medical research

This article appeared in the March/April edition of Ohio Matters, the official publication of the Ohio Chamber of Commerce. As Ohio’s leading sector, the biomedical industry plays an important role in the state’s economy, and the resources to support the research being done by colleges, universities and industries to advance societal health must continue to expand. From protecting us against mosquito-borne pathogens such as the Zika virus or food-borne pathogens such as E. coli O26, Salmonella and Listeria, we constantly need new methods of detection, prevention and treatment, all of which are made possible by the research conducted by dedicated biomedical scientists, research that costs...
Dear Research Advocate: At Research!America’s annual meeting yesterday Alex Silver, co-founder and CEO of the Epidermolysis Bullosa Research Partnership (EBRP), a member of Research!America, made a strong case for venture philanthropy as a common-sense approach to investing in research, particularly as it applies to rare diseases. He challenged us to think in new ways about nonprofit organizations, ways that reinforce both partnership and innovation. Patients like his 7-year-old son Jackson, for whom every day is a painful challenge, are waiting. (For more on spending on research as an investment vs. spending for consumption, see Norm Augustine’s timely essay .) Also at the annual meeting,...
Dear Research Advocate: What’s the “right” amount of taxpayer funding for medical and health research? What are the ‘right’ policies for science? We are asked these question regularly. The announcement yesterday by Harold Varmus that he will leave the National Cancer Institute (NCI) at the end of this month reminded me that in Science in 1993, Dr. Varmus and fellow Nobel Laureate Michael Bishop, along with their then-colleague at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), Mark Kirchner, set forth an 11-point prescription for science policy. It is worth re-reading their approach to a set of problems that bear a striking similarity to those we face today, e.g: “The last decade has...
Letter to the editor by Research!America VP of Communications Suzanne Ffolkes published in The Gainesville Sun . In reference to the Dec. 28 editorial ’€œ Funding innovation ,’€ countless medical breakthroughs would not have been possible without the support of federal funding. It is imperative that research and innovation become a higher national priority for the new Congress. Bipartisan proposals to advance medical progress ’€” like the 21st Century Cures Initiative that includes provisions to boost federal funding for research, modernize clinical trials and incentivize the development of new drugs and devices, among others ’€” should be given serious consideration. Stagnant funding over...
Dear Research Advocate: As America rings in the New Year, many of us will be reflecting on the past and making resolutions for the future. To get a feel for the numerous ways in which NIH, CDC, AHRQ, NSF and FDA contributed to the well-being of Americans and others throughout the world in 2014, click here . I hope lawmakers are taking time now to establish New Year’€™s resolutions and set priorities for the new Congress, which convenes one week from today. My biggest wish for the new Congress? Pragmatism over politics. If pragmatism rules, the next Congress will shake off the stultifying complacency that is weighing our nation down and act to reignite U.S. innovation. More here . One reason...
Dear Research Advocate: So much is troubling our nation – evidenced in protests of recent grand jury decisions and the controversy over release of the Senate’s report on the CIA – that most people probably haven’t noticed or cared that the Congress is delaying and may even abort action on the long overdue funding of the federal fiscal year that began on Oct. 1. People have grown tired of Congress missing self-imposed deadlines, only to say they can only act in the face of those deadlines, and now they are talking of doing it again. And thus we are lulled into thinking it doesn’t matter what the Congress does. But that would be wrong: priority-setting by the Congress plays a major role in...
Dear Research Advocate: Congress is working to reach agreement to fund the government for FY15. Recall that the federal fiscal year 2015 began on Oct. 1, but that deadline was not met. Instead, a continuing resolution (CR) was enacted to keep the government from shutting down. Missed deadlines and CRs have now been the pattern of many years’€™ standing, despite rhetoric about the importance of a “return to regular order.” Instead of regular order we have “kick the can down the road,” again and again. It seems increasingly likely that Congress’€™ current appropriations negotiations will produce a hybrid omnibus and CR (a ’€œCRomnibus’€ for fans of linguistic portmanteau!) which includes all...
In honor of #GivingTuesday , Jayme and Julie talk about their experience working at Research!America to help boost federal support for medical research and innovation. Jayme Hennenfent , D.V.M., M.S. I was honored to embark on a science policy fellowship at Research!America because I know firsthand how crucial funding is to the discovery process. My alma mater, The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, is a preeminent research institution, spending over a half a billion dollars on science and technology research annually. However, even powerhouses like this are not immune to the current struggle for project funding support, which I personally observed when I saw world-class...
Dear Research Advocate: If you haven’€™t already heard, ’€œThrowback Thursday’€ is a weekly social media activity that celebrates unforgettable moments in our lives. Users of Facebook, Twitter or Instagram draw inspiration from old photos of family and friends or landmark events, and talk about them, accompanied by the hashtag #TBT. Wouldn’€™t it be great if today’€™s #TBT includes reflections on the impact of medical and health research on our lives and those of our loved ones — especially today, with the mid-term elections coming right up, with so much at stake for future generations? Consider how far we’€™ve come in medicine. This week marks the 100th birthday of Dr. Jonas Salk, who...
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...

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