angeles, engaging with fellow scientists and advocates as a biochemist and communications intern with Research!America, a nonprofit advocacy alliance, to raise awareness about the important and exciting biomedical research taking place across the country and the need for increased federal funding. The march is a celebration of the countless ways in which research and innovation impacts society and touches our daily lives. As a graduate student in biochemistry, I conducted federally-funded research at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth College, studying component parts to recreate the molecular machines that are at work inside our...
Dear Research Advocate, OMB has recommended cuts to FY17 appropriations , which would precede, if you will, the proposed FY18 cuts. As noted in our statement , these proposed cuts contradict worthy goals the President established for his tenure in office. They also fly in the face of public opinion. Fortunately, it appears Congress is not playing ball . Please use this editable message to say no to reductions and yes to passage of an FY17 omnibus bill. Reliable sources say the bill includes a $2 billion boost for NIH, as well as increases for CDC, FDA and NSF. The media is chock-full of commentary and quotes supporting investment in research and public health. A masterful Washington Post op...
March has been National Autoimmune Disease Awareness month, a month dedicated to increasing awareness and bringing greater focus to the myriad of immune diseases that affect more than 50 million Americans. At Janssen, we are focused on deepening our understanding of such complex diseases and advancing science to discover and develop innovative therapies for people living with immunologic diseases, while we also work toward a future where we hope to eliminate many of these devastating diseases altogether. I was honored to be part of a panel discussion on March 15th at the Research!America 28th Annual Meeting of Members in Washington, D.C. on the topic of lupus, an immune-mediated disease...
Dear Research Advocate, Just as attention was shifting to the FY18 budget year, we are hearing that a year-long continuing resolution is not a forgone conclusion for FY17. We understand that the pending FY17 omnibus package includes a $2 billion increase for NIH as well as increases for CDC, NSF and FDA (unfortunately not AHRQ). This is a tight window of opportunity -- members of Congress must hear from you now in support of passing an FY17 omnibus bill. As for FY18, as I noted last week, the President’s budget blueprint proposed deep cuts to NIH and our other research agencies. Since then, the high volume of bipartisan cries of outrage may signal better funding outcomes in Congress,...
Public support for medical and health research remains strong even during times of transition in government. In the newly released America Speaks , Vol. 17, Research!America’s compilation of recent public opinion survey data, 80 percent of Americans say it’s important for President Trump to assign a high priority to putting health research and innovation to work to assure continued medical progress. A majority of Americans (52%) are also willing to pay $1 per week more in taxes if they were certain that all of the money would be spent on additional medical research. The survey booklet covers a variety of topics including public opinion on national priorities for 2017, research and public...
Dear Research Advocate, Wow- yesterday was a whirlwind of activity! Despite the snow on Tuesday, Research!America’s Annual Meeting of Members and Advocacy Awards Dinner were both well-attended and a roaring success! Thanks to all of you who joined us. The archived link of the annual meeting can be found here and here are photos of the awards dinner. More to come on the day’s events, but business first: the president’s “skinny budget” was released this morning. The proposed budget (emphasis on “proposed!”) cuts $15.1B from HHS, $5.8 billion of that from NIH alone. It eliminates the Fogarty Center at NIH, and AHRQ would be subsumed into the Institutes, a mistake on the face of it that is...
“As you’re advocating for research dollars, make sure you make it personal. Insightful stories, emotional stories, those things work,” said Rep. David McKinley (R-WV-01) during Research!America’s 28th Annual Meeting of Members held at the Willard Intercontinental Hotel in Washington, D.C., on March 15. McKinley, who lost his mother to Alzheimer’s, praised research programs like the National Institutes of Health (NIH) BRAIN initiative. “We know that the NIH supports over 400 thousand jobs across America. Every year NIH writes grants for $32 billion. That’s significant,” McKinley said. “So we’ve actually seen a very positive impact from what the NIH has done. [But] it’s not just creating jobs...
“We are on the cusp of a major breakthrough in medical progress, this is not a time to let up, it’s a time to redouble our efforts,” said Joe Biden , 47th Vice President of the United States, in his remarks at Research!America’s 21st Advocacy Awards Dinner on March 15. “We can make sure many more chronic diseases don’t cost you your life, but only if we break down barriers. I see the day a patient is given the right therapy the first time when they are diagnosed. I see the day when prevention is more effective, and where care is personalized and more effective with less side effects.” Former Vice President Biden received the Gordon and Llura Gund Leadership Award for his commitment to...
This article is the last in a series highlighting the accomplishments of Research!America’s 2017 Advocacy Award honorees who will be saluted at a dinner in Washington, D.C., on March 15. More details can be found here . An estimated 10 million Americans live with lymphedema—that is more than those living with multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, ALS (Lou Gherig’s disease), AIDS and Parkinson’s disease combined. Yet, despite its prevalence, lymphedema (LE) does not receive the wide-spread attention and federal support like other diseases. Kathy Bates, award winning actress and Lymphatic Education & Research Network (LE&RN) spokesperson, is raising awareness for lymphedema. “You...
This article is the sixth in a series highlighting the accomplishments of Research!America’s 2017 Advocacy Award honorees who will be saluted at a dinner in Washington, D.C., on March 15. More details can be found here . Nearly 1.7 million Americans were diagnosed with cancer last year. National expenditures for care are estimated to rise to $156 billion in 2020. Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the United States, claiming more than half-a-million lives each year. Joseph R. Biden, Jr., 47 th Vice President of the United States, is leading efforts to accelerate the pace of cancer research through collaboration and innovative partnerships, and has been hailed as the driving...

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Funding research gives all of us a better chance of living a healthier life.
Pam Hirata, heart disease survivor