research

blood cancer The University of Colorado’€™s Gates Center for Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Biology just announced a potentially game-changing discovery in stem cell research for blood cancers and a whole host of other diseases. Yosef Refaeli and his research team have found a way to expand blood stem cells. This is big news because blood stem cells can help treat blood cancers like leukemia and lymphoma as well as inborn immunodeficiency diseases such as sickle-cell anemia and autoimmune diseases like multiple sclerosis. But up until now, treatment using blood stem cells has been limited by the number of cells a patient can produce. Hundreds of thousands of Americans could be affected...
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...
The Research and Development Efficiency Act (H.R. 5056) is a common-sense piece of legislation aimed at reducing unnecessary red tape that slows and adds needless costs to federally funded research. This bipartisan legislation passed the House unanimously, but the Senate has not yet considered it. The bill would require the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy to establish a task force to recommend reforms aimed at modernizing and streamlining the administrative requirements surrounding federally funded research, helping researchers to optimize the use of awarded funds. Don’€™t let H.R. 5056 die in the Senate. We need your help to build momentum for Senate passage so that the...
Dear Research Advocate: The loss of American Icon Robin Williams has riveted national attention on suicide, one of the 10 most common causes of death in the United States. Today, we are releasing our updated fact sheet on suicide that you can use when meeting with lawmakers and educating others about the impact research can have. Efforts to prevent suicide rightly draw on research findings. But progress has been painfully slow, stymied by serious gaps – partly due to severely limited funding – in the basic research base that precedes private sector development, and stymied by the equivalent of handcuffs placed on social science research. The notion promulgated by some in the Congress that...
Dear Research Advocate: As I write, most members of Congress are on the way home for August recess. As anticipated, no further action has been taken on the appropriations front ’€“ or much else, for that matter. In terms of issues we care about: no movement on tax reform, which means no much-needed enhancement of the research and development tax credit; no repeal of the medical device tax; and no final passage of Fiscal Year 2015 appropriations bills. In upcoming letters I will talk in more detail about Capitol Hill-focused advocacy strategies through the election and beyond. In the absence of legislative action, some attention ’€“ in a bipartisan manner ’€“ is being given to research for...
Research!America applauds Senator Tom Harkin for taking bold, decisive action to heal fissures in our nation’€™s research pipeline with legislation that will strengthen the National Institutes of Health (NIH) budget over the next six years. The Accelerate Biomedical Research Act will establish a pathway for sustained growth in the NIH budget. That budget has remained virtually stagnant over the last decade, jeopardizing promising research to combat disease and deflating the aspirations of early career scientists. NIH-funded research fuels the development of lifesaving therapies and treatments, and creates opportunities for public-private partnerships to better understand Alzheimer’€™s,...
Excerpt of an op-ed by Society for Neuroscience Early Career Science Policy Fellow Matthew J. Robson, PhD, published in The Tennessean . The United States has historically been a consistent, international force of innovation and advancement in biomedical research. Such research is not possible without federal funding of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), an agency within the Department of Health and Human Services. Although the NIH supports basic biomedical research aimed at a greater understanding of the causes of disease and the improved health of all Americans, relatively few understand the scope of the accomplishments of this agency. Research that depends upon NIH funding has...
Dear Research Advocate: My colleagues at Research!America have shared the role as author of our weekly letter during my recent sabbatical. My thanks to them for providing timely and actionable information to our wide network. As I am ’€œre-entering’€ the Washington space, I have been struck by (1) the significantly worse condition of the roads ’€” potholes everywhere, and now even sinkholes in DC! I’€™ve been in several global capitals this spring, including in less-developed countries, and DC doesn’€™t look good in comparison. Via recent domestic travels, I can attest to the poor condition of our roads nationwide, taking a toll on vehicles and our economy, while eroding public confidence...
By Mark A. Reynolds, DDS, PhD, MA, dean of the University of Maryland School of Dentistry The University of Maryland School of Dentistry (UMSOD) is the world’€™s first dental school, founded in 1840 in Baltimore, Maryland. The school has a distinguished history of graduating exceptional dentists and dental hygienists who advance the oral and overall health of patients in Maryland and around the world. Researchers at the School of Dentistry are dedicated to discovering and developing new treatments for diseases. Our scientists are leaders in the fields of oncology, pain and neuroscience, and microbial pathogenesis. UMSOD recognizes that training dental scientists is essential to improve the...
Dear Research Advocate: This week, the research advocacy community suffered a tremendous loss. John Rehm , husband of Diane Rehm, passed away Monday. Diane, the host of The Diane Rehm Show on NPR, was honored by Research!America last year for her advocacy with the Isadore Rosenfeld Award for Impact on Public Opinion . Her late husband was a friend and longtime supporter of the Parkinson’€™s disease community. Our thoughts are with the Rehm family during this difficult time. As you pursue your advocacy efforts, we hope the newest fact sheet in our series about the human impact of research will prove useful. Max Hasenauer was diagnosed at 22-months-old with X-linked Agammaglobulinemia (XLA)...

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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