research

February is Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) and Low Vision Awareness Month. AMD is the leading cause of blindness in the United States and the developed world, as well as of low vision, which means that even with glasses, contact lenses, medicine, or surgery, people find everyday tasks difficult to perform. AMD destroys vision through proliferation of new blood vessels (“wet” or neovascular AMD, reflecting about 10% of cases) or where photoreceptors (light-sensitive cells in the retina) die away (“dry” or atrophic AMD, accounting for 90% of cases). Since AMD affects the central part of the retina—called the macula—the resulting vision loss makes it increasingly difficult for an...
A tsunami of cancer threatens livelihoods across the globe, and the world is largely unprepared for its impact. The disease accounts for one out of every seven deaths worldwide – more than HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria combined . Nearly 60% of the world’s cancer cases occur in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), and these regions account for about 65% of the world’s cancer deaths . Reducing these disparities requires comprehensive and complementary approaches, and engaging with partners. The American Cancer Society’s global cancer control team has – through in-country research and collaborative partnerships – developed responsive and sustainable initiatives around cancer...
To Americans, there are few things more terrifying than going blind . Glaucoma is a particularly scary vision-stealing disease because without screening it offers no warning to those it strikes, causing significant, irreversible vision loss before a patient notices something is wrong. But in January, in honor of Glaucoma Awareness Month, the vision-research community reflects on the past year’s progress toward managing this challenging disease. As with all diseases, progress is dependent on research. First, it looks into understanding what causes the condition, and then into therapies that prevent, treat or cure it. Glaucoma research, spanning decades, has successfully identified what...
Research!America’s webinars in 2017 tackled a variety of timely health and policy issues, such as the nation’s opioid crisis which accounts for six out of 10 drug overdose deaths, the vital role of federally supported global health research, and the importance of effective communication in educating the public and lawmakers about the far-reaching benefits of public and private sector research. Scientists, students, advocates, influencers, decision-makers and media participated in the webinars, which provided relevant and detailed information to raise awareness and inform advocacy initiatives. On December 4, Research!America and the Society for Neuroscience hosted the webinar “Leveraging...
Research into the development of Ebola vaccines, efforts to address opioid use among women, infectious diseases and a record number of novel drug approvals are among the many examples of federal health agencies making tremendous strides in 2017 to address complex and deadly health threats. The agencies highlighted their achievements in year-end articles, videos and reports on their websites. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) described progress with two Ebola vaccines and a bionic pancreas to better treat type 1 diabetes in addition to other clinical advances. The NIH also supported the work of three recipients of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine and one recipient of the Nobel...
Our nation’s health has improved in some areas but serious health challenges remain related to the escalating drug crisis and disparities in access to care. United Health Foundation’s 2017 America’s Health Rankings report indicates smoking prevalence, the rate of preventable hospitalizations and the percentage of uninsured Americans have declined, but the drug death rate has trended upward. In the past year, drug deaths reached the highest level recorded by America’s Health Rankings , increasing by 7%, particularly among whites. Even states that consistently rank among the healthiest in the nation saw increased mortality rates due to the drug epidemic. Over the past five years, drug death...
Dear Research Advocate: Today the House and Senate passed a short-term continuing resolution (CR) to flat-fund the government through December 22. Congressional leaders hope this stop-gap will buy them enough time to negotiate a bipartisan budget deal that raises the Defense and non-Defense (NDD) spending caps. If the budget deal (#RaisetheCaps) is finalized by the 22nd, Congress may well pass yet another short-term CR to allow a month or two to complete an FY18 omnibus spending bill based on the new, higher funding levels. Continued momentum behind a budget deal is definitely good news, but momentum can wane; here is a new resource, culled from our state-by-state fact sheet series, that...
World AIDS day is observed on December 1 every year to help raise awareness, commemorate those who have died from the virus, and encourage advocates and policymakers to increase their efforts in fighting the epidemic and supporting those whose lives have been impacted by it. This year, the World AIDS day theme is “Increasing Impact through Transparency, Accountability, and Partnerships.” Although the U.S. government is at the forefront of tackling the HIV/AIDS epidemic, its success depends on partnerships with other governments, the private sector, philanthropic organizations, multilateral institutions, and patient advocates. As a result of these strong partnerships, 19.5 million people...
Dear Research Advocate: Yesterday, along with 85 partner organizations (more than ever before!), we celebrated Public Health Thank You Day . Hundreds of people took to social media with the hashtag #PHTYD to celebrate and thank the public health heroes who work 24/7 to maximize community health and safety. Overall, PHTYD garnered 10.1 million impressions on Twitter. Leaders in the field, including CDC Director Brenda Fitzgerald, NIH Director Francis Collins, Surgeon General Jerome Adams, APHA Executive Director Georges Benjamin, and World Bank President Jim Kim added their voices to the overwhelming chorus of appreciation. Late last week, news broke of promising discussions in both...
Dear Research Advocate: Yesterday, a high energy discussion on Advocating for Basic Science in a Disease-Focused World at the Society for Neuroscience conference once again revealed the strong appetite for advocacy among scientists, and young scientists in particular. The audience resonated with my point that “you can’t outsource advocacy,” and many were inspired to tweet on the spot. In case you doubt the impact of scientists engaging in advocacy, consider this: Research!America’s Board Chair, former Congressman (R-DE) and Governor Mike Castle, was recently interviewed by the Society for Neuroscience: “Scientists deepened my understanding of the promise of embryonic stem cell research...

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Sidebar Quote

If concerted, long-term investments in research are not made, America will lose an entire generation of young scientists.
Brenda Canine, PhD; McLaughlin Research Institute, Montana