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, 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...
The World Health Organization (WHO) reported that in 2016, a greater number of deaths by suicide than by Parkinson’s disease, natural disasters, ovarian cancer, war, thyroid cancer, Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and opioid use disorders combined. Additionally, the VA Office of Mental Health and Suicide Prevention reports that veterans have a higher rate of suicide than non-veterans by over 150%. To address this concerning statistic, the Friends of VA Medical Care and Health Research (FOVA) hosted a congressional briefing entitled “The Science of Veteran Suicide” on September 26, 2019 to focus on how research can be used to understand, and therefore prevent, the additional risks veterans face. The...
Dear Research Advocate, It’s Halloween! I was astonished to learn that Americans will spend some $9 billion on candy, costumes and decorations this year. $9 billion would fund: NIH’s National Institute on Dental and Craniofacial Research for more than 27 years; CDC’s Vaccines for Children program for almost two and a half years; FDA’s Foods program for eight and a half years; or NSF’s entire budget for more than one year. These comparisons (and you can imagine many more like them) aren’t meant to disparage a fun holiday, but rather to underscore that investing in life-saving medical and public health research is affordable for this wealthy nation of ours — in fact, it’s a relatively small...
The fall 2019 edition of Research!America's newsletter, the Research Advocate, is now online ! Among the articles in this issue: Advocacy Award Recipients Announced The 24th annual Research!America Advocacy Awards, to be held at the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium in Washington, D.C. on March 11, 2020, brings together leaders from government, industry, academia, patient groups, scientific societies, independent research institutes, and health advocacy organizations to honor exceptional advocates for research. Earlier this month, Research!America announced the first round of recipients for many of the awards. Bruce M. Alberts, PhD , former president (1993-2005) of the National Academy of...
Dear Research Advocate, Today, we announced several of the extraordinary leaders in medical and health research advocacy who will be honored during our 2020 Advocacy Awards Dinner. Dr. Bruce Alberts, former president of the National Academy of Sciences (among a plethora of distinctions), will receive this year’s John Edward Porter Legacy Award, generously supported by Ann Lurie. Bruce is just one of the remarkable individuals who will be recognized, as highlighted in today’s release . We will soon announce the recipients of the Isadore Rosenfeld Award for Impact on Public Opinion and the Edwin C. Whitehead Award for Medical Research Advocacy . I hope you will join us on March 11, 2020, to...
In 2013, President Obama announced The Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative , an ambitious ten-year plan tasked with “revolutionizing our understanding of the human brain.” The BRAIN Initiative seeks to expedite discoveries about the fundamental workings of the brain, so that researchers can better tackle the many diseases and disorders of this complex organ. The BRAIN Initiative spans several federal entities and includes partnerships with industry leaders, and academia, among others. In 2019, we are halfway through the Initiative’s time frame. At a recent briefing held by the Coalition for Life Sciences , guest speakers Dr. Eva Marder , PhD,...
Dear Research Advocate, Congress has five weeks to reach an agreement on full-year FY20 funding levels before the current stop-gap continuing resolution (CR) expires on November 21, 2019. House spending leaders sent their Senate counterparts new totals for the 12 annual appropriations bills, but word is, negotiations on those topline amounts are far from over and concerns are mounting that Congress could resort to another short-term CR. CRs are the enemy of medical and public health progress: consider the recent NIH-supported finding that the artificial pancreas system controls blood glucose levels better than current technology in patients with Type 1 diabetes or promising results in...
Dear Research Advocate, The distinguished 2019 Nobel Laureates announced this week made fundamental discoveries that have transformed the future for Americans and populations across the globe. Taxpayers, via appropriations to NIH and NSF, have long provided support to several of these and many past Nobelists, thereby ensuring that discovery builds on discovery and drives development and delivery of ever-increasing societal benefits over time. (See our statements here and here ) But what are we doing to nurture future Nobel laureates? Robust NIH and NSF support for researchers across the nation hinges on the ability of the House and Senate to negotiate final FY20 appropriations before the...
“Many or most public health issues are inherently local, but the federal government still has an important role to play, and they have resources to bare when needed,” said Chrissie Juliano , Executive Director of the Big Cities Health Coalition (BCHC) . On September 23, 2019, the BCHC and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) , a Research!America member, addressed this topic in a briefing titled “The Measles Outbreaks of 2018/2019: Perspectives from Local Communities.” At this event, along with Ms. Juliano, spoke Dr. Colleen Kraft , Immediate Past President of AAP; Dr. Oxiris Barbot , Commissioner of the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene; and Dr. Jeffrey Gunzenhauser...

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