Dear Research Advocate: This week has been rife with chilling public health news. You may have seen the widely-covered announcement that life expectancy in the United States has once again dropped, driven for a third year in a row by opioid (including fentanyl) abuse, a surge in suicide, especially in rural areas, and a spike in flu deaths. A sustained decline in life expectancy has not been seen in the U.S. for a century, since the devastation of World War I and the Pandemic flu of 1918. Read the full story . Also in the news are climate reports pointing to interconnected global health risks that are not going to go away on their own. Research and innovation are essential to ensuring our...
Dear Research Advocate: Happy Thanksgiving Week! I’m writing early to give us all a holiday. Last Thursday and Friday, l capped off a week of visiting our members at the McKnight Brain Institute (MBI) and the Health Science Center at the University of Florida. Research!America Chair Emeritus, and former member of Congress, the Honorable John Edward Porter, joined me at a Town Hall session during which students, postdocs, faculty, and administrators asked about the best ways to make the case for research with the current and new Congress. At MBI we heard patient advocate extraordinaire Jennifer French, Neurotech Network Executive Director, forcefully articulate the importance of a needed “...
Dear Research Advocate: Earlier this week I had the privilege of meeting with and addressing faculty and students at Weill Cornell Graduate School of Medical Sciences and at Rutgers University. During both trips, it was truly energizing to witness the enthusiasm, and sense of accountability, more and more scientists (on every rung of the career ladder) have for influencing the direction of federal research funding and policy. I hope my presentations reinforced and bolstered those terrific instincts...at least that was the goal! As always, I learned easily as much as I shared, including being introduced to an innovative science communication course Rutgers has shaped for doctoral students...
This is the fourth installment in a blog series about awareness of antibacterial resistance in recognition of World Antibiotic Awareness Week, November 12-18, 2018. Check back for more blog posts soon! Which of our interventions, devices, and cures could save lives from antimicrobial resistance (AMR)? What roadblocks are keeping us from making the next groundbreaking discovery to combat AMR? What investments would stop its spread? Over the next year, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), along with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is asking leaders around the world to commit to action in one of these areas and join The AMR Challenge . We need your help...
Nearly two thirds of Americans (65%) say antibiotic resistance is a public health problem and a strong majority (81%) say they are concerned that antibiotic resistance will make more infections difficult or impossible to treat and even deadly, according to a national public opinion survey commissioned by Research!America in collaboration with the Infectious Disease Society of America (IDSA). The survey was supported in part by Pfizer Inc. Majorities across the political spectrum say the federal government should increase funding for research and public health initiatives to address antibiotic resistance – specifically 81% of Democrats, 76% of Republicans and 70% of Independents. “Americans...
Dear Research Advocate: At our post-election briefing this morning at AAAS in Washington, DC, the discussion focused on opportunities for advocacy given the composition and characteristics of the new Congress, and the importance of building new champions from among the nearly 100 new members of Congress. Of note — at last count, there are seven science-trained new members, a very welcome development! There is no doubt that a divided Congress can cause gridlock, but inaction is not a foregone conclusion, as was emphasized by our Chair, the Hon. Michael N. Castle. There are important, science-relevant issues, such as infrastructure, STEM education, and the opioid crisis, that both parties...
The November 2018 newsletter is now online . Highlights from this month include: Research!America's will host a Post-Election Briefing on November 8, 2018. Reid Wilson will provide remarks and Mary Woolley will discuss the Bipartisan Civic Engagement Initiative and Rachel Owen from the Missouri Science and Technology Fellows Program will share her group's experience. Yamiche Alcindor will moderate a panel including The Honorable John Edward Porter, The Honorable Michael N. Castle, The Honorable Bart Gordon and Sudip Parikh, PhD . The panel will explore implications of the election for medical and health research and development. Public Health Thank You Day is November 19, 2019! Mark your...
This is the third installment in a blog series about awareness of antibacterial resistance that will lead to World Antibiotic Awareness Week, November 12-18, 2018. Check back for more blog posts throughout the coming weeks! In recent news reports, antibiotic-resistant bacteria and resulting serious infections have been linked to hamburger meat, sink traps , and even puppies . The question of whether a patient in the hospital or a person in the community will encounter these dangerous pathogens appears to be moving instead towards how to identify, prevent, and contain once an infection is contracted. The foundation of infection prevention and control is rooted in evidence-based guidelines...
Dear Research Advocate: After Tuesday’s election, we may or may not know the exact composition of the 116th Congress, as there are likely to be some very, very close races. But there is little doubt that the picture will be clearer than it is now when it comes to the policy dynamics next year -- and that is what our post-election briefing on Thursday, November 8 from 10:00 to 11:30 a.m. EST at AAAS (1200 New York Ave, NW in Washington, DC) is all about. Register now! If history is any guide, the magnitude of change in Congress will affect the prospects for completing unfinished business during the lame-duck session of Congress; not surprisingly, the more turnover, the harder it is to build...

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