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2014 Advocacy Awards

Research!America’s 2014 Advocacy Awards Dinner was held March 12, 2014, at the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium in Washington, DC.

We Thank Our Corporate Host

Merck & Co., Inc.

Click here to see more sponsors of the 2014 Advocacy Awards dinner.

The annual Research!America Advocacy Awards program was established in 1996 by the board of directors to honor outstanding advocates for medical, health and scientific research. Recognized individuals and organizations are those whose leadership efforts have been notably effective in advancing our nation’s commitment to research.

Learn more about Research!America’s Advocacy Awards on our fact sheet. To learn more about supporting the Advocacy Awards, contact Carol Kennedy, senior director, development and membership.

Honorary Chairs

Click here to see our honorary chairs for the 2014 Advocacy Awards.

2014 Advocacy Award Winners and Benefactors

Edwin C. Whitehead Award for Medical Research Advocacy

Co-Benefactors: Whitehead Charitable Foundation and Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research
Pictured: Edwin C. Whitehead

2014 Recipients:


Reps. Frank Wolf (R-VA) will be honored withthe 2014 Edwin C. Whitehead Award for Medical Research Advocacy for their leadershipand unwavering commitment to supporting policies that promote federal andprivate sector medical research and innovation. Reps. Wolf and Fattah havespearheaded efforts to create a legislative and regulatory climate conducive tomedical innovation. Wolf is currently a senior member of the House AppropriationsCommittee,presides as chairman of the Commerce, Justice, ScienceSubcommittee, and is a member of the Transportation, Housing and UrbanDevelopment and State and Foreign Operations subcommittees. Throughout hisdistinguished tenure in Congress, Wolf has worked to advance the state ofscience and R&D, and he recognizes the role innovation plays in our nation’seconomy, health and international competitiveness. Notably, he was a founder ofthe “Rising Above the Gathering Storm” Commission which sparked a nationaleffort to bolster federal science, technology, engineering andmathematics(STEM) education and R&D programs.


Isadore Rosenfeld Award for Impact on Public Opinion

Benefactor: Rosenfeld Heart Foundation
Pictured: Isadore Rosenfeld, MD

2014 Recipient:

Close family

Glenn Close, the award-winningactress of Damages and Fatal Attraction, will be honored with the 2014 Isadore Rosenfeld Award for Impact on PublicOpinion. Urged by her sister and nephew living with mental illness, Closeco-founded Bring Change 2 Mind, a not-for-profit organization dedicated toending the stigmas and misunderstandings surrounding mental illness. Together,the Close family shares an inspiring message of recovery, managing illness andleading a productive life. Glenn’s sister, Jessie, lived with undiagnosedbipolar disorder until the age of 50. She blogs about her personal experienceson the BC2M website and has written two books, The Warping of Al and thesoon-to-be-released memoir, Resilience. Jessie’s son Calen Pick, a speakerand ambassador for BC2M, lives with schizophrenia. An artist living in Montana,he promotes artistic expression as a tool to help harness the creative powerscommonly found among individuals with various forms of mental illness. After 11years of undaunting courage, Calen now articulates the challenges of livinglife with a thought disorder. As an observer to her sister’s and nephew’sstruggles, Glenn found the best way to help was to start the conversation. Sheshares her story of support for her sister and nephew, emphasizing the need formore conversation, empathy and understanding. Through the contributions ofBring Change 2 Mind, Glenn, Jessie and Calen prove that help begins withfamily.

Raymond and Beverly Sackler Award for Sustained National Leadership

Benefactors: Raymond R. Sackler, MD, and Beverly Sackler

2014 Recipient:

Reed Tuckson, MDReed Tuckson, MD, managing director of Tuckson HealthConnections, will be honored with Research!America’s 2014 Raymond andBeverly Sackler Award for Sustained National Leadership for his lifelongcommitment to advocating the benefits of evidence-based medicine to the publicand policy makers and for adoption of supporting policies that maintain astrong and sustained investment in research, including health servicesresearch. He regularly speaks to the media about the need for a strong andsustained U.S. investment in research and programmatic funding — firmlybelieving that the goal of a healthier America is in everyone’s best interests,from everyday Americans to members of Congress and to the business community. Asexecutive vice president and chief of medical affairs at UnitedHealth Group, heembraced data analysis and mobile technologies, pioneering new digital deliverysystems for evaluating care and collecting data.With “America’s HealthRankings,” a comprehensive annual perspective on our nation’s health issuesstate by state, Dr. Tuckson and UnitedHealth Foundation issued anevidence-based call to action for individuals and their communities to improvetheir health. His book, The Doctor in the Mirror, focuses on patientempowerment to overcome everyday health issues.

Paul G. Rogers Distinguished Organization Advocacy Award

Benefactor: HoganLovells USLLP

2014 Recipient:

Progeria Research Foundation


The Progeria Research Foundation (PRF) will receiveResearch!America’s 2014 Paul G. Rogers Distinguished Organization AdvocacyAward for its role for bringing progeria, a rare and fatal pediatricdisease of premature aging, from obscurity to the forefront of successful translationalresearch and giving hope to patients and families. PRF secured language in theChildren’s Health Act of 2000 in support of rare disease research, includingprogeria. The organization also led the discovery of the progeria gene, theidentification of a potential drug treatment and, eventually, the firstprogeria clinical trial which resulted in the first treatment of the disease.In addition to the achievements in progeria research, PRF has also contributedsignificantly to a brand new field of rare-disease-related research, which willhave a broad impact on millions of people.

Gordon and Llura Gund Leadership Award

Benefactors: Gordon and Llura Gund Foundation

2014 Recipient:


Kathy GiustiKathy Giusti, founder and CEO of the Multiple MyelomaResearch Foundation (MMRF), will receive Research!America’s 2014 Gordon andLlura Gund Leadership Awardfor advancing the research and treatment ofmyeloma, a hematologic cancer which is the second most common blood cancerafter non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The American Cancer Society estimates that 22,350new cases of multiple myeloma will be diagnosed in 2013. A myeloma survivor,Giusti co-founded MMRF with her twin sister. The organization plays a vitalrole in launching treatments that have helped double the life expectancy ofmany patients; established the first myeloma tissue bank; and launched aninitiative that resulted in the complete mapping of the myeloma genome, whichwas made publicly available to advance myeloma research. Giusti and MMRF werefeatured in profiles in The New Yorker and Parade magazines aboutmultiple myeloma research.

Geoffrey Beene Builders of Science Award

Benefactor: The Geoffrey Beene Foundation

2014 Recipient:


Leroy Hood, MD, PhDLeroy Hood, MD, PhD, will be honored with Research!America’s2014 Geoffrey Beene Builders of Science Award for pioneering thedevelopment of instruments that paved the way for the successful mapping of thehuman genome. He was one of a small number of early and persistent advocatesfor the Human Genome Project. Prior to Dr. Hood’s invention of the automatedDNA sequencer, it took 30 years to sequence the genome of the cold virus, andthe first gene cost $180 million to sequence. With Dr. Hood’s remarkableachievement, it took less than a day to sequence the genome of the SARS virusand the cost of sequencing a gene is now just $6. A true scientific pioneer,Dr. Hood is credited with the development of the discipline of systems biology,which introduced the revolutionary concept to understand not only eachbiological network but also how the networks function together. This idea isnow taught in many college and high school programs. Dr. Hood received theNational Medal of Science from President Barack Obama at the White House in2013, one of the highest scientific achievements.

G. Thompson Hutton and Mara Hutton

G. Thompson Hutton
and Mara Hutton

2014 Advocacy Award Sponsors

Corporate Host

Merck & Co., Inc.

Dinner Host

Johnson & Johnson

Presenting Partner



Program Partner


American Medical Association



Novartis Oncology


Staglin Family Vineyard


CQ Roll Call

Johns Hopkins University


Duke Medicine

Northeast Ohio Medical University


The Hill



Award Benefactors

  • The Geoffrey Beene Foundation
  • Gordon and Llura Gund Foundation
  • Hogan Lovells US LLP
  • Rosenfeld Heart Foundation
  • Dr. Raymond R. and Beverly Sackler
  • Whitehead Charitable Foundation
  • Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research