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Research!America is dedicated to ensuring a strong public and private sector investment in research to improve health at a level warranted by scientific opportunity and supported by public opinion. Each blog post aims to inform readers about the health and economic benefits of research.  

Recent Blog Posts

Dear Research Advocate: Last Friday, I attended the 2017 Lasker Awards luncheon. The awards program honors the legacy of Mary Lasker, who once crisply noted: “If you think research is expensive, try disease!” I was struck by Lasker Laureate John Schiller’s provocative observation in his acceptance remarks that ensuring the “nurturing stream” of a robust science infrastructure may be more important than celebrating outstanding individual scientists. I take his point and am glad there is room to celebrate both, and it is certainly true to Mary Lasker’s legacy that our community advocates for both -- for the institutions and policies and funding that make science possible, and for the...
Dear Research Advocate: At our 2017 National Health Research Forum last week, three expert panels provided “Straight Talk” about what it means to drive research to achieve a disease-free world; how our country can face-down public health crises like the opioid epidemic; and what we can do to improve the R&D pipeline. The room was filled to capacity, more than 1,300 people across the country tuned in via live-stream, and we even trended on Twitter! We are so grateful to the participants - speakers, panelists, moderators, sponsors and audience - for making this an event that has staying power and consistently seeds new thinking. Check out the recap of the event. As our Forum was in full...
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: I am sending this week’s letter a day earlier than usual to urge you to take part (if not in person, then by livestream ) in our 2017 National Health Research Forum titled “Is a ‘Disease-Free’ World Within Reach?” tomorrow, September 7th, at 11:30 am EST. It’s an opportunity to hear from thought leaders across the research ecosystem on topics ranging from opioid addiction to FDA priorities to organs-on-a-chip. While the Forum has reached in-person seating capacity, it will be livestreamed by WebMD; tune in here . Earlier today, the Senate Labor-H Appropriations Subcommittee, the jurisdiction of which includes NIH, CDC and AHRQ, passed their FY18 bill out of...
The September 2017 of The Research Advocate is now online. Highlights from this month's issue: For every tragedy, communities come together to aid those in need. Many research institutions and health organizations are in full response mode as they offer resources to those affected by Hurricane Harvey. Research!America’s National Health Research Forum will focus on potential solutions in panel discussions Thursday, September 7, 11:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. ET, at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. Experts representing academia, patient groups, government, industry and scientific societies will discuss what it will take to make dramatic strides against deadly and debilitating health threats. With...
Dear Research Advocate: The devastation wreaked by Hurricane Harvey is heartbreaking. Federal science agencies and individual members of the scientific community across the nation are stepping up to lend a hand. It is truly gratifying to see the outpouring of support among those in the research and public health communities, aiding institutions and residents impacted by the floods. The American Diabetes Association , JDRF, the Endocrine Society, American Public Health Association (APHA), and PhRMA are among our many member organizations sending medicines, equipment and resources to hard-hit areas. A timely National Academies report chaired by Research!America board member Georges Benjamin,...
Health care has always fascinated me. Florence Nightingale was my first hero and I was probably about eight when I started reading books on the bubonic plague for fun; but what fascinated me most was the experiences my family and I had with health care. As a high-level gymnast, I was fortunate to receive comprehensive health care from a very young age. My sports medicine doctor prescribed more than pain relievers and ace bandages. He prescribed strength and conditioning exercises, diet modifications, sports psychologists and even tricks for falling asleep at night. Outside of sports medicine, I did not always observe this level of care. Most notably, when I was 13 I accompanied my mom to a...
The Total Solar Eclipse of 2017 was not only riveting, it was a reminder that Americans are as enraptured as ever by science. The challenge is not to convince the public that scientific exploration is meaningful, it is to convince them that scientific exploration is at risk. Which brings me back, inevitably, to the federal budget. When they return from August recess, members of Congress face formidable budget challenges: to prevent default, they need to raise the debt limit. To prevent a government shutdown, they need to pass an FY18 budget bill. There are only 12 days in September when both houses of Congress are in session, and President Trump needs to sign these bills (or a combined bill...
On September 13-14, advocates from across the country will gather in Washington D.C. to connect with policymakers for discussions on the life-saving research funded by federal investments. The Rally for Medical Research was founded in 2013 as a result of budget sequestration, the automatic spending cuts enacted across all federal government agencies, including the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The Rally brings researchers and advocates to Capitol Hill to discuss the economic and health impact of research supported by the NIH. Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK), chair of the House Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations Subcommittee, will speak to advocates September 14 just before they head to Capitol...

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Public sentiment is everything. With public sentiment, nothing can fail; without it nothing can succeed.
Abraham Lincoln