Newsletter

The Research Advocate, our award-winning membership newsletter, provides the latest news and information on medical, health and scientific research advocacy, as well as reports from Research!America and member organizations. Regular features include policy articles, profiles of Research!America members, media coverage of research advocacy issues, a column by Research!America President and CEO Mary Woolley, and important updates to help our members in their own efforts to make research to improve health a higher national priority.

From Research!America

Federal Policy Update: 21st Century Cures Passes House While Appropriations Work Continues

The 21st Century Cures Act (H.R. 6) passed the House with a strong bipartisan vote of 344-77 on July 10. Research!America worked closely with Chairman Frank Upton (R-MI), Ranking Member Diana DeGette (D-CO), and alliance members to fight for the embattled mandatory funding in the bill. The house-passed measure includes $8.75 billion in mandatory funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and $550 million for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The Senate’s companion “Innovation Initiative” is expected to pick up steam in July.  While it will an uphill battle, Reps. Upton and DeGette still hope a final bill can be signed by the President before the end of the fiscal year.   

On the appropriations front, even though the House and Senate “Labor-H” allocation for fiscal year 2016 is $3.6 billion lower than in FY 15, the House bill would increase NIH funding by $1.1 billion.  The Senate bill would go even farther, increasing NIH funding by $2 billion. The House Labor-H bill would also provide increased funding for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), but that is where the good news ends. The House bill would eliminate the Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality (AHRQ).The Senate bill would cut funding for AHRQ by over thirty percent and reduce funding for CDC.  We do not expect further action on the Labor-H bill in the House, and Senate Democrats have pledged to block all appropriations bills until the Majority agrees to negotiate relief from the stringent discretionary funding caps imposed as part of the 2011 Budget Control Act.

The House Commerce, Justice, Science (CJS) Appropriations bill (H.R. 2578) would increase National Science Foundation (NSF) funding by just 0.7 percent, $357 million less than the President’s budget, and impose directorate-levels cuts that tie the agency’s hands and jeopardize social, behavioral and economic research.  This legislation, which passed the House in June on a party line vote, tracks closely to the NSF provisions in the House-passed America COMPETES Reauthorization Act (H.R. 1806).  

The Senate CJS Appropriations bill, which passed the sub- and full committee by large margins, keeps NSF funding flat at FY 15 levels, but does not include the large cuts to social, behavioral and economic research seen in the House bill. In terms of Senate action on “COMPETES,” Sens. Cory Gardner (R-CO) and Gary Peters (D-MI) are accepting comments from the public as they begin to craft language for the provisions related to NSF.

As of this writing, neither chamber has taken appropriations action on FDA funding, reportedly because of controversy surrounding other programs under the jurisdiction of the Agriculture Appropriations subcommittees.  

Lupus Foundation of America Honors Mary Woolley

Research stakeholders must continue working together to make treatments available to the millions of Americans living with chronic disease, according to panelists at a discussion moderated by Chuck Todd, host of Meet the Press, during the Lupus Foundation of America’s National Advocacy Awards Dinner held on June 16. Mary Woolley, president and CEO of Research!America, who participated in the panel titled “Capitol Conversations and 21st Century Cures,” also received the Lupus Advocacy Award for her support of medical research.

Representative Fred Upton (R-MI), one of the architects of the 21st Century Cures Act, described it as a “great win for the public.” He said the legislation “will modernize our health care innovation ecosystem so that we can find cures for diseases like lupus…and while it is no secret that doing big things in health care can take time -- for patients and families who are suffering there simply is no time to waste.”

The speakers emphasized the need to urge members of Congress to support research funding for the National Institutes of Health, and to elevate lupus on the nation’s health care agenda. “Let’s not be afraid to talk about money,” said Woolley. “There’s so much science that isn’t happening, and it ripples throughout the research ecosystem. Pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries are unable to move at the pace they need to move.”

Francis Collins, M.D., Ph.D., director of the National Institutes of Health, said it is more important than ever that the country steps up investments in research. “I’ve never seen a more exciting time, in terms of the promise of where research can take us, than right now…We need to bring the full power of all the research capabilities to find those answers,” he added.

One of the biggest challenges to discovering cures, Susan Manzi, M.D., M.P.H., chair, Department of Medicine at the Allegheny Health Network noted, is that “we have an exodus of scientists leaving academia…worse than having established scientists close their labs, we also can’t attract young talent into the discovery field.”  

John Castellani, president and CEO, Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, emphasized that the NIH, academia, regulators, industry, physicians and patient groups must all be involved so that we can “be better faster and smarter about how we develop, evaluate and deliver medicines.” Rep. Upton, Dr. Collins, Dr. Manzi and Mr. Castellani also received the Lupus Advocacy Award in recognition of their commitments to research. 

Removing Roadblocks to Innovative Cancer Treatments

Research!America’s VP of Policy and Advocacy, Ellie Dehoney, participated in a panel discussion focused on patient advocacy as it relates to advancing and ensuring access to new medical treatments on May 31 in Chicago. The workshop “Right Patient, Right Treatment…Right Now!” featured experts, advocates, legislators and cancer survivors who touched on issues ranging from health insurance and costs, to medical breakthroughs, advocacy and patient care. Hosted by Vital Options International, and co-sponsored by Research!America and the Aimed Alliance, the session was timed to coincide with the annual conference of the American Society of Clinical Oncologists (ASCO).

Jonathan Wilcox, public policy director of Vital Options International, moderator for the discussion, asked a number of questions about roadblocks to getting the right treatments to patients. One roadblock is insufficient federal funding for research, emphasized Wilcox. The 21st Century Cures Act, he mentioned, offers some solutions and has bipartisan congressional support.

“Medical research and innovation is having a moment right now in Congress…Members we’ve never expected in Congress are willing to spend on medical research,” said Dehoney. “We have to talk about the delivery system, getting those treatments to patients...When there is a moment of delay, you’re losing a child and that’s not okay.”

Kirby and Mallory Davidson know exactly how that feels; they shared the personal loss of their son Ryan at 16-years-old to brain cancer. “When the doctors did finally tell us our son had cancer, our world was turned upside down,” Kirby said. Ryan was given five years to live from the date of his diagnosis, but he went on to fight for many more thanks to innovative treatment options. “For kids everything is experimental… Oral chemotherapy medications were a lifesaver for us and Ryan,” said Kirby.

“We need to make [patient] outcomes better in terms of quantity of life and quality of life,” said Charles Balch, M.D., FACS, chair of the National Patient Advocate Foundation’s Scientific Advisory Committee, and a former CEO of ASCO, the American Society of Clinical Oncology. “We must address the elephant in the room, and that is the cost of services, which does not require just one fix but rather a whole series of fixes.”

Balch mentioned a number of potential solutions, including bringing drugs to market faster and cheaper, looking at the pricing of drugs, and necessary reforms in health insurance formularies. Balch emphasized the need for investments in basic and translational research, and the importance of clinical trials.

The short-term cost of taking the right treatment lowers lifetime healthcare costs, explained Frank Lichtenberg, Ph.D., business professor at Columbia University School of Business and research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research. Lichtenberg emphasized that “the value of treatment benefits exceeds the cost of the new treatment by several-fold.”

Other participants in the workshop included Representative Sheila Solon (R-MS), Matthew Zachary, founder and CEO of Stupid Cancer, Linda House, president of Cancer Support Community, and Stacey L. Worthy, director of public policy for the Alliance for the Adoption of Innovations in Medicine, and Don Wright, a cancer-survivor and marathoner.

Candid Discussion on Medical Progress

Top leaders in government, industry, patient advocacy and academia will be among the panelists for Research!America’s National Health Research Forum on Thursday, September 10 at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. The event provides an ideal setting for thought-provoking discussions about “in the moment” and relevant issues that could profoundly impact our nation’s research ecosystem and public health. 

The forum will start with a reserved seating luncheon with panel discussions, each followed by a Q&A session. Discussions encourage interaction between panelists, with the goal of supporting a frank conversation that catalyzes efforts to make medical progress a higher national priority. 

Last year, panelists included France Córdova, Ph.D., director, National Science Foundation; Tom Frieden, M.D., director, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Richard Kronick, Ph.D., director, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ); Research!America board member E. Albert Reece, M.D., Ph.D., MBA, dean, University of Maryland, School of Medicine; and Research!America board member Georges Benjamin, M.D., executive director, American Public Health Association

To register, visit http://bit.ly/1F1MVZ2.  

Factsheet Educates the Public on Oral Health

Research suggests important links between poor oral health and diabetes, stroke, heart disease, lung disease and other serious health issues, according to the Department of Health and Human Services. Thirty-thousand new cases of pharyngeal and oral cancer were diagnosed in 2013, resulting in a total of 8,000 deaths. 

Research!America, in partnership with Research!America members Colgate-Palmolive and the Albert and Mary Lasker Foundation, has released a new fact sheet on oral health in older adults. The statistics and examples of innovative research call attention to the importance of oral health, both to prevent and treat oral health conditions, and strategies to improve access, which can significantly improve the health and quality of life for older Americans. 
To view the fact sheet, visit http://bit.ly/1H9Fdm2.

In Remembrance of Jack Watters

Research!America board member Jack Watters, M.D., passed away on June 30. Dr. Jack Watters was Pfizer's Vice President for External Medical Affairs, responsible for relations with medical societies, academic institutions and government health bodies around the globe. 

Watters was elected to Research!America’s board in March 2010. He co-chaired the Membership Committee (2011 & 2012); co-chaired the Advocacy Awards Committee (2013 & 2014); served on the Executive Committee 2011 through March 2015; and served on the Audit Committee since 2010. Dr. Watters participated as a panelist for Research!America’s National Health Forum in 2010 and 2012. 

As one of the architects of the landmark Diflucan Partnership Program with the government of South Africa, Watters helped to expand the program that is now active in sixty of the world's least developed countries. He served as Regent of the University of Edinburgh where he graduated in medicine in 1977. He also served on the boards of the American Federation for Aging Research and HelpAge International.

Communicating with Science Skeptics Webinar

Frank Sesno, director of the School of Media and Public Affairs, George Washington University, a Research!America member, shared recommendations on how to communicate with science skeptics in a webinar hosted by Research!America entitled, “Dealing with Doubt: Communicating the Complexities of Science to Non-Scientists” on June 15.  As non-scientists debate hot button issues such as vaccine safety and climate change, there is a necessity for scientists to communicate effectively to inform, influence and inspire, he said.  

Sesno stressed the importance of understanding the audience; whether it’s policymakers, media, potential funders or the general public. Policymakers want to know how the science affects their constituents, reporters want information in short soundbites, and potential funders seek credibility and inspiration. Neil deGrasse Tyson’s show “Cosmos” inspires wonder and helps to educate Americans about various scientific topic, he noted. A TED talk by Hans Rosling, titled “The Magic Washing Machine,” is an example of how to tell a compelling story about an invention that changed the lives of millions. The YouTube video clip has had over two million views and counting.  Compelling narratives and the use of metaphors help to turn scientific data into vivid examples of how science impacts quality of life, Sesno explained. Yet, the gap between scientists and Americans on the safety of genetically modified foods, vaccines, use of animals in research and other areas, is significant, according to a survey by the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the Pew Research Center.

Americans need a burning platform for science, he said, to rally support and elevate science in the public discourse. Do we need another Sputnik moment to engage and motivate Americans to focus on a new challenge or barrier to overcome? Through effective communications, scientists can describe several moments in time when research solved many of the challenges that confronted us.

UT Southwestern Gift Supports Bioinformatics

The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, a Research!America member, has recently received a $25 million gift from Dallas businesswoman Lyda Hill. The gift will help establish a Department of Bioinformatics that will work to bridge research and clinical treatment. UT Southwestern said it will manage and analyze large sets of medical data with an eye to "developing new therapeutic strategies and understanding the foundations of life and the defects that cause disease." 

“Over the long term, I believe bioinformatics will prove indispensable in bridging the outstanding research activity at UT Southwestern with the most promising clinical applications,” Dr. Daniel K. Podolsky, president of UT Southwestern, was quoted in The Dallas Morning News. “My hope is that our investment will help overcome the technological barriers in managing and analyzing data, enabling patients to benefit from research breakthroughs.”

With this latest gift, Hill has given a total of $37.5 million to the medical center. Hill is president of LH Holdings and created the Lyda Hill Foundation to invest in nature and science research and improve local communities. She is the granddaughter of oilman H.L. Hunt, and has dedicated her life to what she calls “balancing profit with a purpose.”

In 2013, Hill pledged $50 million to the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, a Research!America member. The grant went to the cancer center’s Moon Shots Program, which is working to eliminate cancer; a cause that hits close to home for Hill, who is a breast cancer survivor. The Moon Shots Program uses an interdisciplinary approach to develop improved cancer-detection tools and innovative personalized therapies. 

Action Alert

House Passes 21st Century Cures; Urge the Senate to Act Now

On Friday, July 10, 2015, the 21st Century Cures Act (HR 6) passed in the House of Representatives with a strong bipartisan vote of 344-77.  This legislation provides a significant funding boost for medical research and takes steps to ensure new medical advances reach patients more quickly.  Before this landmark legislation can begin its important work bringing new treatments and cures to patients, the Senate must act. Write to your representatives and senators to applaud their commitment to modernizing discovery, development and delivery and urge them to finish the legislative process this year. Patients depend on it.

Special Thanks to our Principal Partners and to New and Renewing Research!America Alliance Members

RESEARCH!AMERICA EXTENDS SPECIAL THANKS TO OUR SUPPORTERS WHO HAVE CONTRIBUTED SINCE THE PUBLICATION OF OUR May/June Newsletter.

Visit www.researchamerica.org/partnership_opportunities for ways to support Research!America.

2015 ADVOCACY AWARDS

Benefactor:

Susan Whitehead

Program Partner:

Astellas Pharma US, Inc.

Sponsors:

David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA

Mary Woolley

 

2015 NATIONAL HEALTH RESEARCH FORUM

Astellas Pharma US, Inc.

Bristol-Myers Squibb

GlaxoSmithKline

Lilly

 

Not yet a member? Join Research!America today at www.researchamerica.org/membership.

SPECIAL THANKS TO NEw and RENEWING RESEARCH!AMERICA ALLIANCE MEMBERS

New Members

The ALS Association

American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists

American Society of Gene & Cell Therapy

Global Liver Institute

Shire Pharmaceuticals

RENEWING MEMBERS

Academy of Radiology Research/Coalition for Imaging and Bioengineering Research

American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy

The American College of Neuropsychopharmacology

American Dental Education Association

American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering

American Medical Association

American Pain Society

American Society of Hypertension, Inc.

Americans for Medical Progress

Arizona State University College of Nursing & Health Innovation

Aultman Hospital

BIND Therapeutics

Broad Institute

Case Western Reserve University

Children’s Research Institute at Children’s National Medical Center

Cleveland Clinic Lerner Research Institute

Drexel University

EB Research Partnership

Fight Colorectal Cancer

Friends of Cancer Research

Friends of the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research

Charles C. Gates Center for Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Biology

The Genetics Society of America

La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology

McLaughlin Research Institute

Medical Device Manufacturers Association

Milken Institute School of Public Health at the George Washington University

H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute

National Foundation for Infectious Diseases

National Organization for Rare Disorders

Nebraska Coalition for Lifesaving Cures

RAND Corporation

Sanofi

Society for Pediatric Research

Society for the Advancement of Violence and Injury Research

Tuberous Sclerosis Alliance

University of California, San Francisco

University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine

University of Kansas Medical Center School of Health Professions

University of Maryland, School of Medicine

University of North Carolina Gillings School of Global Public Health

University of North Carolina School of Medicine

University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing

Wake Forest University School of Medicine

Regular Features

President's Letter

Medical research is having a remarkable “moment” in the Congress this summer. Most notable is the passage of the 21st Century Cures bill in the House, by a significant margin. (See related article.) Now the challenge for all of us turns to keeping interest and momentum alive to assure that the Senate passes an equally significant piece of legislation, and that both Houses step up to make appropriations decisions that stimulate medical progress. With the specter of sequestration still looming large, this work is a heavy lift. And yet the heartbreak every family feels on hearing a dire diagnosis or watching a loved one suffer inspires us to be relentless in assuring that every individual elected to office hears the message that research matters to us all, and to our nation. We can’t be safe or prosperous without containing epidemics like childhood obesity and Alzheimer’s and antibiotic resistance and cancer, diabetes, and so many others. When you consider that only one or two of every ten research proposals can be supported by our tax dollars through the NIH, one has to ask:  what are we waiting for? The empty retort that we can’t borrow from future generations to fund more research now is just that – empty – and cruel, too.  Why would anyone consign children and grandchildren to the pain, as well as the expense, of diseases that could be cured before they become taxpayers themselves, if we would just determine as a nation to make research for health a number one national priority. Please join us in making that case.  

Member Spotlight: Gates Center for Regenerative Medicine at the University of Colorado

Founded: 2006

Location: Aurora, Colo.

Mission: Dedicated to the vision of Charles Gates, who saw unlimited potential in stem cell research, the Gates Center for Regenerative Medicine seeks to accelerate scientific discovery from the lab to the clinic.

The Gates Center for Regenerative Medicine is a world-class academic research consortium headquartered on the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, the largest health care center between Chicago, Texas, and the West Coast, serving an estimated 1,000,000 patients per year. Established in 2006 with a generous gift in memory of Denver industrialist and philanthropist Charles C. Gates, who foresaw stem cells’ infinite potential for so many people in the world, the Gates Center accelerates collaboration among medical researchers and clinicians to translate discovery into clinical practice as quickly as possible. 

“Our 74 investigators are committed to research in regenerative medicine and gene therapy to solve the most challenging unmet medical needs of the future,” said Jill Cowperthwaite, director of marketing and external relations at the Gates Center for Regenerative Medicine. Operating as the only comprehensive Stem Cell Center within a 500-mile radius, the Gates Center is a multi-institutional consortium comprised of members from the University of Colorado’s Anschutz Medical Campus and Boulder campus, Colorado State University and the Colorado School of Mines. Research at the Gates Center focuses on investigating regenerative therapies and stem-cell treatments in the areas of dermatology, orthopedics, cardiology, ophthalmology, neurology, oncology, and immunology.

In spring 2015, the Gates Center launched the Gates Biomanufacturing Facility in which future stem-cell and biologic therapies will be manufactured for human trials under the highest FDA standards. The only one of its kind within an 800-mile radius, the Gates Biomanufacturing Facility will enable the safe and expedited translation of discovery into human therapies for people worldwide.

“In comparison to pharmaceutical and biomedical research, regenerative medicine and cell-based therapies is a relatively new area of medical research,” explained Cowperthwaite. “Researchers must educate policymakers and the general public about the efficacy of the science and the need to establish laws, regulations and procedures that facilitate the timely review, approval and availability to patients of all the benefits and advantages this new field of medical research holds for the American public.”

Cowperthwaite sees two major challenges- federal funding and public policy, which can cause obstacles that inhibit the progress of research. “Creating better public understanding of the importance of research will ultimately result in sustainable funding and a better public policy environment in which research can thrive,” she said.

The Gates Center is partnering with research centers at other universities  and with patient advocacy organizations to inform policymakers and the American public about the benefits of regenerative medicine and cell therapy research. Their efforts include direct engagement with congressional leaders and federal agencies, and presentations and educational materials to inform policy makers, opinion leaders and the general public.

“Through Research!America and its superb leadership and staff, the Gates Center has found collaborative partners with whom to have a national dialogue on medical research policy reform, and  entree to engage federal policymakers on the Center’s top policy goals,” Cowperthwaite shared. “The work and products of Research!America are critical to both informing Gates Center leadership of the value and benefit of advocacy, and to educating the American public and federal policymakers of the need to support medical research.”

Learn more at www.GatesCenter.org.

From Washington

Cultivating Advances in Diagnostics & Precision Medicine

“Andrew was diagnosed with high risk acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) leukemia, when he was 13 years old,” Nancy Roach, the founder of Fight Colorectal Cancer, shared at a Capitol Hill briefing on June 8. “Andrew took a genetic test that looked at chromosomes, and his doctor said he was at very high-risk for the cancer coming back after it goes away the first time. As a result of that he was required to have a bone marrow transplant. His doctor was able to make a very important decision based on that test.”

Roach discussed the patient perspective during the briefing titled “Diagnostics and Precision Medicine,” co-sponsored by Research!America members, the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) and AdvaMedDx. Genetic tests, like the one Andrew received, are one of many diagnostic tools utilized in precision medicine that allow doctors to find characteristics of individual patients and better assess risk and treatment options.

“How do we find solutions to the problem that so frequently vexes us?,” asked Kathy Hudson, Ph.D., deputy director for science, outreach and policy at the National Institutes of Health. When a loved one does not have a clear diagnosis, or “a diagnosis that doesn’t have a clear therapy, or trying a number of therapeutic options with no real path forward,” that’s where precision medicine can play an important role.

Hudson explained that precision medicine will provide new lifesaving tools that give us a deeper level of insight into the genomic make up of individuals. She said the NIH is now in the planning phases of implementing components of President Obama’s Precision Medicine Initiative, and invites public comment through their website.

Diagnostic technology has already come a long way, Tadd Lazarus, M.D., chief medical officer at QIAGEN added. “We have developed a multimodal approach, where what used to require five tests, five different hardware platforms and five samples, can now be done with one tissue sample on one device,” he said. “This is an extraordinary advance…for patients who are receiving care.”

Sally Howard, J.D., the acting chief of staff at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, discussed how “amazing discoveries” translate into “precision cures” through the development and delivery phases. The FDA will ensure that tools accurately measure genetic information, and test whether a genetic variant is relevant to a particular disease, she said.

One of the major challenges of precision medicine is being able to identify which patients have a mutation that coincides with a particular drug target. David Solit, M.D., director of the Marie-Josee and Henry R. Kravis Center for Molecular Oncology at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, noted that precision medicine and routine genetic testing would allow for deliberate drug therapy decisions that match the patient with the right drug. 

Honoring Congressional Leaders for their Advocacy

Research!America Vice Chair Hon. Michael Castle and Research!America President and CEO Mary Woolley presented the Edwin C. Whitehead Award for Medical Research Advocacy to Reps. Fred Upton (R-MI) and Diana DeGette (D-CO) for their commitment to advancing the discovery, development and delivery of lifesaving medical treatments. The 21st Century Cures Act, bipartisan legislation spearheaded by Reps. Upton and DeGette, underscores their dedication to supporting medical progress and innovation.

September: Rally for Medical Research

The Rally for Medical Research Hill Day, September 16 – 17, will focus on making funding for the National Institutes of Health a national priority. Nearly 300 national organizations, including Research!America, will come together to call on policymakers to boost funding for medical research to keep pace with scientific opportunity.  The NIH has lost nearly 25 percent of its purchasing power over the last decade, jeopardizing innovative studies to combat deadly diseases. Last year, hundreds of researchers, clinicians, patients, survivors and other advocates met with over 200 House and Senate offices, and held nearly 100 Member-level meetings to discuss the health and economic benefits of medical research. For more information about the event, visit rallyformedicalresearch.org

2015 Golden Goose Awards Ceremony

Dr. Walter Mischel, Columbia University, Dr. Yuichi Shoda, University of Washington, and Dr. Philip Peake, Smith College, are the first recipients of the 2015 Golden Goose Award. Congressman Jim Cooper (D-TN) originally conceived of the Golden Goose award as a means of educating members of Congress and the general public about the value of federal funding of basic scientific research. The award honors scientific studies or research that may be perceived as obscure, out of the ordinary studies where the results are completely unforeseen, but ultimately led to significant breakthroughs.

The researchers have been granted the award for the “Marshmallow Test,” which initially tested the ability of young children to resist the impulse to eat a single marshmallow when waiting would get them two treats instead of one. Over the decades, their research has led to important findings linking children’s self-control to later life outcomes, and to methods for teaching self-control and improving lives. The annual award ceremony will be held on September 17 at the Library of Congress. For more details as other recipients are announced, visit http://www.goldengooseaward.org/.  

In the News

Media Matters

21st Century Cures Legislation

Mary Woolley, president and CEO of Research!America, penned a letter to the editor published in the Denver Post urging support for the 21st Century Cures Act. “With the 21st Century Cures Act expected to come up for a vote in the House soon, now is the time for Coloradans to contact their representatives and remind them that new treatments and therapies will not cross the finish line without the increased funding and timely improvements to our research ecosystem that this legislation will provide,” she wrote. A similar letter to the editor authored by Woolley was published in the Missoulian (Missoula, MT).

The New York Times published a letter to the editor written by Ellie Dehoney, vice president of policy and advocacy at Research!America, in response to an article about the 21st Century Cures Act provisions related to accelerated drug approvals. “I know that the 21st Century Cures Act provides desperately needed funding for medical research. And that isn’t all the good it would do,” she wrote.

Senate and house labor-hhs Appropriations

Research!America’s statement on the Senate Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations Subcommittee FY16 spending bill was featured in Inside Health Policy. We salute the leadership of Chairman Roy Blunt (R-MO) for his commitment to provide enhanced support to an agency that has been working valiantly to do more with less in a tight fiscal environment.”

A Research!America statement in response to the House Labor-HHS Education Appropriations Subcommittee FY16 spending bill was featured in Inside Health Policy, McKnight’s Long-Term Care News, Modern Healthcare and iHealthBeat. “… it is a strategic mistake to defund the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), wiping out research that informs the delivery of medical advances to patients.”

Mary Woolley was quoted in a Bloomberg BNA article about the Senate and House Appropriations Labor-HHS Subcommittee FY16 spending bills. “Bipartisan support for increasing the NIH is a sign that we’re moving away from stagnation to progress, strengthening our national commitment to research and innovation.” 

Restore Research Funding

An article in Inside Health Policy focusing on Congressional efforts to rebalance the NIH research funding portfolio quoted Mary Woolley as disagreeing with the proposed approach. “We can and should put more muscle behind medical progress instead of pitting patient against patient," she said.

In an article in The Washington Examiner about funding levels at the NIH, Suzanne Ffolkes, Research!America’s vice president of communications, said “Fewer scientists are getting grants for their projects, which is a sign that we need to raise the level of funding so that investigators can pursue innovative research.”

Mary Woolley wrote letters to the editor published in the Duluth News Tribune (Duluth, MN) and the News&Observer (Raleigh, NC) urging members of Congress to restore funding to biomedical research. 

Media Contacts

Suzanne Ffolkes
VP Communications
571-482-2710

Anna Briseño
Communications Manager
571-482-2737

You can change the image of things to come. But you can’t do it sitting on your hands … The science community should reach out to Congress and build bridges.
The Honorable John E. Porter