sequestration

Now, more than ever, young scientists are grappling with important career decisions. For newly minted PhDs, there are fewer and fewer academic faculty positions available. These coveted ’€œtenure track’€ positions have been the ’€œtypical’€ career path for research scientists in a variety of biomedical fields. Yet in an environment with flat funded research budgets combined with sequestration, a decade of cuts, more scientists are pursuing ’€˜alternative’€™ careers. This desire to learn about the diversity of career options for scientists prompted nearly 1,400 graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and other scientists-in-training to register for the recent Career Symposium hosted by the...
The U.S. House Appropriations committee approved a spending bill for FY14 that slashes the Labor, Education, Health and Human Services bill to its lowest since 1998 when adjusted for inflation. The bill makes deep cuts for medical research and other domestic programs. The proposed funding is 18.6 percent below 2013 funding levels under sequestration, 22.2 percent below the original appropriations for FY13. These cuts will jeopardize medical innovation and programs that protect Americans’€™ health. How low is the suggested appropriations amount? In terms of absolute dollars, it is less than the FY01 funding level. If the 18.6% cut are applied across the board to each program, this proposed...
Dear Research Advocate: I invite you to join me in speaking out during the Memorial Day congressional recess (May 27-31) as part of a social media campaign using the hashtag #curesnotcuts. Our goal is to continue to position research and innovation to improve health where it belongs: as a fundamental national priority that Americans can count on because their elected representatives rank it so highly. In our social media campaign, each day of the recess has a specific theme that can be customized with your information and patient/researcher stories. We have made it easy to get involved: click here to see sample social media messages, a list of selected congressional offices and their...
The chair of Research!America’€™s board of directors, John Edward Porter, tells Chemical & Engineering News that he began college with the aspiration of becoming an engineer or scientist. As fate would have it, he turned his focus instead to pursuing a law degree. He never lost his passion for science, though. That passion is evident in his efforts as a champion for research while in Congress and in his work with Research!America. Now he is charging scientists to take on a broader role in science advocacy. In an era of flat-funded budgets and sequestration, Porter says it’€™s important for scientists to engage more with policy makers, most of whom are lawyers by trade. Porter...
Karen Goraleski By ASTMH Executive Director Karen A. Goraleski The American Society for Tropical Medicine and Hygiene is an international organization comprised of scientists, clinicians and program professionals who work to promote global health through the prevention and control of infectious diseases. ASTMH recognizes that global health is America’€™s health and America’€™s health is global health. It is vitally important for the broad research community ’€“ from basic through implementation and evaluation ’€“ to actively support a vibrant and innovative research enterprise. Everyone benefits from a strong U.S. investment in research. U.S. budget challenges threaten to derail the...
In 2012, months before sequestration was enacted, scientists were already pressed to find jobs. Take the example of ’€œRebecca,’€ whose story was featured in a recent Huffington Post article. She had completed her PhD in chemistry and was working in an academic research laboratory. When her lab didn’€™t get a new grant to allow her to continue the research, she ended up unemployed. In an already tough financial environment, she spent three months looking for employment in research, hoping to utilize her hard-earned doctoral degree. In the end, she rewrote her resume, removing any mention of her doctoral degree and quickly found employment with an auto parts company, working as a secretary...
Adipose- derived stem cells. Source: Pendleton, Li, et. al. Mesenchymal Stem Cells Derived from Adipose Tissue vs Bone Marrow:In Vitro Comparison of Their Tropism towards Gliomas. 2013. PLOSONE. Recent research from Johns Hopkins Medicine that received government support shows that stem cells isolated from a patient’€™s own fat may be able to deliver new treatments directly into the brain to fight an aggressive brain tumor. The work, done in the laboratory of Alfredo Quinones-Hinojosa, MD, is a proof-of-principle study that tests the ability of a particular type of stem cell, mesenchymal stem cells, to locate damaged or cancerous cells. Cancer cells, particularly those in glioblastomas, the...
Dear Research Advocate, House of Representatives Science Committee Chair Lamar Smith’€™s (R-TX) proposed legislation, the “ High Quality Research Act ,” would undermine, rather than achieve, “high quality” in research, since it would create several new hoops for approval of NSF-funded grants. These appear to be based on the mistaken idea that science follows a linear path to a single metric for success or failure. And the bill requires the NSF director to attest in advance to the success of each funded proposal! Letters penned by former NSF directors and National Science Board chairs and former NSF assistant directors warn of the “chilling and detrimental impact” this legislation could have...
Dear Research Advocate, President Obama spoke to the National Academies of Science on Monday. I commend his remarks to you. He charged the members of the Academy, and by extension the science community writ large, to engage at ’€œthe center and the heart of our public debate.’€ He said that IF scientists do so, the nation will be assured of continued prominence. IF is a tall order — it makes most scientists very uncomfortable, but it is essential that we get out of our comfort zone right now. The president didn’€™t pound his fist on the podium in stressing this, so I will. The science community simply cannot step away from the public and political fray right now; not if we want to see the...
By Wendy K. D. Selig, president and CEO of Melanoma Research Alliance The Melanoma Research Alliance (MRA), a unique non-profit organization that funds the most promising melanoma research, was founded in 2007 by Debra and Leon Black under the auspices of the Milken Institute. In just six years, MRA has become the largest private funder of melanoma research and has awarded almost $48 million to 116 different research programs worldwide. MRA-supported projects are dedicated to accelerating progress toward the prevention, detection and treatment of deadly skin cancer. In order to raise awareness of this disease and the need to invest in research for live-saving treatments, we are...

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