NIH

Dear Research Advocate: Today, the House Labor-HHS appropriations subcommittee marked up its FY17 funding bill, which includes funding for NIH, CDC and AHRQ. NIH received a $1.25 billion increase, $750 million less than the Senate increase. Given the subcommittee’s overall budget allocation ($569 million below fiscal year 2016) and the more conservative funding climate in the House, this is still an extraordinarily positive outcome. At the markup, Chairman Tom Cole (R-OK-04) noted that the $1.25 billion increase set a floor - rather than a ceiling - for NIH funding in FY17, a positive sign for potential negotiations with the Senate later in the process. The House Labor-HHS bill proposes a...
Dear Research Advocate: If you’ve read Ron Chernow’s “Hamilton,” you know that the partisan stand-off we are witnessing in the House, and more broadly across the nation, is not new. Chernow reminds us that political parties -- not originally foreseen by the Founding Fathers -- grew out of intense and often ugly disagreements between Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson during the second administration of George Washington. That insight doesn’t make this week’s turn of events less dramatic, but it does offer perspective. In the midst of the Democratic sit-in on preventing gun violence, the House adjourned earlier than expected and won’t resume business until July 5. Just before adjourning...
Dear Research Advocate: The news from the CDC this week is concerning. For the first time in over a decade the overall, all-cause mortality rate for the U.S. is higher than in the preceding year. This unexpected news comes on the heels of last week’s announcement confirming the first U.S. case of an E. coli infection resistant to colistin, a last-resort antibiotic, reminding us of just how important it is to curtail and outpace antimicrobial resistance. And we have word of the second baby born in the U.S. with microcephaly due to Zika, as well as a new estimate that 300 pregnant women in the U.S. have the virus. On their own, each of these stories should serve as a wake-up call for...
Alzheimer’s disease is the 6 th leading cause of death in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, affecting 11% of the population 65 years and older. Without a treatment or prevention breakthrough, studies estimate there could be as many as 13.5 million Americans living with the disease by 2050 with associated health care costs rising above $1 trillion. However, the research has progressed, as scientists unlock and unveil the secrets of the brain. Recently, scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have shown that measures of the tau protein are better markers of the cognitive decline of Alzheimer's than measures of amyloid beta...
Dear Research Advocate: The CDC has concluded that a causal relationship exists between the Zika virus and microcephaly. Earlier this week, Congress passed a law providing incentives for private sector development of Zika vaccines and treatments. But responding to threats like Zika is a resource-intensive, multi-pronged process. We are working with the March of Dimes and other partners to fight for emergency funding. Interested in joining this effort? Let me know! The Senate Appropriations Committee has parsed the overall FY17 discretionary budget into “302(b)” allocations for its various subcommittees. Given that the topline numbers are virtually flat, it is not particularly surprising...
Dear Research Advocate: A report out this week by United Health Foundation concluded that an astonishing 72% of Americans have at least one of the five most impactful “unhealthy behaviors” (smoking, physical inactivity, insufficient sleep, excessive drinking or obesity). A White House report out this week quantifies the massive public health threat brought on by climate change and outlines the emerging issues, supporting evidence and the research required to curb these predicted effects. The need for improved public health is more evident then ever, and public health research is the best way to develop evidence-based, outcome-oriented interventions. Good thing it’s National Public Health...
President Obama’s decree proclaiming April 4 – 10 National Public Health Week focuses on several key objective: stemming the tide of infectious disease like Zika; improving access to healthcare domestically and globally; promoting healthy behaviors in adolescents; preventing opioid and illicit drug abuse; decreasing gun violence; addressing climate change-related health issues; and improving access to mental health resources. National Public Health week is an opportunity to reflect on the pivotal role public health research and practice play in advancing the wellbeing of Americans and populations across the globe, and recognize the individuals, organizations and agencies that carry out...
The April 2016 issue of The Research Advocate is now online . Highlights from this month include : A summary of Research!America's 27th Annual Meeting of Members and Advocacy Awards Dinner, including a special insert on the award honorees. Federal policy update, including information on the appropriations process for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Science Foundation (NSF) and Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). Member spotlight featuring the University of North Texas Health Science Center . Learn more about the Parkinson's Disease Foundation You Can Help Us #EndParkinsons campaign, which launched in April for Parkinson's Awareness Month. Pfizer has...
Dear Research Advocate: Vice President Joe Biden continued the drumbeat for the Cancer Moonshot with a visit to Research!America member Johns Hopkins University on Tuesday. He spoke about the critical importance of the private sector in the discovery, development, delivery ecosystem. Indeed, from public-private partnerships to philanthropic donations, the private sector is an essential partner in the fight against deadly and debilitating diseases. Demonstrating both this point and his personal commitment to research, former New York Mayor --and Research!America Advocacy Award recipient-- Michael Bloomberg joined Sidney Kimmel and others in announcing a $125 million donation to create the...
Dear Research Advocate: We celebrated steadfast advocates for research to improve health at last week’s Advocacy Awards Dinner; pictures are now available. Champions like Whitehead awardees Chairmen Blunt and Cole keep us energized in the fight for medical research, even in the face of its virtual absence on the presidential campaign trail. Indeed, Research!America Chairman, Hon. John Porter, urged everyone present to take it upon themselves, as advocates, to make it clear how vital this election is to the future of science, research, and health. Since this is the mission of Campaign for Cures and related Research!America election-year activities, we can help you in your advocacy! Our...

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