Mary Woolley

Dear Research Advocate: Tomorrow is the final day to nominate outstanding leaders in medical, health and other scientific research for a Research!America 2019 Advocacy Award. Learn more about the 2019 awards and submit nominations here . If you have someone in mind and could use backup to help fill in the submission details, let us help! Email Barbara at BLove@researchamerica.org . Last week, the president unveiled his plan to address drug pricing, the American Patients First plan. In addition to the release, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a request for information (RFI) that established a 60-day window for public comment. Secretary Azar’s written statement on the...
Dear Research Advocate: On Tuesday, President Trump officially sent his rescissions package to Congress, impounding $15.4 billion in discretionary and mandatory spending authority and requesting that Congress rescind (cancel) it. While uncertainty still reigns, it appears that both Houses will, in fact, go through the process of formally reviewing the rescissions package. Members of Congress have a 45-day window to act; if they don’t, it’s back to business as usual. Here is a quick primer the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget put together on the rescissions process. Among the discretionary and mandatory funding cuts included in the package: $400 million in Ebola funding and $800...
Dear Research Advocate: A special thanks to Grace Stuntz and Nick Bath of the Senate HELP Committee for meeting with Research!America alliance members on Tuesday to discuss the committee’s 2018 research-related priorities, among which opioid response legislation is front and center. The HELP Committee has passed a bipartisan bill and is working on determining likely amendments in anticipation of a floor vote; the House Energy & Commerce Committee hopes to approve a package and secure House passage by Memorial Day. The opioid bills in both Houses reflect the diversity of research disciplines (and associated funding) needed to overcome complex public health threats like this one; for...
Dear Research Advocate, The Research!America 2019 Advocacy Awards nominations are now open! Act now to nominate the stellar advocates you want to recognize for outstanding leadership in medical, public health and other scientific research. The awards will be presented at our dinner on March 13, 2019. My recent letters have mentioned the possibility of the president sending a rescission package to Congress. At this point, it’s more a matter of when, not if he will request billions in “clawbacks” of already appropriated funds. It’s up to Congress to accept or reject the request. Think about it: for several fiscal years now, federal agencies have not had the benefit of fully functioning...
Dear Research Advocate: Research!America was proud to be one of more than 100 groups involved in last weekend’s second March for Science, which took place in over 500 locations worldwide. I had the opportunity to speak at the terrific pre-March rally hosted by AAAS and to talk to the Washington Post and several other media outlets -- it won’t surprise you to know that I reinforced the need for science and scientists to be more visible, not just once a year at the March, but on a regular basis. It comes down to this: to influence a conversation, an opinion, a policy or all three -- it is necessary to engage; it’s so important to regularly say and convey to the American public, “I Work for...
Dear Research Advocate: Is a rescission proposal to cut funding from the recently enacted FY18 omnibus appropriations bill possible? Unfortunately, we can’t rule it out, despite indications from some House and Senate Republicans that they would not vote to backpedal from approved spending. But, we have also been hearing that agencies are having to plan for a possible rescission and a recent article in Politico quotes Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) saying “it’s worth a discussion.” I urge you to join that discussion. Backtracking on support for science is not a productive way forward for a nation proud to set the world’s global economic high-water mark. Whether you took action...
First, thank you for helping us thank “Labor-H” appropriations subcommittee leaders and their respective staff members for their crucial role in securing robust FY18 funding to drive faster medical and public health progress. The final letter was 154 signatures strong… a well-deserved show of appreciation! (Almost) unbelievably, however, the FY18 funding saga continues. Even though the FY18 omnibus has been signed into law, news broke this week that House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and President Trump are discussing whether to pursue cuts to the non-defense discretionary funding in it. Under a provision in a 1974 law, the president would formally propose these cuts, or “...
Dear Research Advocate, Almost 30 years ago to the day, April 2, 1988, President Ronald Reagan delivered a radio address to the nation on the federal government’s role in scientific research. “We cannot know where scientific research will lead. The consequences and spin-offs are unknown and unknowable until they happen. But one thing is certain: If we don't explore, others will, and we'll fall behind.” The fact that the FY18 omnibus cites concerns that “China and 34 other competitors are outpacing the United States in terms of research spending,” demonstrates that President Reagan’s words ring true today. Our job now, to paraphrase former Congressman and Research!America Board Member Bart...
Dear Research Advocate: Last week at our awards event, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi announced that the National Institutes of Health (NIH) could see a $3 billion increase for FY18. Now that the omnibus deal has been struck (you can find the full text here ), we know that Leader Pelosi’s announcement was spot on and just the beginning of the good news. In addition to the unprecedented NIH increase, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality also received funding increases. Here are the numbers and see our statement for more details. Health research was not the only area of science boosted in the funding bill. The National...
Dear Research Advocate, Last night, nearly 500 people joined us for Research!America’s 22nd Annual Advocacy Awards Dinner. We had the honor of presenting Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) with the Edwin C. Whitehead Award for Medical Research Advocacy , welcomed surprise guest, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), and had the privilege of honoring other truly inspirational leaders and leading organizations in science and advocacy. If you were not able to be with us, I encourage you to check out our dinner recap . You can also see photos and comments about the Advocacy Awards Dinner from attendees on Twitter by searching #RAawards18. For all of us at Research!America, it was...

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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