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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

October 10, 2012 We congratulate Dr. Robert Lefkowitz and Dr. Brian Kobilka on the announcement of the Nobel Prize in chemistry for their groundbreaking work on protein receptors, paving the way for the development of new drugs to halt the rampage of disease. Patients benefit from unwavering commitment to putting research to work. Lefkowitz, an investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and professor at Duke University Medical Center, and Kobilka of Stanford University School of Medicine, have demonstrated that scientific discovery is the result of painstaking work supported by both the public and private sector. Throughout their careers, both have received government funding for...
On October 11 th , World Sight Day , the World Health Organization will raise awareness about visual impairment around the world, as well as their Vision 2020 initiative aimed at eliminating avoidable blindness by 2020. WHO estimates that 285 million people worldwide are visually impaired and about 39 million of those individuals are permanently blind. However, up to 80% of these cases are due to preventable causes like cataracts, glaucoma, diabetes, trachoma and onchocerciasis. The last two causes on that list may not sound familiar ’€“ trachoma and onchocerciasis are two types of neglected tropical diseases (NTDs), diseases that have historically received little attention despite...
On September 30, The Washington Post highlighted efforts in Haiti to eliminate lymphatic filariasis, commonly known as elephantiasis. A neglected tropical disease (NTD), elephantiasis is a parasitic infection spread by mosquitoes that can lead to swelling of the arms or legs ’€” sometimes severely enough that individuals with the disease are stigmatized or unable to work. The good news is that elephantiasis can be prevented with anti-parasitic medicines. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Agency for International Development’€™s NTD program have taken a leadership role in administering these drugs in countries that are affected by elephantiasis. U.S. public health...
We don’t usually link to blogs that focus on Baylor University’s athletic teams, but today is as good as any. The manager of the Our Daily Bears blog, Mark C. Moore, wrote a heartrending post on his young son’s diagnosis and prognosis with spinal muscular atrophy . Shortly after William was born, a friend remarked that he looked like a ragdoll in his mother’s arms; the comment stuck with Mark and Beth, his wife. They called a doctor, who was able to see them on October 4, 2011; that was the beginning of a journey that led to teams of doctors at both Children’s Medical Center (in Dallas) and UT Southwestern. The 1-year anniversary was the occasion for the blog post. The SMA Foundation notes...
Brian Vastag, science reporter at The Washington Post, recently found himself infected with the very disease he had been reporting on for months: West Nile virus. Detailing the raging fevers, interrupted sleep patterns and tingling in his arms and feet, he called himself a ’€œWest Nile zombie.’€ Brian’€™s story highlights the importance of research to develop new prevention, diagnostic and treatment methods for West Nile virus. It took eight weeks and several doctors before an infectious-disease specialist was able to correctly diagnose him with West Nile. Once diagnosed, he still had to endure the fevers, joint aches, headaches and interrupted work and simply wait for the virus to go away...
Dear Research Advocate, The first presidential debate gave us little to go on regarding research for health. Americans are dying to know more ’€“ many, quite literally dying ’€“ about what either presidential candidate would do to speed up medical progress in the face of Alzheimer’€™s disease, Parkinson’€™s disease, ALS and the host of other disabling and deadly health threats that breed suffering, compromise independence and drive spiraling health care costs. Add to that the pivotal role medical innovation plays in our economy, and Americans absolutely deserve to know whether candidates will champion or shortchange it. All of us must say to candidates: Tell us what you will do, share your...
October 3, 2012 The first Presidential debate was a missed opportunity for the candidates to outline a vision for putting research and innovation to work to improve health and strengthen the economy. Fleeting references to science and research failed to give voters confidence in this regard. We learned some things in this debate, but we are still — many of us literally — dying to know what either candidate will do to assure that research for health will be a priority for this nation. Without medical progress, driven by research and innovation, there will be no chance of controlling health care costs or assuring our nation’s continued leadership in the life sciences. We strongly urge the...
Diane Rehm; John F. Crowley ; Dr. John Mendelsohn; Dr. Mark Rosenberg; and California Institute for Regenerative Medicine to Receive 2013 Research!America Advocacy Awards WASHINGTON-October 2, 2012 - Research!America’s 17 th annual Advocacy Awards will convene leaders from government, academia, industry and health advocacy organizations to honor leading medical and health research advocates of our time. The event will take place on the evening of Wednesday, March 13, 2013, at the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium in Washington, DC. The 2013 Advocacy Award winners are Diane Rehm, author and host of WAMU 88.5 and NPR’s “The Diane Rehm Show;” John F. Crowley, patient advocate and inspirational...
On September 29 th , World Heart Day , the global health community will raise awareness about cardiovascular disease (CVD). Cardiovascular diseases range from heart failure, meaning the heart is not pumping enough blood, to a heart attack, which happens when blood vessels are damaged and blood flow to the heart is blocked. An estimated 17.3 million people died from CVD in 2008 and over 80% of all CVD deaths occur in low and middle income countries. This year, we are also raising awareness of one of CVD’€™s ’€œhidden causes’€ : neglected tropical diseases (NTDs), and of the research necessary to combat these killers. A group of parasitic and bacterial infections that disproportionately...
Dear Research Advocate, The first presidential debate will be held Wednesday, October 3 at the University of Denver. This debate will likely be the only one in which health issues are discussed: Will the candidates talk about research and innovation in that context? This is our chance to speak up, whether they do (bravo!) or don’€™t (why not??). While watching, include the Twitter handle for the debates (@NewsHour) in your tweets, and afterwards, send a letter to the editor of your local paper. This is the final phase of our Your Candidates - Your Health voter education initiative. We know from experience over the years that all of us ’€“ stakeholders and advocates for research ’€“ become...

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