advocacy

Dear Research Advocate: My colleagues at Research!America have shared the role as author of our weekly letter during my recent sabbatical. My thanks to them for providing timely and actionable information to our wide network. As I am ’€œre-entering’€ the Washington space, I have been struck by (1) the significantly worse condition of the roads ’€” potholes everywhere, and now even sinkholes in DC! I’€™ve been in several global capitals this spring, including in less-developed countries, and DC doesn’€™t look good in comparison. Via recent domestic travels, I can attest to the poor condition of our roads nationwide, taking a toll on vehicles and our economy, while eroding public confidence...
Research!America salutes Board of Directors Chair John Edward Porter, the 2014 recipient of the Public Welfare Medal from the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), the Academy’€™s most prestigious award to honor the extraordinary use of science for the public good. Porter’€™s leadership in advocacy for research has strengthened our nation’€™s global competitiveness in science and technology and advanced medical innovation to new heights. As chair of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, Porter demonstrated tremendous foresight, calling on policymakers to support robust investments in research to improve quality of life, combat debilitating...
by Amy Comstock Rick, CEO of Parkinson’€™s Action Network April is now about halfway over but there is still plenty of time to help raise awareness for Parkinson’€™s disease and the millions affected. Parkinson’€™s disease is a chronic, progressive neurological disorder and the second most prevalent degenerative neurological disease after Alzheimer’€™s. So far this year, people all over the country have honored loved ones with Parkinson’€™s disease by helping the Parkinson’€™s Action Network (PAN) and the other national Parkinson’€™s disease organizations spread awareness of the disease and its impact on our nation. PAN, a nonprofit advocacy organization based in Washington, DC, would like...
Dear Research Advocate: The doubling of the National Institutes of Health budget between FY99 and FY03 is an example of Congress at its most productive ’€¦ and it hinged on bipartisanship. A small group of Republicans and Democrats recognized the power of medical progress, and they worked together to increase the budget baseline for NIH by nearly $11.5 billion. Without that doubling, and with the stagnation of virtually all non-defense discretionary funding that followed on its heels, which groundbreaking medical discoveries would still lie dormant? Which of those we hold dear would not be alive today? Research!America Chair and former Congressman John Porter, who chaired the House Labor-...
Research!America members and partners extend warm congratulations to Research!America Chair The Honorable John Edward Porter for his well-deserved recognition by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) with the dedication of the Porter Neuroscience Research Center. Our nation has benefited from Mr. Porter’s leadership in advancing medical and health research as chair of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education during his tenure in Congress, and as an indomitable force in the research advocacy community. As a U.S. representative, he worked across the aisle to cultivate champions for research, articulating the societal and economic benefits of...
Dear Research Advocate: There is still time ’€” if you act quickly ’€” to urge your representative to sign on to the House letter authored by Representatives McKinley (R-WV-01), Davis (D-CA-53), Carson (D-IN-07) and King (R-NY-02) urging more support for NIH ’€” it will be finalized by close of business today. A similar Senate letter, authored by Senators Casey (D-PA) and Burr (R-NC), will be finalized Tuesday, April 1; ask your senators to sign on today! An appropriations mechanism known as a “tap” made the news Tuesday when, during a hearing on NIH, Members of Congress asked advocates questions about the use of a tap by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to move money from...
by Signing the McKinley-Davis-Carson-King Letter for Medical Research Given that the budget allocated to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), which funds the non-commercial, basic medical research required to develop new medical treatments and cures, is actually lower this year than it was in 2012, it has never been more important to fight for NIH funding. To help ensure that this unique federal agency receives the resources needed to support research at universities, hospitals and other research institutions across the country, Representatives Peter King (R-NY), Susan Davis (D-CA), Andre Carson (D-IN), and David McKinley (R-WV) are circulating a sign-on letter in support of critically...
Dear Research Advocate: Fostering research and innovation has long been a multi-pronged effort ’€” government, industry, academia, patients and patient organizations, foundations, and individual philanthropists ’€” all working to advance research. The current interest shown by private philanthropists in advancing science is an echo of a phenomenon witnessed a century ago ’€” and a sign of the opportunity available in some way to all of us to accelerate medical progress and maintain our nation’€™s competitive edge. As reported in a recent front page New York Times article, private donors are stepping up in a big way at a time when scientific opportunity has never been greater. But it is...
On March 12, Research!America honored extraordinary leaders in medical and health research advocacy during the 2014 Annual Advocacy Awards at the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium in Washington, DC. We extend our congratulations to the honorees: Reps. Frank Wolf (R-VA) and Chaka Fattah (D-PA); actress Glenn Close and her family for their work to end the stigmas and misunderstandings surrounding mental illness; Leroy Hood, MD, PhD, president of the Institute for Systems Biology; Kathy Giusti, founder and CEO of the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF); Reed Tuckson, MD, managing director of Tuckson Health Connections; and The Progeria Research Foundation (PRF). While much has been done to...
Excerpt of a guest post by Research!America Manager of Policy and Advocacy Caitlin Leach, published in the Fight Colorectal Cancer blog to help prepare their advocates for their Hill day, Call-on Congress, on March 18. As you prepare for your trip to Call-on Congress in Washington, make room in your luggage for your stories, your experiences and your hope for the future. Your perspectives bring legislative issues to life. Anecdotes about colorectal cancer’€™s impact on you and your community are essential for your representatives in Washington and their staff members to hear. Members of Congress make decisions by weighing the facts and evidence, but also based on the insights their...

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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