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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, With all the conversation about the debt ceiling and tax and entitlement reform, it may surprise you to know that an additional topic is on many minds. A wide majority of Americans, 72%, say the new Congress and the president should take action to expand medical research within the first 100 days of the new legislative session. See this and more in America Speaks , Volume 13, a compilation of national poll data providing insights into public sentiment on key research-related issues. See our press release and download the full Poll Data Summary . These polling results are designed to be used in your advocacy and outreach! Among the growing number of issues that need...
This week, Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino declared a public health emergency in the city due to a flu outbreak. City officials have confirmed 700 cases of the flu, nearly ten times the confirmed cases last year; four people have died so far. Outbreaks have been reported in other areas of the country, affecting individuals of all ages and backgrounds. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that the best way to prevent the flu is by getting vaccinated each year. It’€™s hard to imagine the dire health consequences Americans would endure without the flu vaccine, which is due in part to federal investments in research. The CDC and the Food and Drug Administration have made...
January 9, 2013 The U.S. Supreme Court’s dismissal of Sherley v. Sebelius , a case intended to block federal funding for scientists conducting embryonic stem cell research, is a victory for patients and the research community. This key decision will allow the continuation of federal funding from the National Institutes of Health, providing essential support for scientists to conduct lifesaving research. Embryonic stem cells, which can repair or replace damaged tissue and organs, have advanced research aimed at finding cures and therapies to treat a wide variety of diseases and disorders including vision impairment, spinal cord injuries, and multiple sclerosis. Clinical trials have also...
New Poll Data Summary reveals concerns among Americans about medical progress even in tight fiscal environment Alexandria, Va. - January 9, 2013 - America Speaks , Volume 13, a compilation of public opinion polls commissioned by Research!America, features timely data about Americans’ views on issues related to biomedical and health research. A majority of Americans (72%) say the new Congress and the President should take action to expand medical research within the first 100 days of the 113 th Congress. Public support for increased government spending on medical research holds particular relevance as Congress considers whether to further delay, eliminate or permit “sequestration,” a budget...
The U.S. Supreme Court announced Monday that it would not hear a case that challenged the legality of federally funded human embryonic stem cell research. The case, Sherley v. Sebelius , was brought by two researchers of induced pluripotent stem cells, James Sherley, MD, PhD, and Theresa Deisher, PhD in 2009. They argued that guidelines concerning government funding of hESC, adopted by the Obama administration, were in violation of the 1996 Dickey-Wicker Amendment. The amendment forbids the Department of Health and Human Services ’€” including the National Institutes of Health ’€” from using appropriated funds to either create embryos for research purposes or conduct research in which...
Dear Research Advocate, The two-month reprieve from sequestration agreed to as part of the ’€œdeal’€ to avert the fiscal cliff is a partial victory for all who worked hard to save research, giving us much-needed additional time to make our case. We need be smart in using that time well, because the delay was paid for through a combination of new revenue and spending cuts that could further drain the pool of dollars used to fund research. The fact that many conservative members of Congress expressed outrage that the fiscal cliff deal didn’€™t include larger spending cuts underscores this point. The debt ceiling will need to be raised within the next two months, adding fuel to the fire. And...
As we ring in the New Year, 2013 promises to be an exciting time to be involved in the fight to raise support and awareness for neglected tropical diseases. As the world becomes more interconnected and global warming changes disease patterns, NTDs are increasingly spreading across borders ’€“ including right here at home. For example, Slate recently published an article addressing the return of dengue in the United States . In the past few years, dengue has sickened hundreds in Florida and other southern states. Experts warn that the combination of the virus, a lack of immunity to dengue and widespread mosquitoes provide the perfect storm of conditions for larger dengue outbreaks in the U.S...
Dear Research Advocate, Since I wrote with a note of optimism last week, Speaker Boehner was unable to hold his caucus, and both houses of Congress summarily recessed. As of today they remain at a virtual standoff, with the House calling for passage of a bill to extend all tax cuts and the Senate calling for passage of a bill to let rates expire on families making more than $250,000 per year. The current 112th Congress and the White House are unlikely to come to terms on a deal this year. And now the rhetoric has changed to describing a fiscal cliff effect that isn’€™t irreparable (thus ’€œbungee jumping,’€ per a Bank of America economist), with the Administration using damage-delay...
Dear Research Advocate, Progress toward a deal to avert the fiscal cliff seems now to have been reversed, with talk today of reintroducing aspects of the Ryan budget ’€” more severe than sequestration. Holidays or not, this is no time to let up on our individual and collective advocacy for research. Reps. Fudge (D-OH) and Stivers (R-OH) are leading a bipartisan sign-on letter , urging Congress to take into account the critical importance of NIH in any deficit reduction plan. Take action and urge your representatives to sign on! For those of you in Ohio, if you would like to thank Reps. Fudge and Stivers for their efforts, you may obtain their contact information here . In addition to...
The U.N. has suspended vaccine work in Pakistan following the tragic killings of eight health workers during a three-day polio immunization campaign. Other health workers have been injured or threatened during efforts to deliver vaccines to children around the country. Polio is a highly infectious disease and can cause irreversible paralysis, but there is a vaccine that can prevent the disease. Coordinated efforts from organizations like the World Health Organization, Rotary International and the Gates Foundation have helped reduce the threat of polio through vaccine distribution and stronger surveillance systems. Thanks to these highly successful immunization campaigns, the total number of...

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If concerted, long-term investments in research are not made, America will lose an entire generation of young scientists.
Brenda Canine, PhD; McLaughlin Research Institute, Montana