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Research!America is dedicated to ensuring a strong public and private sector investment in research to improve health at a level warranted by scientific opportunity and supported by public opinion. Member organizations and others share their perspectives on a wide variety of topics relating to public and private sector research and innovation, and public health. The views expressed by contributors are their own and not the view of Research!America.

Recent Blog Posts

Dear Research Advocate, If you weren’t able to join us for the National Health Research Forum, you can watch the recordings from the Forum platform . The popular short videos from federal officials, members of Congress, and leaders from across the research and public health ecosystem are posted on our YouTube channel , where all the recordings will soon appear. CNN, C-SPAN, and PBS (among other media outlets) covered several sessions; watch them here now: Secretary of HHS Alex M. Azar, II interviewed by Susan Dentzer Anthony Fauci, MD interviewed by Judy Woodruff ADM Brett Giroir, MD , interviewed by Sanjay Gupta, MD Robert Redfield, MD interviewed by Frank Sesno Vaccine Development: Are we...
Dear Research Advocate, Wow, what a day! I hope you were among the many who joined us yesterday for the first day of Research!America’s 2020 Virtual National Health Research Forum — Straight Talk: Securing a Science-Strong Future. Here’s some of what we learned: We must "communicate, communicate, communicate — but in one voice. Leadership at all levels need to display unwavering enthusiasm for science and communicate the importance of scientific advancement like was done for [the response to] Sputnik.” —Dr. Susan Hockfield “We have an opportunity to really communicate and explain in a better way, what scientific data really mean and what is the respective context. There is no absolute truth...
Dear Research Advocate, Anticipation is building for the Research!America 2020 Virtual #RAForum: Straight Talk: Securing a Science-Strong Future , featuring federal officials, members of Congress from both sides of the aisle, and other leaders from across the R&D and public health ecosystem to explore the intersection of public and private sector-driven science and pandemic response, recovery, and preparedness. An important late-breaking addition to the Forum program is HHS Secretary Alex M. Azar II, who will be in conversation with journalist and Research!America board member Susan Dentzer. We are also excited to let you know ADM Brett P. Giroir, MD, the Assistant Secretary for Health...
Dear Research Advocate, On (but mostly off) Capitol Hill : Neither the House nor Senate is expected to reconvene until after Labor Day. As things stand, it may be late September before a final COVID-19 emergency spending package takes shape. The longer the delay on that front, the greater the chances that a continuing resolution (CR) will be attached, flat-funding the government until after (potentially long after) the November elections. Sound the Alarm : If this no-action update sounds all-too-familiar, that’s because it is. The push and pull of differing funding priorities and election-year politics are fogging the lens such that the most important consideration – the crying need for...
Two earlier posts in this series explored what is a virus and what is a vaccine as well as the types of vaccines under development. As with the type of vaccine, the type of virus is as important when developing a vaccine. You might ask: Why do we need a new flu shot every year? Why isn’t there a vaccine for HIV? How do these issues translate to the new COVID-19 vaccine? Excellent questions all, that are answered by understanding the differences between viruses. Influenza, the virus which causes the flu, has a genome made of eight independent segments. The eight segments in one strain of the flu can easily mix with the segments in other strains of the flu, creating what is called a “shift”...
Much like drugs, vaccine candidates that seem promising during laboratory research are assessed and validated based on their performance in clinical trials. In the U.S., making it to this step requires a trial sponsor to submit an Investigational New Drug (IND) application to the FDA for review. 6 This application most commonly highlights technical data on immunogenicity — the ability to elicit a targeted immune response —, the mechanism of action from animal testing, and importantly, the resources needed for scaling up production. 6 In a recent vaccine-development-focused installment of the popular American Public Health Association and National Academy of Medicine’s webinar series, COVID-...
Dear Research Advocate, On Capitol Hill : Senate Republicans have a new legislative proposal for COVID-19 emergency supplemental spending which includes provisions such as extended unemployment benefits and emergency funding for USPS, but no supplemental funding to restore COVID-19-eroded research dollars. Speaking up now is essential if there is to be an emergency spending bill that fully fights back COVID-19’s attack on the nation’s economy and health security. Reach out to your members of Congress to encourage them to include at least $26 billion in funding to restart lifesaving research supported by our health and science agencies. Here are two ways you can act right away: send this...
The pandemic continues to reconfigure our society and our individual lives. Our R&D ecosystem is simultaneously at the center of the COVID-19 response and placed at risk by it. What is certain during this profoundly uncertain period in our nation’s history is this: inaction breeds tragedy. Inaction on Capitol Hill : Negotiations over desperately needed emergency spending legislation and FY21 appropriations are in a holding pattern. In a troubling sign, reports today surfaced that federal agencies have been told to prepare for flat funding via a CR through December. Let’s face it: federal leaders are waiting to see who blinks first, even as desperation mounts and priorities like medical...
The COVID-19 pandemic is profoundly impacting the lives of millions and leaving a path of social and economic challenges that affect how we live, learn, and work. These unprecedented times show that innovation is more important now than ever. At the forefront of the COVID-19 response are pharmaceutical, biotech, medical device, and healthcare companies in California developing vaccines, diagnostics, and personal protective equipment (PPE). How is COVID affecting Biocom's members? The pandemic has disrupted the operations of many our members and forced them to make difficult decisions to pause ongoing trials and reconsider timelines for data readouts, regulatory reviews, and product launches...
What is a Virus? Viruses are tiny parasites that can cause disease. 1 While there are many types of viruses, they all contain genetic material, known as the viral genome, and a surrounding shell made of proteins and lipids. The SARS-CoV2 virus, responsible for COVID-19, is about 125 nm wide, 1,000 times smaller than the width of a human hair. 2 SARS-CoV2 is an RNA virus, meaning that the internal genetic material is single-stranded RNA. This RNA is packaged inside of the virus with the “N” protein while the “S”, “E”, and “M” proteins are components in the outer lipid shell. The “S” protein is the one that sticks out from the virus giving the appearance of a crown. The Latin word for crown...

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We have health challenges in this country that science will provide answers for if given the chance and we haven't given science that opportunity
Mary Woolley, President and CEO, Research!America