Blog

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

As the Chief Science Officer of the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation (ADDF), I am often asked: what is drug discovery? It is the “innovation engine” that drives breakthroughs in treating diseases. Diseases of the brain, such as Alzheimer’s, are complex. Though the cause of Alzheimer’s isn’t fully understood, scientists continue to uncover new processes that contribute to it. And each new finding into the cause of the disease represents a potential target for drugs to treat it – and an opportunity for innovation. When the ADDF was founded in 1998, the pipeline of drugs in development for Alzheimer’s was limited. The few drugs being developed almost all focused on the same target, beta-...
In the 18 months since former President Barack Obama announced the Cancer Moonshot Initiative (CMI), led by then-Vice President Joseph Biden, great strides have been made in the mission to accelerate the pace of cancer research. Among the goals of the initiative is to increase collaboration between public- and private-sector organizations, and government agencies to develop new methods of targeting cancer. CMI’s emphasis on innovation – specifically immunotherapy – and new approaches to research are especially important for rare cancers such as mesothelioma because traditional research and treatment methods often do not work. Immunotherapy, which uses a person’s own immune system to help...
Dear Research Advocate, It has been a week of reminders about severe health threats facing our nation. At a screening of excerpts from Janet Tobias’ forthcoming film Unseen Enemy , a panel of infectious disease and economic experts sounded the alarm about how devastating the next pandemic could be. The film reminds us that it is not if , but when a pandemic will strike, potentially taking tens of millions of lives around the globe. Juxtapose that reality with this: 1) we are severely underinvesting in the public private partnerships essential to defeating infectious disease worldwide; 2) our nation has no standing fund for rapid response to deadly global health threats; 3) a CDC initiative...
Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) remembers the exact moment when he grasped the gravity of the opioid epidemic. As he prepared to give a speech in Taunton, Massachusetts in 2014, he asked the mayor and police chief what was the biggest issue facing their town. “We’ve lost seven people to overdoses in just the last couple of weeks,” they replied. Two years later, he said, Massachusetts lost 2,000 people to opioid-related deaths. Sen. Markey joined other speakers to discuss this epidemic at the Washington Post’s program Addiction in America co-hosted by Battelle on June 21, 2017. “Unless we put in place the necessary prevention and treatment programs, the epidemic will explode,” he stressed. More...
At the Alzheimer’s Association, we launched a bold campaign titled “The First Survivor.” The ad shares our unwavering vision of achieving a goal that is not yet possible – having someone survive Alzheimer’s disease. Perhaps you’ve seen it. The ad describes a future state – but one that can’t come soon enough for the Alzheimer’s Association or the 5.5 million Americans living with the disease and their families. Today though, Alzheimer’s is fatal. There are no survivors. It is the sixth leading cause of death in the U.S. and the only leading cause that cannot be prevented, cured or even slowed. Since 2000, deaths from Alzheimer’s disease have increased 89 percent; while deaths associated...
Jaime Sanders has suffered from migraines since she was eight-years-old. Despite her chronic pain, she has “always managed to find the strength and will to move forward in life.” Sanders, a patient advocate and blogger, was joined by experts in different areas of migraine research and treatment to discuss the societal burden of this debilitating disease during a Research!America Capitol Hill briefing on June 15, 2017. Walter Koroshetz, M.D., director of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), emphasized how the BRAIN initiative and current research have made significant progress in identifying causes of migraines. The research has led to a treatment currently...
Research!America will host an interactive panel discussion on June 20 titled, A World Without Disease: Can We Get There? , at the BIO International Convention in San Diego, California. During the session, experts from the regulatory, pharmaceutical, and advocacy sectors will discuss the implications of new technologies and the challenges of leveraging limited resources to maximize patient benefit. Research!America’s session will seek to address the question, “how can we capitalize on insights from the biotechnology industry and facilitate a coordinated effort to eradicate disease?”. To do so, Research!America board member William Hait, M.D., Ph.D. , global head at Janssen Research and...
Dear Research Advocate, At this week’s American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) Advocacy Forum, the participants’ energy and determination was palpable as they prepared for a day of meetings with their respective congressional delegations. It was a privilege to address the forum, but I wasn’t the main event. It was more than a little unusual to see David Axelrod and Karl Rove on the same stage; tragically, both have experienced the loss of a parent to suicide. They spoke from the heart and inspired advocates to do the same, counseling them to make - and keep making - the case for investing in research and prevention. Rove emphasized: “Make sure your member of Congress hears about...
“Clinical trial design, cost, regulatory burden and recruitment are some of the challenges associated with clinical research,” said Victor J. Dzau, M.D., president, National Academy of Medicine and Research!America board member. Dzau joined other experts in basic science, clinical and translational research and patient advocacy to explore developments in clinical research during a Research!America Capitol Hill Briefing titled “Innovation Intersection” on June 12, 2017. “We must look at ways to leverage technology and utilize data sharing to make [clinical research] more efficient,” Dzau said. “And, of course, it’s important to shift towards looking at segments of the population, instead of...
Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing (JHU SON) researchers are not only working on innovative research leading to effective interventions for youth and pregnant women in abusive relationships, they are also committed to strengthening their science communication skills. Students, faculty and staff participated in a science communications workshop on June 8, 2017 led by Research!America Vice President of Communications Suzanne Ffolkes and senior manager Anna Briseno. During the workshop, attendees had the opportunity to share information about their current research and practice communication techniques, such as crafting an elevator pitch. “In theory, I know what everyone’s research...

Pages

Luck shouldn't play a role in why I'm alive.
Laurie MacCaskill, a seven-year pancreatic cancer survivor