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Dear Research Advocate, With new rumors surfacing daily, it’s difficult to gauge the odds of Congress and the Trump Administration completing FY20 appropriations this calendar year. We are now anticipating another short-term CR that will flat-fund government into December, buying a bit more time for final negotiations. If those negotiations fail, the options become yet another CR or a government shutdown. None of these scenarios serves the public interest. Imagine if federal agencies couldn’t adjust spending to jettison what is not working and invest in what is. Imagine if there were resources to seed the kind of medical and public health progress that saves lives, yet those resources lie...
Dear Research Advocate, It’s Halloween! I was astonished to learn that Americans will spend some $9 billion on candy, costumes and decorations this year. $9 billion would fund: NIH’s National Institute on Dental and Craniofacial Research for more than 27 years; CDC’s Vaccines for Children program for almost two and a half years; FDA’s Foods program for eight and a half years; or NSF’s entire budget for more than one year. These comparisons (and you can imagine many more like them) aren’t meant to disparage a fun holiday, but rather to underscore that investing in life-saving medical and public health research is affordable for this wealthy nation of ours — in fact, it’s a relatively small...
By Robert Gracy, PhD, CEO of Texas Biomedical Research Institute Now in its eighth decade of existence, the Texas Biomedical Research Institute in San Antonio, Texas, has a mission ’€œto improve the health of our global community through innovative biomedical research.’€ Texas Biomed has a breadth and depth of scientific inquiry coupled with an unparalleled collection of research resources, which in combination provides its researchers unique capabilities. Texas Biomed also views partnering with Research!America ’€“ a strong advocate for growing our country’€™s investment in biomedical funding ’€“ as retaining an effective ally in maintaining and eventually strengthening the backbone of...
Cyclospora cayetanensis Photo credit: CDC The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is closely monitoring a new stomach bug that has hit several states. The one-celled parasite known as Cyclospora, which causes diarrhea, stomach cramps and other symptoms normally associated with a viral stomach bug, has sickened hundreds of people across the country. As of this week, the CDC has been notified of 285 cases of Cyclospora infection in 11 states including Iowa, Nebraska, Texas, Wisconsin, Georgia, Connecticut, New Jersey, Minnesota and Ohio. At least 18 persons reportedly have been hospitalized in three states with most of the illnesses surfacing between mid-June through early July. The...
Cyclospora cayetanensis Photo credit: CDC The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is closely monitoring a new stomach bug that has hit several states. The one-celled parasite known as Cyclospora, which causes diarrhea, stomach cramps and other symptoms normally associated with a viral stomach bug, has sickened hundreds of people across the country. As of this week, the CDC has been notified of 285 cases of Cyclospora infection in 11 states including Iowa, Nebraska, Texas, Wisconsin, Georgia, Connecticut, New Jersey, Minnesota and Ohio. At least 18 persons reportedly have been hospitalized in three states with most of the illnesses surfacing between mid-June through early July. The...
By William (Bill) R. Brinkley, Ph.D., TAMEST’€™s 2012 President Sometimes you find luck sitting by your side at the most opportune of moments. For example, what would you do if you suddenly found yourself seated next to a key member of the U.S. Congress on a two and a half hour flight to Washington, D.C.? Be prepared, it could happen to you! If you are a frequent traveler like me, you probably prefer to read, daydream or sleep on most flights. But what would you do if you suddenly recognized that your seat mate was a VIP’€”say, a key member of the U.S. Senate or House of Representatives? You might recognize it as a terrific opportunity to put in a good word for particular issues of great...
By William (Bill) R. Brinkley, Ph.D., TAMEST’€™s 2012 President Sometimes you find luck sitting by your side at the most opportune of moments. For example, what would you do if you suddenly found yourself seated next to a key member of the U.S. Congress on a two and a half hour flight to Washington, D.C.? Be prepared, it could happen to you! If you are a frequent traveler like me, you probably prefer to read, daydream or sleep on most flights. But what would you do if you suddenly recognized that your seat mate was a VIP’€”say, a key member of the U.S. Senate or House of Representatives? You might recognize it as a terrific opportunity to put in a good word for particular issues of great...
By Peter J. Hotez An excerpt of a blog post by Peter J. Hotez, MD, PhD, published in The Academy of Medicine, Engineering and Science of Texas (TAMEST) blog . Peter Hotez, MD, PhD is the founding dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine and professor of the Departments of Pediatrics and Molecular Virology & Microbiology at Baylor College of Medicine (Research!America member) where he is also chief of a new Section of Pediatric Tropical Medicine and the Texas Children's€™s Hospital Endowed Chair of Tropical Pediatrics. Hotez is the president of the Sabin Vaccine Institute, director of the Texas Children's€™s Hospital Center for Vaccine Development and the Baker Institute Fellow...
An article in the most recent issue of The Scientist highlighted the importance of affordable diagnostics for global health. Although scientific advances have improved treatment options for many global diseases, a lack of effective, low-cost diagnostics hinders the health of many in the developing world. For example, medicines to treat HIV and tuberculosis have been life-saving for many individuals, but they can cause liver damage and patients on these medications must be monitored. However, the primary test for liver damage requires expensive equipment that is simply not available in low-income countries. To solve this problem, a Massachusetts biotech company, Diagnostics For All ,...
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...

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Luck shouldn't play a role in why I'm alive.
Laurie MacCaskill, a seven-year pancreatic cancer survivor