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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.

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The COVID-19 pandemic has been a jarring challenge to public health and economies worldwide. Even as we all navigate the crisis and its effect on personal health, professional lives and larger national strategies, I am heartened by the application of science in the public health response to the crisis, and inspired by the ways in which the genetics and genomics community is applying its knowledge and resources to play its part in addressing the pandemic. Time and again, health crises remind us of the importance of public funding for biomedical research, and the COVID-19 pandemic provides us with yet another example. Fundamental to combatting the virus is tracing its origin and understanding...
A recent webinar series hosted by the American Public Health Association (APHA) and the National Academies of Medicine (NAM) explored the topic of health disparities. The message? Health disparities must be considered in regard to social distancing efforts to mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. The information shared by panelists — public health leaders from across academia, government, and the private sector — included discussion of the growing divide in preparedness knowledge and access to resources between socio-economic segments in the United States. Mitch Stripling, the National Director for Emergency Preparedness and Response at Planned Parenthood, affirmed in Part 1 of this...
Dear Research Advocate, This past Monday, CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield was our guest for the first of two alliance member calls this week, stressing the roles we all have to play: “I think this is an all-of-the nation response, not just an all-government response…. There’s no doubt we're going to learn a lot of lessons. But, I am 100 percent confident when we get to the other side, we're going to be so much stronger.” We are grateful to Director Redfield for spending time with us. Read more here . Innovation is key : Dr. Redfield repeatedly called for innovation: “I look forward to the innovation that we’re going to see from many of [Research!America’s] members to improve the tools we...
Being in the middle of a global pandemic feels unsettling and frightening. Part of that fear is rooted in the unknown, because we still have many unanswered questions: fundamental information researchers don’t know about the coronavirus and how viruses like it will act in the future. At the moment, we’re rightly focused on urgent issues such as securing personal protective equipment and ventilators. But we need more research, because to win the battle we need to understand our enemy so that better diagnosis, treatment, and prevention will become a reality. As I wrote recently in USA Today , “Rarely in recent memory has it been this difficult to see beyond the next day. ... But that is...
Research!America hosted an alliance member call for members and partners on April 13, 2020 with Dr. Robert Redfield, Director, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Dr. Redfield opened with an overview of the COVID-19 pandemic and the CDC’s response. He stressed that COVID-19 is the greatest public health challenge the United States has faced in over a century and highlighted the CDC’s deployment of personnel, development and expansion of serology testing, and distribution of funding to state, local, and tribal public health departments. He also emphasized that our nation should use this time to expand the existing public health infrastructure in order to be better prepared for future...
Dear Research Advocate, Research!America board member and APHA Executive Director Dr. Georges Benjamin addressed a recent alliance meeting, discussing three epidemics: COVID-19: Emerging infectious disease; Infodemic: Misinformation and disinformation; and Epidemic of Fear: Fear of the unknown, complicated by misstatements and poor risk communication by a range of actors in a rapidly moving communication environment. Dr. Benjamin emphasized the importance of correcting misinformation – not letting bad information go unchecked. He also suggested we talk about “physical” distancing rather than “social” distancing because being social is important to our health and well-being and shouldn’t be...
Dear Research Advocate, Jumping right in: Funding, Current and Future : Democratic Leaders in the House are focusing on the Moving Forward Framework , an infrastructure investment blueprint they originally released in January 2020, as the foundation for a fourth, $2 trillion supplemental. As it stands, both House Republicans and the Senate seem reluctant to pass another supplemental; nonetheless, the prospects for an infrastructure-focused stimulus are strong. We have heard that Congress and the administration may opt to roll FY21 funding into the aforementioned infrastructure supplemental rather than go the well-worn (and progress-stifling) “Continuing Resolution” route. While at this...
Dear Research Advocate, Congress is expected to pass a stimulus bill that includes significant investments in our nation’s key research agencies. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act includes $27 billion to BARDA for critical medical supplies, personal protective equipment (PPE), and the manufacturing and purchase of vaccines and therapeutics; $4.3 billion to CDC for public health preparedness and response; $945 million to NIH for vaccine, therapeutic, and diagnostic research; $80 million to FDA for additional funding for vaccines, medical product manufacturing, and medical supply chain monitoring; and $75 million to NSF for research and grant programs related to...
Since our founding more than 30 years ago, a key strategy tool in Research!America's advocacy for science and medical research has been influencing public opinion. As President Abraham Lincoln said, “…public sentiment is everything. With public sentiment, nothing can fail; without it nothing can succeed.” Over our 28 years of commissioning surveys, Research!America has asked a wide variety of questions about the importance of scientists informing the public and elected officials about their research and its impacts. In January 2020, our survey asked: "How important is it for scientists to inform the public about their research and its impact on society?" In response, 9 in 10 Americans...
The Research!America team is working remotely as are many of you to take precautions against COVID-19. But we are certainly not slowing down. We are working hard to assure federal funding and policy actions are evidence-based and match the urgency needed to: Support the flexibility and funding research institutions need during this challenge. Capture and reflect back the essential role public and private sector fueled science is playing in addressing COVID-19. Promote completion of the FY21 appropriations process, critical to economic stability and strategic capacity going forward. We will continue to keep you updated about important advocacy opportunities and other valuable COVID-19-...

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The capabilities are enormous, a little bit of research can pay off quite a bit in the long run.
Paul D’ Addario, retinitis pigmentosa patient