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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

One in five Americans suffer from mental illness but less than half receive treatment. Teresa Pasquini, whose son was diagnosed with schizophrenia at age 16, spoke about the difficulties in accessing treatment at a program about mental health at the Newseum in Washington D.C. on July 18 sponsored by The Hill . “He has fallen through every crack of our system,” Pasquini said. “We are dealing with a system of lucks and heroics rather than a continuous system of care.” Pasquini, an advocate for mental health, joined federal and state leaders, health officials, caregivers and academics for the discussion titled, The State of Mental Health: Challenges and Solutions, supported by Janssen...
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is the “crown jewel of federal spending,” said Dr. Keith Yamamoto at a Capitol Hill briefing sponsored by the Coalition for the Life Sciences and the Congressional Biomedical Research Caucus on July 14 titled, NIH 101: An Introduction to the National Institutes of Health. Yamamoto, vice chancellor for research at the University of California, San Francisco and Research!America board member, was the featured speaker at the event, sponsored by the Coalition for Life Sciences and the Congressional Biomedical Research Caucus. He discussed the mission and budget of the NIH, as well as the rigorous scientific review process that ensures the budget achieves...
The July/August 2017 Research Advocate is now online . Highlights from this month: A recap of congressional briefings hosted by Research!America on the societal burden of migraine, and advances in clinical research. Leaders in government, industry, patient advocacy and academia will be among the panelists for Research!America’s 2017 National Health Research Forum on Thursday, September 7 at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. Registration is now open for the Forum. Research!America President and CEO Mary Woolley explained why scientists should be actively engaged as advocates during a session at the American Society for Microbiology (ASM) Microbe 2017 conference. Congressman Tom Cole (R-OK),...
Addiction susceptibility, pain management, and opioid alternatives research emerged as themes in a program July 13 aimed at combatting the opioid epidemic. Policymakers, public health experts, and advocates discussed these and related topics during Roll Call Live’s event, Fighting the Opioid Crisis, in Washington D.C. Representative Ann McLane Kuster (NH) cited several studies conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on addiction research. The study found that using opioids for 30 days after prescription resulted in 35% of users still using opioids a year later, she said. “We don’t have the research for the physician to know of those [patients]...coming in the door...
Dear Research Advocate, Former Congressman John Porter, Research!America’s esteemed Chair Emeritus, does not mince words in his Washington Post LTE today, cautioning against state-level education policies that could be misused to subvert science education. Treating knowledge that has been affirmed by years of scientific exploration as negotiable jeopardizes our nation’s ability to meet the challenges and seize the opportunities before us. It is a path to decline rather than progress. We cannot afford to shy away from straight talk about misguided policies. Fortunately for our nation, John never does. This afternoon, the House Labor-H Subcommittee, formerly chaired by Mr. Porter, “marked up...
Dry Eye Disease (DED) is on the rise, yet the research to find new treatments for the condition remains underfunded, says Dr. David Sullivan, founder of the Tear Film & Ocular Surface Society (TFOS). Experts gathered for a briefing in Washington, D.C. on July 12 to discuss the upcoming TFOS Dry Eye Workshop II (TFOS DEWS II™) report which will be released in The Ocular Surface journal in late July. Dr. Paul Karpecki, moderator of the briefing says, “increased computer screen time” has played a role in the increased prevalence of dry eye disease. Epidemiologist Dr. Susan Vitale said other risk factors for developing dry eye include sex, age, and use of contact lenses. Dr. Janine Austin-...
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...
Dear Research Advocate, House leaders will likely act soon after the July 4 recess to pass an FY18 budget resolution. No word on when the Senate might act. Reportedly, the House budget resolution would instruct appropriators to spend more on defense than in FY17, significantly more, in fact, than is allowed under the defense “sequestration cap” established by the 2011 Budget Control Act (BCA). In contrast, non-defense discretionary (NDD) spending would be limited to a level at least $5 billion below the NDD budget cap. This increase in defense and decrease in NDD spending is actually more “moderate” than the $54 billion reallocation proposed in the president’s budget. And neither the...
Eradicating disease seems like an elusive pipe dream but not if you ask Donna Cryer , president and CEO of the Global Liver Institute. “9,000 days ago, doctors told me I had seven days to live,” said Cryer. “I believe in our ability to continually adapt and innovate and conquer disease”. Cryer was joined by Research!America board member Dr. William Hait, global head, Janssen Research and Development, and fellow board member Dr. Mark McClellan, director, Duke-Robert J. Margolis Center for Health Policy, Duke University for an interactive panel discussion titled, A World Without Disease: Can We Get There? , at the BIO International Conference in San Diego, California on June 20. Research!...

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