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Dear Research Advocate: I’m pleased to announce that Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) will be giving remarks at our Annual Meeting on March 16 at noon at the Willard Intercontinental Hotel. We will also be hearing from newly confirmed FDA commissioner Dr. Robert Califf and ALS patient advocate Lorri Carey. I hope you’ll join us at the annual meeting as well as at the Annual Advocacy Awards Dinner that evening. See our ad in Roll Call . Senators Patty Murray (D-WA) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) were joined by the eight other democratic members of the Senate HELP Committee today as they introduced the National Biomedical Research Act . This bill would provide a new mandatory funding stream for NIH...
Research conducted at Louisiana institutions benefits not only those in the state but also people across the country, said Senator Bill Cassidy (R-LA) during his opening remarks at the Louisiana Research Summit held on February 16 at the University Medical Center in New Orleans. The summit, co-hosted by Research!America, assembled federal, state, university, and business leaders to discuss current challenges and opportunities for advancing research in Louisiana. At several junctures during the summit, Senator Cassidy stressed the importance of making Louisiana "easy to work with" by lowering administrative barriers and building on success to date. He also emphasized that the summit was not...
Dear Research Advocate: This week I had the pleasure of participating in a research “summit” hosted by Louisiana State University (LSU), Research!America, and our honorary host, Senator Bill Cassidy (R-LA). I moderated a powerhouse panel featuring NIH Director Francis Collins, M.D., NSF Director France Cordova, Ph.D., and FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER) Director Janet Woodcock, M.D., each of whom offered state-specific illustrations of the impact federally-funded Louisiana research has had to date, and signalled the many opportunities Louisiana has to do more. This standing-room-only, high-content gathering drew research, academic, business and philanthropic leaders...
Dear Research Advocate: As task force meetings for Vice President Biden’s “moonshot” initiative began this week, a new public opinion survey commissioned by Research!America showed that 50% of Americans favor a tax increase to fund cancer research. While this manner of funding the moonshot is not currently on the table, the survey finding underscores the high priority Americans place on curing cancer. The President told Majority Leader McConnell and Speaker Ryan that assuring resources for research, cancer in particular, is one of his five priorities for working across the aisle this year. His FY17 budget proposal -- scheduled for release next Tuesday -- will reportedly request additional...
Dear Research Advocate: With great pleasure, we made a big announcement this week -- Chairmen Roy Blunt (R-MO) and Tom Cole (R-OK-04) will be receiving the Whitehead Award at our Annual Awards Dinner on March 16 at the Mellon Auditorium. I hope you will be there to join us in honoring these champions for the tremendous commitment they have shown to advancing medical progress. By now you may have heard the news that the Cures initiative is on the move! The Senate HELP Committee released its plan to consider multiple pieces of legislation that support the same objectives as the House 21st Century Cures Act (HR 6). Senate HELP Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) announced the Committee’s...
This was an exceptional year for publicly-funded research projects. Investments in science led to a greater understanding of preventing and treating disease such as using genetic variants to identify people at risk for coronary heart disease and tailoring breast cancer treatments to avoid the need for chemotherapy. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) also supported the work of three Nobel Prize winners and clinical advances in cancer, heart disease, MS and many other conditions. The National Science Foundation (NSF) funded interdisciplinary projects including one that led to a holistic approach to strengthening the security and effectiveness of mobile medical applications . Evidence-...
Dear Research Advocate, This holiday season, Congress has delivered a most welcome package with plenty of trimmings for patients and all of us who care about the future of health. The bipartisan deal-making is complete. A final short-term spending measure, expiring Tuesday, December 22, allows the House and Senate time to review and pass a spending bill and tax package before adjourning for the year. These two major pieces of legislation represent a real win for research; the jumpstart we need to restore the NIH budget to robust annual growth and fuel a new era of medical innovation and global leadership in both public and private sectors. As federal policymakers consider how to vote on...
Dear Research Advocate, The current continuing resolution (CR) expires tomorrow. Congress has yet to reach agreement on FY16 appropriations, so they will buy more time to hammer out a funding package by passing another CR lasting til midnight Wednesday, December 16. The major sticking points at this moment are additional policy riders attached to the funding omnibus, spanning the spectrum from immigration and refugees to labor and environmental issues. As it looks right now, some research-related budgets stand to gain, while others face a less positive fate. There’s more on NIH in my interview with The Atlantic , and we continue to press for increases for CDC, FDA, AHRQ and NSF. Social,...
Over the course of his last few weeks before retiring, Speaker Boehner worked with fellow House and Senate leaders and the President to fashion a budget deal that increases the nation’s debt limit and provides an additional $80 billion above sequestration-level spending caps. Both non-defense and defense programs will receive $25 billion more in fiscal year 2016 (FY16) and $15 billion more in FY 2017. The House has passed this budget plan, and the Senate is expected to follow suit by Tuesday. See our statement . Passing this deal is step one. Step two is allocating top-line budget numbers across the 12 appropriations subcommittees (these allocations are known as “302(b)s”). This will likely...
Dear Research Advocate: Advocacy works. More members of Congress are speaking out in support of research, including at a Senate Labor-H Appropriations Subcommittee hearing featuring testimony from NIH Director Francis Collins and several NIH Institute Directors. Appropriations Committee Vice-Chairwoman Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) summed up the limitations created by the sequestration caps succinctly: “We cannot cap innovation, we cannot cap breakthroughs.” Labor-H Subcommittee Chairman Roy Blunt (R-MO) underscored the point that both the subcommittee and full appropriations committee support biomedical research as a high priority. The subcommittee’s Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-WA) spoke of...

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America’s economic destiny lies in innovation, technology, science and research.
The Honorable John E. Porter