Growing up in a rural community in upstate New York, I was not exposed to academic research at a young age. I knew I wanted to learn about diseases and the development of new treatments, even if I didn’t quite know exactly what that looked like at the time. A scholarship supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF) made it possible for me to attend Clarkson University in Potsdam, New York where I studied biology and chemistry. The Ronald E. McNair Scholarship, a STEM program that provides under-represented populations with access to research, provided funding for my studies at the University of Rochester where I worked in the Gorbunova laboratory studying the obscure naked mole rats...
Dear Research Advocate, Recently, I joined hundreds of attendees at the Aspen Institute’s annual Spotlight Health program. One recurring theme was the power of data to drive medical progress. David Blumenthal, president of the Commonwealth Fund, called digitized data a “natural resource; a pool that lies under the surface waiting to be extracted, refined and delivered [for better health and health care.]” There was encouragement for more of us to become ‘data donors’ -- when we are healthy as well as when we are ill -- to help speed research and innovation. But significant obstacles to effectively ‘mining’ our data must be overcome. Technology is no longer a formidable one. Data privacy...

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Without research, there is no hope.
The Honorable Paul G. Rogers