Blog

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

Dear Research Advocate: President Trump signed the John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019 (NDAA), authorizing $716 billion in spending for the Department of Defense (DoD). R&D features prominently, including the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program ( CDMRP ), the WRAIR Labs, and other medical and public health research pivotal to domestic and global health security. A particularly compelling example of the value of defense research is the recent story of the youngest person to receive a face transplant in U.S. history, part of a research study DoD funded because of its critical applications for wounded warriors. Read more in this USA Today...
Dear Research Advocate: With the recent nomination of atmospheric scientist Kelvin Droegemeier, PhD, to head the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), I have been asked about the role of this office and its director. In this terrific analysis , Former OSTP assistant director Tom Kalil lays it all out and also offers compelling observations on the nature of effective leadership. Anyone interested in public service, policy-making or policy-influencing, and/or honing leadership skills, would do well to spend a few minutes with “Policy Entrepreneurship at the White House.” Research!America sent a letter to Senate Commerce, Science, Transportation Committee Chair John Thune...
Dear Research Advocate: The Senate approved a four-bill minibus package including appropriations under the jurisdiction of the Interior-Environment, Financial Services, Agriculture (which includes FDA) and Transportation-HUD Subcommittees yesterday, and will now likely take up a combined Labor-H/Defense appropriations bill (inclusive of NIH, CDC, AHRQ, the Department of Defense CDMRP and other important research funding). Research!America sent a letter to Appropriations leaders today reinforcing their commendable efforts to wrap up FY19 appropriations before the 9/30 deadline. The stakes here are high: the alternative scenarios -- either flat funding under a continuing resolution or a...
Before the 20 th century, the only way to become immune to ailments like measles, smallpox, and diphtheria was to develop naturally acquired immunity – to contract a disease and hopefully survive it to prevent future infection. The development of vaccines revolutionized care for these diseases, and smallpox and diphtheria have since been eradicated in the United States while cases of measles are down 99.9% since the measles vaccine was introduced in 1963. August marks National Immunization Awareness Month, during which health care providers, researchers, and patient advocates join forces to inform the public on the health benefits of vaccines as well as advancements in vaccine research. A...
Dear Research Advocate: We saw the power of a robust public health force, integrated public health programs, and an innovative R&D pipeline this week as the World Health Organization declared the recent Ebola outbreak contained . Think of the lives and dollars that could be saved if global health were accorded the priority it deserves on a sustained basis, rather than gaining traction only when crises are upon us! We have updated our Top Ten Reasons to invest in global R&D. Use this terrific Kaiser Family Foundation primer on all things global health policy-related, and make the case for global health research as a strategic asset on social media or with your congressional...
Around one in five American adults lives with a mental illness, such as depression, bipolar disorder, or an anxiety disorder, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. Many of these people also have serious, often preventable, physical illnesses, but often don’t get the care they need for those problems. As a result, people with serious mental illnesses die on average 10 to 20 years earlier than others. These illnesses affect minority communities to a substantially greater degree than they do non-Hispanic white populations. Due to the stigma associated with mental illness, difficulty accessing effective treatments and qualified providers, and a lack of clear evidence to support...
Dear Research Advocate: In United for Medical Research’s terrific Amazing Things Podcast series, chairman of the House Labor-HHS Subcommittee, Tom Cole (R-OK) talks about what investments in research mean for the health, well-being and prosperity of America and Americans. Listen in - Chairman Cole can teach us all a thing or two about high impact advocacy! It is important for stakeholders in research to take time to demonstrate the utility of research and innovation investments, speaking out to current and future Congressional champions on both sides of the aisle. With that aim in mind, Research!America has expanded our bipartisan candidate engagement initiative for the midterm elections,...
Every family whose child receives a diagnosis of a rheumatic disease (like juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA), lupus, dermatomyositis, vasculitis or scleroderma) wants the best treatment and outcomes for their kid. And while over the past 20 years, new medicinal discoveries have improved the lives of children with rheumatic diseases, it’s still incredibly difficult to determine which treatment is best for your child based on their disease. Traditional large research studies (e.g., randomized controlled trials) are costly and slow. These studies also encounter challenges, like finding enough patients with the same disorder, when looking for people with rare diseases (like most pediatric...
The July/August 2018 newsletter is now online . Highlights from this month include: Research!America has announced the Herbert Pardes Family Award for National Leadership in Advocacy for Research which recognizes individuals who, throughout their careers have – like Research!America board member Dr. Herbert Pardes - demonstrated distinguished leadership and sustained commitment to public engagement and advocacy for research. Leaders in government, industry, patient advocacy and academia will be among the panelists for Research!America’s 2018 National Health Research Forum on Thursday, September 6 at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. The National Foundation to End Child Abuse and Neglect (...
Dry eye disease (DED) afflicts an estimated over 30 million people in the United States alone, and nearly half of U.S. adults experience dry eye symptoms regularly. Experts say the pain associated with DED can make it feel as if there is sand in your eyes, or it can be so severe that you may not be able to open your eyes. During a briefing in Washington, D.C. on July 11 hosted by the Tear Film & Ocular Surface Society (TFOS) in partnership with the Alliance for Eye and Vision Research (AEVR), TFOS founder Dr. David Sullivan noted that there is no treatment for DED but “with research funding, we hope to develop a cure.” Researchers study factors associated with DED such as autoimmune...

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