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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

Research!America and the Executive and Professional Education program at George Washington University's School of Media and Public Affairs (SMPA) co-hosted the two-day workshop, “Connecting the Dots: Effectively Communicating Science to non-scientists,” on April 13-14 at the Milken School of Public Health on the campus of George Washington University in Washington, D.C. Read the summary here and view the photos here .
Dear Research Advocate: Yesterday, as most Americans paid their 2014 taxes, Congress faced and missed a different deadline: finding common ground between the House and Senate’s budgets to create conference agreement on the budget resolution which informs the top-line numbers for the appropriations process. While the budget resolution is largely symbolic, it absolutely sets the tone for the political and policy machinations that fund federal agencies and programs. One of Research!America’s priorities is to assure that Senate Amendment No. 1099, offered by Senator Jerry Moran (R-KS) and passed on a bipartisan basis in the Senate budget, is included in the conference budget. The amendment,...
April is National Minority Health Month. This year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) are highlighting efforts to eliminate health disparities with the theme 30 Years of Advancing Health Equity, The Heckler Report: A force for Ending Disparities in America . Health disparity refers to a systematic difference in the health status of populations, often measured by mortality, disability, or morbidity, and caused by various personal, social, and environmental factors. The existence and challenges of health disparities among racial and ethnic groups in the United States were first acknowledged in the Heckler Report in 1985...
Dear Research Advocate: The short answer to what defense and public health have in common is that they are critical long-term investments for the nation. We have been hearing a lot of talk about funding increased investment in defense by taking it "off budget," and now former House Majority Leader, Eric Cantor, is calling for the same approach for investment in research. Cantor made the case today in the Huffington Post for increasing non-defense discretionary spending, specifically by increasing scientific and medical research, citing the “stimulative” economic power of innovation and basic research. Former Majority Leader Cantor’s call may resonate particularly strongly in the current...
This week, communities across the country are celebrating National Public Health Week . This annual observance recognizes the invaluable work public health professionals contribute to keeping our communities healthy and safe. It also reminds us of the importance of prevention in ensuring the health of our nation. We face a growing burden of chronic disease that is clearly unsustainable. Largely preventable conditions like heart disease, diabetes and stroke are taking too great a toll in lives and investments lost. We must reduce rates of disease and disability if we hope to create a healthier nation. Conducting research that promotes health and prevents disease is an important step in the...
Dear Research Advocate: You may have seen this week’s 60 Minutes segment on an experimental therapy at Duke University targeting glioblastoma, an aggressive brain cancer. Like the PBS documentary based on Siddhartha Mukherjee’s "The Emperor of All Maladies," the 60 Minutes report conveys the gravity of the cancer threat - the unimaginable emotional and physical toll it takes - and the power of science to fight back. The media gets a bad rap - sometimes deserved - for sensationalizing, trivializing, and generally making mincemeat of good science. The negative consequences can be enormous, leading to science skepticism that bleeds into counterproductive public policy. But just as often the...
Dear Research Advocate: The House Republican budget resolution passed that chamber yesterday: it does not make research a priority. Today the Senate has begun its “vote-a-rama,” during which a plethora of amendments will be offered before a final vote on the Senate Republican budget resolution, with an outcome likely similar to the House. (Note that while the budget process does not lead - at least not directly - to any changes in federal law, it does provide important insight into issues that are top of mind for federal policymakers.) Several amendments relevant to robust U.S. R&D are scheduled to be considered in the Senate during this process. These include proposed amendments...
Neglected tropical diseases, or NTDs, affect over 12 million people in the U.S. and 1.4 billion people worldwide, yet have historically received little attention. Closely linked to poverty, these diseases are often disabling or fatal if left untreated. Despite their name, they also affect a large population of those living outside the tropics, including those living in the southern U.S. Researchers at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy have created a competition for undergraduate and graduate students to bring attention to NTDs. Comprised of two challenges, this program is an innovative way to start the conversation on how best to combat diseases not given enough attention...
As p art of the 19th Annual Research!America Advocacy Awards dinner in Washington DC last week, I was honored to help acknowledge outstanding champions of medical research including Robin Roberts, Michael Milken, Dr. Kenneth Olden, David Van Andel and Dr. George Vande Woude, the Society for Neuroscience, as well as House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) and Representative Diane DeGette (D-CO). Their efforts to advance policy, funding, or research – all of which are critical to meeting our goal of increasing health research for the ultimate benefit of humankind – are making a significant difference in the lives of millions fighting cancer, neurological and infectious...
Dear Research Advocate: Was it the luck of the Irish that brought together a remarkable lineup of celebrities, members of Congress, advocates, researchers and patients for a stunning showcase of advocacy for cancer research? No luck needed. It would be difficult to identify a goal more compelling than conquering a constellation of diseases that cause more than 589,000 deaths in the U.S. each year. On Tuesday, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, Stand Up to Cancer, ACT for NIH and Merck launched the One Degree campaign . This initiative, which reminds us that we are all just one degree away from cancer and other devastating diseases, aims to increase research funding at NIH by...

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