NIH

On Friday, September 7, at the National Institutes of Health campus, the Trans-NIH Global Health Working Group hosted a lecture titled, ’€œRapid, automated diagnostics for tuberculosis: a potential new benchmark.’€ Mark Perkins, MD, who has worked at the Global Tuberculosis Programme of the World Health Organization and is currently the chief scientific officer at the Foundation for New Innovative Diagnostics (FIND), discussed the development of a new testing method for tuberculosis. Identified as the cause of death for 1.4 million individuals in 2010, including people in the United States , TB is a significant global health concern. However, it is consistently underdiagnosed due to...
As reported in the Washington Post, the number of West Nile virus cases in the U.S. is on the rise. Traditionally a disease that affects people in Africa, the Middle East and Asia, 48 states in the U.S. have reported cases in 2012 alone. Nearly 2,000 cases and 87 deaths, including one Wednesday in DC, have been reported overall. The West Nile virus, a neglected tropical disease or NTD, can cause flu-like symptoms or, in severe cases, even brain damage. Peter Hotez, MD, PhD, director of the Texas-based product development partnership Sabin Vaccine Institute, recently wrote a New York Times op-ed addressing the increasing thread of West Nile right here in the U.S., ’€œTropical Disease: The...
A recent unsigned editorial by Bloomberg View restates what we’ve been saying for some time: Americans are not immune from global health problems. The editorial focuses on West Nile virus and dengue, though there are certainly other diseases and conditions that were worthy of inclusion. Worldwide travel means diseases are more transmissible than ever, and climate change gives disease-carrying mosquitoes more hospitable climates, the editorial notes. And a lack of treatments exacerbates the problem. “Patients receive acetaminophen for fever and pain, fluids if they are dehydrated, and get-well wishes,” the editorial states. “No vaccines, no cures and no specific medicines exist to prevent or...
A recent editorial in The Washington Times by Rep. Brian Bilbray (R-CA) and John C. Reed, MD, PhD, chief executive officer of Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute , makes a parallel between President John F. Kennedy’s call for a lunar mission in 1962 and the future of medical research’s battle against cancer. In seven years, the authors note, America went from Kennedy’s proclamation to Neil Armstrong stepping out of the lunar module. (The op-ed ran two days before the legendary astronaut’s death.) Because of our understanding of cancer and the treatments we now have for it, the authors write, we are in a better position to conquer cancer than the space program in 1962. Moreover, they...
Dear Research Advocate, As you know, the Republican Party Platform was unveiled Tuesday during the convention in Tampa. There are direct references to medical and health research and other statements that ’€” if not explicit ’€” definitely imply the need for such research. We can draw from both to enhance our advocacy efforts. The following exemplifies the direct and indirect nature of the platform’€™s embrace of medical and health research: ’€œWe support federal investment in health care delivery systems and solutions creating innovative means to provide greater, more cost-effective access to high quality health care. We also support federal investment in basic and applied biomedical...
Dear Research Advocate, With Rep. Paul Ryan joining the Romney ticket, health is back on the national agenda. Partisan politics aside, this conversation is overdue, since health is indeed an issue that will make or bankrupt us. Research has always figured prominently in the wellbeing of Americans and America ’€“ research brought an end to the polio epidemic, which could have bankrupted the nation in the 1950s, and research is the only answer to the scourge of Alzheimer’€™s that threatens health, quality of life and our national checkbook today. And that is just a starting point for the conversation I hope you are having with everyone who wants to talk about the election. Take the...
WASHINGTON’€”August 7, 2012 ’€” Research!America, a nonprofit advocacy alliance, says too many congressional candidates are minimizing the importance of our nation’€™s faltering role in fighting deadly and disabling diseases as a campaign issue. Polling indicates that Americans rank medical research a high priority but also shows a majority of likely voters are not aware of their representatives’€™ views on research. Some candidates have indicated that they ’€œdon’€™t have time’€ to fill out a short questionnaire gauging their views on the importance of continued medical progress. Research!America and its partner organizations are calling on candidates to elevate the fight to save lives in...
The Minneapolis Star Tribune ran a recent editorial supportive of medical research; though it appeared last week, it’s still worth sharing. The editorial, “ Worst possible time to cut research ,” ran July 30. Medical research is an important topic for Minnesota. In FY11, the state ranked 17th in awards and 12th in funding from the National Institutes of Health, thanks mostly to two organizations. The University of Minnesota, in downtown Minneapolis, earned 583 NIH awards and more than $264 million in funding. Eighty-five miles to the south, in Rochester, the Mayo Clinic (a Research!America member) earned 370 awards and more than $200 million in funding. The state is also home to a thriving...
Dear Research Advocate, Just before leaving Washington for five weeks, Congressional leaders Harry Reid and John Boehner announced agreement on a continuing resolution (’€œC.R.’€) to fund the government until March 2013. In what has become routine, appropriations decisions will be deferred far beyond the October 1 beginning of the federal fiscal year. The leaders’€™ agreement, motivated by the need to avert a government shutdown, would leave NIH, FDA, AHRQ, CDC and the NSF with steady-state budgets, which is at least a better outcome than proposals for cuts pending before the House right now. But don’€™t take your eye off the ball! All kinds of mischief is possible between now and March,...
Dear Research Advocate, Sequestration, the looming fiscal cliff, a dangerous House appropriations bill ’€“ all were addressed in our members-only call yesterday with Chairman John Porter. As Porter pointed out, we have to keep the big picture in mind, pushing for tax and entitlement reform as part of the larger ’€œfix,’€ AND, in the immediate, we have to cry foul about the House bill and sequestration. Right now, while Congress is still in session, we must flood their offices, and the Administration, with calls and e-mails. Take 30 seconds to send a message to your representatives to remind them that medical research should be among our nation’€™s highest priorities. And – as was...

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Without research, there is no hope.
The Honorable Paul G. Rogers