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Dear Research Advocate: Votes and other Congressional activities were suspended this week to mourn the passing of our nation’s 41st President, George H.W. Bush. To prevent a government shutdown and provide more time to resolve disagreement around border wall funding, Congress agreed to another continuing resolution (CR) – now awaiting the President’s signature – to extend flat-funding for all remaining federal departments and agencies, including FDA and NSF, until December 21. This end-of-year CR scenario is all too familiar to advocates, and we must all stay the course to secure passage this year. Yesterday, Research!America and the Alliance for Aging Research sent a joint letter to...
Dear Research Advocate: This week has been rife with chilling public health news. You may have seen the widely-covered announcement that life expectancy in the United States has once again dropped, driven for a third year in a row by opioid (including fentanyl) abuse, a surge in suicide, especially in rural areas, and a spike in flu deaths. A sustained decline in life expectancy has not been seen in the U.S. for a century, since the devastation of World War I and the Pandemic flu of 1918. Read the full story . Also in the news are climate reports pointing to interconnected global health risks that are not going to go away on their own. Research and innovation are essential to ensuring our...
This is the fourth installment in a blog series about awareness of antibacterial resistance in recognition of World Antibiotic Awareness Week, November 12-18, 2018. Check back for more blog posts soon! Which of our interventions, devices, and cures could save lives from antimicrobial resistance (AMR)? What roadblocks are keeping us from making the next groundbreaking discovery to combat AMR? What investments would stop its spread? Over the next year, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), along with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is asking leaders around the world to commit to action in one of these areas and join The AMR Challenge . We need your help...
Dear Research Advocate: Big news: it appears a Labor-H/Defense appropriations “conference report” (i.e. final bill) will clear Congress and reach the President’s desk before the September 30 deadline. Earlier this week, we sent a letter urging conferees Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO), Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), Representative Tom Cole (R-OK), and Representative Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) to push for the highest funding levels possible for NIH, CDC, AHRQ and CDMRP given the boundaries set by the House and Senate versions of the legislation. This just in: a summary of the conference report . A preliminary read (emphasis on “preliminary”) indicates that the conferees did indeed opt for favorable funding...
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: 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,...
Fostering strong partnerships between clinicians and researchers is the key to speeding the discovery and implementation of new asthma treatments, said Judith Woodfolk, MBChB, Ph.D., professor of medicine, Division of Asthma, Allergy and Immunology, Department of Medicine, University of Virginia School of Medicine, during Research!America’s asthma research briefing in Washington, D.C. on May 15. Woodfolk was joined by other experts spanning government, industry and the patient community for a panel discussion about research to prevent, treat and ultimately cure severe asthma. Eleanor Perfetto, Ph.D., M.S., senior vice president of strategic initiatives at the National Health Council,...
Research into the development of Ebola vaccines, efforts to address opioid use among women, infectious diseases and a record number of novel drug approvals are among the many examples of federal health agencies making tremendous strides in 2017 to address complex and deadly health threats. The agencies highlighted their achievements in year-end articles, videos and reports on their websites. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) described progress with two Ebola vaccines and a bionic pancreas to better treat type 1 diabetes in addition to other clinical advances. The NIH also supported the work of three recipients of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine and one recipient of the Nobel...

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The capabilities are enormous, a little bit of research can pay off quite a bit in the long run.
Paul D’ Addario, retinitis pigmentosa patient