Dear Research Advocate: As of today, with eight months of the federal 2018 fiscal year elapsed, funding uncertainty persists for several programs. Given the recent Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and the spread of measles closer to home, it is counterproductive in the extreme to cut federal support to combat disease outbreaks, yet that is included in the administration’s rescissions package and in a recently proposed Senate version as well. The clock for congressional action on rescissions will run out on June 22. That’s why it is timely to take a moment to (1) contact your congressional delegation urging no rescissions, and (2) reach out to those who may be...
Dear Research Advocate: Research!America teamed up with the American Society for Microbiology (ASM), the American Society for Virology (ASV), Dr. Anthony Fauci and Dr. Nancy Messonnier on Monday for a briefing focused on vaccines and other facets of pandemic preparedness. The program, which coincided with the launch of a compelling Smithsonian exhibit entitled Outbreak , proved to be particularly resonant as news of Ebola and Nipah outbreaks proliferate. C-SPAN aired the briefing live, and it has drawn significant media interest including reports in NBC News and U.S. News & World Report . Are you like me and hadn’t heard of Nipah until this week? The current outbreak is in India and the...
Flu pandemics and other disease outbreaks underscore the need for vaccines and public health infrastructures to protect individuals against global health threats, said leaders representing government, scientific societies and advocacy groups at a briefing hosted by Research!America and the American Society for Microbiology (ASM) at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. on May 21. The program coincided with the opening of the Smithsonian’s exhibit Outbreak: Epidemics in a Connected World. Seventy-percent of Americans say the federal government should do more to educate the public about global disease outbreaks and the risk to the U.S., according to a new national survey commissioned by Research!...
The revolution in human genetics is advancing at an astonishing pace – new research applications, diagnostics, and effective treatments are changing the way we think about biology, medicine, and health. Last month, we celebrated the 15 th anniversary of the Human Genome Project’s (HGP) completion, which has powered so much of this progress. Today, we commemorate a different watershed achievement in genetics that has had profound public impact: 10 years of genetic nondiscrimination. On May 21, 2008, the United States codified fundamental protections for people participating in research or taking a genetic test in a doctor’s office to ensure it won’t affect their job or health insurance. The...
Dear Research Advocate: Tomorrow is the final day to nominate outstanding leaders in medical, health and other scientific research for a Research!America 2019 Advocacy Award. Learn more about the 2019 awards and submit nominations here . If you have someone in mind and could use backup to help fill in the submission details, let us help! Email Barbara at BLove@researchamerica.org . Last week, the president unveiled his plan to address drug pricing, the American Patients First plan. In addition to the release, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a request for information (RFI) that established a 60-day window for public comment. Secretary Azar’s written statement on the...
Fostering strong partnerships between clinicians and researchers is the key to speeding the discovery and implementation of new asthma treatments, said Judith Woodfolk, MBChB, Ph.D., professor of medicine, Division of Asthma, Allergy and Immunology, Department of Medicine, University of Virginia School of Medicine, during Research!America’s asthma research briefing in Washington, D.C. on May 15. Woodfolk was joined by other experts spanning government, industry and the patient community for a panel discussion about research to prevent, treat and ultimately cure severe asthma. Eleanor Perfetto, Ph.D., M.S., senior vice president of strategic initiatives at the National Health Council,...
Dear Research Advocate: On Tuesday, President Trump officially sent his rescissions package to Congress, impounding $15.4 billion in discretionary and mandatory spending authority and requesting that Congress rescind (cancel) it. While uncertainty still reigns, it appears that both Houses will, in fact, go through the process of formally reviewing the rescissions package. Members of Congress have a 45-day window to act; if they don’t, it’s back to business as usual. Here is a quick primer the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget put together on the rescissions process. Among the discretionary and mandatory funding cuts included in the package: $400 million in Ebola funding and $800...
“The health care economy is $3.2 trillion today - 18% of the gross domestic product - and is projected to grow to about 20% over the next several years,” said CVS Health executive vice president Thomas M. Moriarty at a POLITICO Live Health IT panel on Thursday, May 10 in Washington, D.C. “That 2% could be invested in education and other key things that we need as a nation, so we need to accelerate the change [in developing better care at lower prices].” The conversation, facilitated by Politico CEO Patrick Steel was centered on the barriers to properly implementing digital health tools in doctors’ offices around the country and how best to overcome those barriers. One such hurdle is the...
Over 5.7 million critically ill patients are admitted to intensive care units (ICUs) in the U.S. each year. For over two decades, I have led research to reduce risk and prevent serious complications for these vulnerable patients. Ventilator-associated pneumonia is one of the most common complications associated with critical illness. In the 1990s, about one in four patients on a hospital ventilator breathing machine contracted pneumonia and half would die. The protocols I developed through studies funded by the National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) led to clinical practice changes and a significant decrease in ICU ventilator-associated...
Twenty-two percent of all U.S. injuries in the most recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs). If you or a family member were impacted, were you aware of the potential consequences of those injuries? The most common comorbid condition with a TBI is post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Of soldiers with TBI, more than 40% have also been diagnosed with PTSD. The problem is that PTSD cannot be seen, and so we wait on individuals to report symptoms, but by then it’s often too late! According to the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, as many as 22 veterans committed suicide per day in 2013. What if a blood test could tell you who is at risk? My research...

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Sidebar Quote

You can change the image of things to come. But you can’t do it sitting on your hands … The science community should reach out to Congress and build bridges.
The Honorable John E. Porter