Mary Woolley

November 5, 2014 Fighting Ebola and other infectious disease threats is a rightful and critical facet of our national defense. As Congress considers the President’s comprehensive emergency funding request for Ebola, we urge members of Congress to respond on a bipartisan basis. Americans expect our nation’s leaders to present a unified front against national threats, allocating the funding needed to protect our nation. We also expect common sense, which means treating an emergency as an emergency and refraining from haphazardly cutting funding for other priorities in order to “pay for” protecting the American public. Sustained investments in research are necessary to enhance our capability...
The Ice Bucket Challenge raised more than $100 million for ALS research, but turning money and enthusiasm into therapies and cures for the deadly disease is an entirely different type of challenge. Research!America President and CEO Mary Woolley was among the guests on BioCenturyTV This Week on October 19 to discuss the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, our national voter education initiative Ask Your Candidates! and the need for stronger support for medical research. “ We need to make sure to tell the people we’re hiring to serve in Congress that it’s really important to fund research for health, and right now is a good time to be doing that, ” said Mary Woolley. Other guests included: Dr. Brett...
Dear Research Advocate: Ebola remains in the news. In the midst of the demoralizing finger pointing that seems to have taken the place of unity of mission that ought to characterize our nation, we are occasionally reminded that science is a problem solver. That’€™s a useful message to convey if we hope to keep the current politicization from worsening. But more of us have to speak out. Don’€™t stand on the sidelines when you could make a difference at this important time when people are paying much more attention to research than usual. With the election only a little over a week away, take the time to ask candidates a question or two. Email or tweet in questions to debates and contact...
Dear Research Advocate: We thought we learned our lesson after 9/11 and anthrax attacks. After the trauma and after fear swept the nation, we invested substantially in ’€œpreparedness.’€ But then we drifted into complacency, and began cutting deeply into the kind of preparedness that is less visible than TSA and drone strikes, but, as Ebola is teaching us now, no less valuable. As mentioned in today’€™s congressional hearing on the subject, the decade-long pattern of cuts to federal health agencies, as well as to funding for hospital and public health preparedness, has now been revealed to have been short-sighted. (Much of the cutting was carried out over the years as a way to ’€œ...
Letter to the editor by Research!America President and CEO Mary Woolley published in the Omaha World Herald . This is in response to a Midlands Voices essay ( Finish the job, fund medical research , Sept. 25). The authors’€™ articulate case for robust and sustained investments in lifesaving research represents the interests of all Americans who await cures, as well as better treatments and prevention of Alzheimer’€™s, autism, cancer and diabetes and more. Many Americans believe that elected officials are not doing enough to combat deadly diseases, as they repeatedly cut funding and fail to enact policies that stimulate rather than stifle research. Two-thirds of our fellow citizens say it’€™...
Dear Research Advocate: The accomplishments of the recently announced 2014 Nobel laureates in the fields of physiology or medicine, and chemistry are breath-taking. Whether identifying the mechanisms by which the mind comprehends space and place, or enhancing ability to observe how diseases develop, these scientists have, over time, enabled progress that couldn’t have been determined by fiat. Science serves us all via an iterative discovery process, which is why policymakers are skating on thin ice when they censor research that doesn’€™t promise results that serve a date or purpose certain. Centuries ago, European rulers launched many ventures before eventually discovering the New World —...
Dear Research Advocate: A continuing resolution to fund the federal government at just under Fiscal Year 2014 levels – it now includes supplemental funding to help combat the escalating Ebola epidemic – is on its way to the President’€™s desk, and members of Congress will soon be on their way home. Where does that leave us? At the very least, with something to talk about. Today in Kentucky at the Research!Louisville program, now in its 19th year of celebrating science and scientists and engaging the broader community, I talked about the way the nation’s decision-makers have failed us all by setting our nation’€™s innovation engine on idle, dismissing the fundamental importance of research...
Excerpt of a joint op-ed by Research!America President and CEO Mary Woolley and Susan G. Komen President and CEO Judith A. Salerno published in The Huffington Post . February 23, 1954, was a milestone in the history of American medical research. That day, children at Arsenal Elementary School in Pittsburgh lined up to receive injections of a promising vaccine. Within months, schoolchildren all over the country were doing the same, and polio was on its way to being eradicated in the United States. The disease, which had killed and paralyzed children and adults alike, would no longer be a threat. This remarkable achievement would not have been possible without the work of Dr. Jonas Salk and...
Dear Research Advocate: I am writing a day early this week since all of us at Research!America will be engaged in our programs tomorrow. If you haven’€™t registered for the National Health Research Forum, there is still time to join us! More details here . Congress is back in town. The House will soon consider a simple, short-term continuing resolution (CR) to fund the government through early December. (Nobody wants a repeat of last year’€™s government shutdown at the beginning of the new fiscal year, October 1.) To offset funding requested by the Administration to help meet the Ebola crisis, as well as to adjust for certain other ’€œanomalies,’€ the CR bill includes a 0.0556% across-the-...
Dear Research Advocate: Just when you thought that there is no good news coming from Washington, it looks as though we have a new congressional champion for research. Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) penned a most welcome op-ed in the Asbury Park Press this week. We trust this is just one way he works to convince his constituents and his fellow lawmakers of the high priority the nation should be assigning to research. Championing research can be a heavy lift, since it’€™s no secret that some policymakers don’€™t see why government should have any role in R&D. A recent article in Forbes pushes back. As part of the BRAIN Initiative, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is...

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Sidebar Quote

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