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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

Stigma remains a top barrier to treatment for mental illness among minority groups, said panelists during a Capitol Hill briefing hosted by Research!America, the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI), the National Hispanic Medical Association (NHMA) and the National Medical Association on June 13, 2018. Panelists stressed the importance of stakeholder collaboration, increased minority representation in health care fields and patient advocacy to help overcome mental health disparities. Andrew Sperling, director of legislative and policy advocacy at the National Alliance on Mental Illness, moderated the discussion. Mental illness is generally considered a taboo subject in the...
Dear Research Advocate: The House Appropriations Committee released its FY19 Labor-HHS funding bill earlier today for subcommittee markup tomorrow morning . A few notes on the bill: NIH received $38.3 billion -- an additional $1.25 billion over the FY18 level -- and AHRQ received $334 million -- the same funding level as FY18. After accounting for anticipated, one-time changes to the total (including the transfer of the strategic national stockpile to the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness), CDC received a $427 million funding increase. Given that the highly constrained dollars the “Labor-H” Subcommittee had to work with, the NIH, AHRQ and CDC results are definitely a...
Trust between the general public and the scientific community must be restored to build greater public appreciation for the health and economic benefits of research, according to speakers at a panel discussion at the BIO International Convention in Boston, Massachusetts on June 6, 2018. In a recent survey commissioned by Research!America, only 35 percent of Americans can name a place where medical or health research is conducted. Our nation’s “science enterprise is at risk if the science community does not get more recognition from the general public,” said Mary Woolley, president and CEO, Research!America, a nonprofit advocacy alliance that encourages scientists to engage with citizens and...
Dear Research Advocate: The last few days have been wholly energizing. Yesterday, at the annual BIO International Convention, I had the opportunity to participate in a panel discussion titled “Science Needs Champions: Creating Collective Action to Advance Biotech Innovations for Humanity.” It wasn’t a “happy talk” session; the participants had no interest in candy-coating the challenges entailed in promoting faster progress while fostering the access and affordability needed to secure the highest return on that innovation. The discussion reinforced that there are no easy answers. Policymakers and the health care ecosystem, very much including the science community, need to work together,...
The U.S. graduate education programs for science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) are known for being among the best in the world. However, a new report says many graduates lack the ability to translate their knowledge into different career paths. The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) recently published Graduate STEM Education for the 21 st Century , which recommends revitalizing the STEM graduate education system. The main takeaway from the report is that the programs should be “student-centered,” said Dr. Alan Leshner, chair of the committee that wrote the report and CEO emeritus of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)...
Dear Research Advocate: As of today, with eight months of the federal 2018 fiscal year elapsed, funding uncertainty persists for several programs. Given the recent Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and the spread of measles closer to home, it is counterproductive in the extreme to cut federal support to combat disease outbreaks, yet that is included in the administration’s rescissions package and in a recently proposed Senate version as well. The clock for congressional action on rescissions will run out on June 22. That’s why it is timely to take a moment to (1) contact your congressional delegation urging no rescissions, and (2) reach out to those who may be...
Dear Research Advocate: Research!America teamed up with the American Society for Microbiology (ASM), the American Society for Virology (ASV), Dr. Anthony Fauci and Dr. Nancy Messonnier on Monday for a briefing focused on vaccines and other facets of pandemic preparedness. The program, which coincided with the launch of a compelling Smithsonian exhibit entitled Outbreak , proved to be particularly resonant as news of Ebola and Nipah outbreaks proliferate. C-SPAN aired the briefing live, and it has drawn significant media interest including reports in NBC News and U.S. News & World Report . Are you like me and hadn’t heard of Nipah until this week? The current outbreak is in India and the...
The revolution in human genetics is advancing at an astonishing pace – new research applications, diagnostics, and effective treatments are changing the way we think about biology, medicine, and health. Last month, we celebrated the 15 th anniversary of the Human Genome Project’s (HGP) completion, which has powered so much of this progress. Today, we commemorate a different watershed achievement in genetics that has had profound public impact: 10 years of genetic nondiscrimination. On May 21, 2008, the United States codified fundamental protections for people participating in research or taking a genetic test in a doctor’s office to ensure it won’t affect their job or health insurance. The...
Flu pandemics and other disease outbreaks underscore the need for vaccines and public health infrastructures to protect individuals against global health threats, said leaders representing government, scientific societies and advocacy groups at a briefing hosted by Research!America and the American Society for Microbiology (ASM) at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. on May 21. The program coincided with the opening of the Smithsonian’s exhibit Outbreak: Epidemics in a Connected World. Seventy-percent of Americans say the federal government should do more to educate the public about global disease outbreaks and the risk to the U.S., according to a new national survey commissioned by Research!...
Dear Research Advocate: Tomorrow is the final day to nominate outstanding leaders in medical, health and other scientific research for a Research!America 2019 Advocacy Award. Learn more about the 2019 awards and submit nominations here . If you have someone in mind and could use backup to help fill in the submission details, let us help! Email Barbara at BLove@researchamerica.org . Last week, the president unveiled his plan to address drug pricing, the American Patients First plan. In addition to the release, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a request for information (RFI) that established a 60-day window for public comment. Secretary Azar’s written statement on the...

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If concerted, long-term investments in research are not made, America will lose an entire generation of young scientists.
Brenda Canine, PhD; McLaughlin Research Institute, Montana