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. Member organizations and others share their perspectives on a wide variety of topics relating to public and private sector research and innovation, and public health. The views expressed by contributors are their own and not the view of Research!America.

Recent Blog Posts

Dear Research Advocate, The 2016 21st Century Cures Act (21stCC) is a prime example of patient groups, government, the private sector, academia and other research stakeholders working together toward a common goal: accelerating medical progress. With new thinking and new funding, 21stCC has empowered our nation to work more quickly to address rare diseases and chart new territory in areas such as regenerative medicine and brain science. (And that’s just scratching the surface.) We can’t overstate the credit due the policymakers spearheading 21stCC for their leadership, commitment and determination. Now the same team — Representatives Diana DeGette (D-CO) and Fred Upton (R-MI) — is working...
Dear Research Advocate, Happy Thanksgiving Week! Every Monday before Thanksgiving Research!America hosts Public Health Thank You Day (PHYTD), thanking the individuals across the nation who serve the public health. With participation by so many of you, we garnered 27 million impressions on Twitter with nearly 500 unique tweets by public health organizations and leaders. Federal officials taking part included Secretary of HHS Alex Azar; Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams; CDC Director Robert Redfield; NIH Director Francis Collins; NIAID Director Anthony Fauci; Assistant Secretary of Health and Acting FDA Commissioner Brett Giroir; VHA Deputy Undersecretary for Health Carolyn Clancy and many...
As we prepare to gather with family and friends around tables big and small, it’s time to ask the age old question: What are you thankful for this year? Many of us will mention we are thankful for our health, but chances are that few will express thanks for the scientific research and public health vigilance that play a pivotal role in health and health care. In 1918, a major flu pandemic took the lives of 675,000 Americans and 50 million people across the globe. Today, vaccination and medicines that reduce the effects of the flu have dramatically reduced its impact. Looking ahead, researchers are making progress toward a “universal” flu vaccine that crosses all strains of flu and provides...
When Donne first shared the notion that no person is an island he could scarcely have imagined the intricate web that is global public health today. When we envision our futures, it is impossible not to see all of the people that engage and collaborate at the local, national, and global level. Today, public health is reliant upon rich, interconnected network of organizations—working to understand and address the interrelated needs of communities and populations and to serve humanity at every level. As Dean of the health college at one of the fastest growing and most diverse universities in the country, the strength we draw from cooperation and community-building is top of mind on Public...
Dear Research Advocate, On the Monday before Thanksgiving each year, Research!America, along with public health leaders across the nation take time to salute the people who work day-in and day-out to protect us from disease, injury, and other threats to our nation’s health. Members of this critical workforce can be found in every community across the country. They track infectious diseases and administer the vaccines to prevent their spread. They warn us about overuse of antibiotics leading to drug-resistant infections. They educate us about preventing accidental deaths by using infant car seats and about newer but avoidable dangers like vaping. And more. The public health workforce...
Did you know that in the United States alone someone gets an antibiotic-resistant infection every 11 seconds, and every 15 minutes someone dies as a result? That means people are dying of infections that are no longer responding to the drugs designed to kill them. This new data comes from CDC’s recently released Antibiotic Resistance Threats in the United States, 2019 showing that antibiotic-resistant pathogens are causing more than 2.8 million infections and 35,000 deaths across the U.S. As the report shows, too many people are still affected by resistant infections, many of which are preventable. The world can do more to prevent these infections and to stop the spread of pathogens across...
Thyroid eye disease is a serious, debilitating, and vision-threatening autoimmune disease where the immune system attacks muscles and other tissue behind and around the eyes, which can result in potentially sight-threatening proptosis (eye bulging). Symptoms include light sensitivity, bulging eyes, double vision, and red, watery, and irritated eyes. People living with thyroid eye disease frequently experience long-term reduced quality of life, including an inability to work and carry out many other day-to-day activities At a recent briefing held by the National Alliance for Eye and Vision Research (NAEVR), a Research!America alliance member, patient Christine Gustafson shared a common...
Dear Research Advocate, Earlier this week, we honored our nation’s veterans. Beyond a profound debt of gratitude, veterans deserve our vigilance in addressing such threats as PTSD, TBI, and suicide, the rate of which is tragically growing faster among veterans than in the general population . Thousands of U.S. veterans participate in clinical research aimed at addressing these and other health threats, and the VA itself plays an under-appreciated role in advancing medical and public health progress. See our fact sheet on VA research for examples of the agency’s impact. Among the many devastating consequences of TBI, preliminary research focused on veterans suggests that rates of migraine...
Dear Research Advocate, With new rumors surfacing daily, it’s difficult to gauge the odds of Congress and the Trump Administration completing FY20 appropriations this calendar year. We are now anticipating another short-term CR that will flat-fund government into December, buying a bit more time for final negotiations. If those negotiations fail, the options become yet another CR or a government shutdown. None of these scenarios serves the public interest. Imagine if federal agencies couldn’t adjust spending to jettison what is not working and invest in what is. Imagine if there were resources to seed the kind of medical and public health progress that saves lives, yet those resources lie...
For more than 30 years, Research!America has encouraged health and medical research to be a higher national priority. Year after year, our public opinion surveys have shown that the public also places this high value on research. In 2019, our survey asked, "How important is it for the President and Congress to assign a high priority to ensure faster medical progress?" 84% of the respondents said it was "very important" or "somewhat important." In 2017 and 2018, we asked this question focusing on the role of the President. When asked, "How important is it for President Trump to assign a high priority to put health research and innovation to work to assure continued medical progress?" we...

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Without continued support for health research, many of the most promising young scientists, their ideas and a myriad of potentially life-changing scientific breakthroughs will vanish into oblivion.
Paul Marinec, PhD; University of California San Francisco