Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN) will be honored with the Edwin C. Whitehead Award for Medical Research Advocacy for his longstanding commitment to research for health including his leadership in securing passage of the 21st Century Cures Act in the U.S. Senate. Kathy Bates, award-winning actress and Lymphatic Education & Research Network (LE&RN) spokesperson, will receive Research!America’s Isadore Rosenfeld Award for Impact on Public Opinion for raising the visibility of lymphedema and lymphatic diseases and advocating tirelessly on behalf of the patient community. The awards will be presented to Sen. Alexander, Ms. Bates and other distinguished honorees at Research!America’s Advocacy Awards Dinner on Wednesday, March 15, 2017 at the Mellon Auditorium in Washington, D.C.
“Last year, Congress passed into law 21st Century Cures, a bill that Senate Majority Leader McConnell called, ‘the most important legislation of the year.' It will help us take advantage of the breathtaking advances in biomedical research and bring those innovations to doctors’ offices and patients’ medicine cabinets across the nation. It will help make better health possible for virtually every American, and I look forward to continuing our bipartisan work in committee this Congress on behalf of American families,” said Sen. Alexander.
As Chairman and as Ranking Member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor & Pensions (HELP) Committee, Sen. Alexander shepherded legislation crucial to the discovery, development and delivery of new medical advances, including the Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act (FDASIA) and the 21st Century Cures Act. He also played a critical role in securing a $2 billion increase in the budget of the National Institutes of Health in FY16 and in ensuring annual increases in the National Science Foundation budget.
Ms. Bates is a spokesperson of the Lymphatic Education & Research Network (LE&RN), an internationally recognized non-profit fighting lymphedema and lymphatic disease through education, research and advocacy. She has publicly shared her fight with lymphedema, a chronic progressive lymphatic disease that results in disfiguring swelling in one or more parts of the body. An estimated 10 million Americans and 150 million people worldwide suffer from lymphatic diseases.
Other 2017 Research!America Advocacy Award honorees are Anthony S. Fauci, M.D., director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) at the NIH, who will receive the Legacy Award; Phillip A. Sharp, Ph.D., Nobel Laureate and Institute Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Leland H. Hartwell, Ph.D., Nobel Laureate and co-director of the Center for Sustainable Health at Arizona State University’s Biodesign Institute and Virginia G. Piper Chair of Personalized Medicine; and The Lupus Foundation of America. The Gordon and Llura Gund Leadership Award will be announced in the coming weeks.