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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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More than 480,000 people in the U.S. die each year as a result of the effects of cigarette smoking. Every year on May 31, World No Tobacco Day aims to inform the public on the dangers of using tobacco as well as provide guidance about what people can do to claim their right to health and to protect future generations. This year, the theme is #TobaccoExposed: protecting youth from industry manipulation and preventing them from tobacco and nicotine use. Every day, more than 3,500 youths in the U.S. begin using e-cigarette or vaping products. Earlier this year, a national outbreak of vaping product use-associated lung injury (EVALI) was declared by the Centers for Disease Control and...
COVID-19 serology tests, also known as antibody tests, are currently receiving heightened attention and scrutiny. Why? Validated and correctly performed positive serology tests are a tool to confirm previous SARS-CoV2 (the virus causing COVID-19) infection and may indicate that a patient has built immunity to the virus. However, there are still questions we need to answer about the clinical effectiveness of serology testing to ensure that they yield accurate results. Additionally, scientists do not yet know for sure if a patient with a validated positive serology test is immune to reinfection by the virus. What Must Be Learned Before Serology Tests Can Be Used Effectively In the American...
Each year, millions of Americans face the reality of living with a mental illness. Every May, National Mental Health Awareness month raises awareness about mental illness and educates the public about mental health. The goal is to fight stigma, provide support, educate the public, encourage research, and advocate for policies that support people with mental illness and their families. While one in five people will experience a mental illness during their lifetime, everyone faces challenges in life that can impact their mental health. As we observe Mental Health Month this year, we do so during an unprecedented and stressful time. The COVID-19 pandemic and resulting economic downturn have...
Dear Research Advocate, On Tuesday, Research!America sent a letter to HHS Secretary Alex Azar asking him to clarify the decision to end NIH grant funding for an ongoing, EcoHealth Alliance research initiative focused on pandemic preparedness. We urge the Secretary to shed needed light on this significant (on many levels) decision. On Capitol Hill : House Democrats have released a draft emergency spending bill, the HEROES Act . This discussion draft includes $4 billion for the Office of the Director at NIH, of which “not less than $3 billion” would be set aside to help academic institutions absorb COVID-19 related shutdown and start-up costs. (This is $7 billion shy of the recovery costs NIH...
In January 2020, Research!America commissioned a survey to better understand the opinions of Americans regarding federal support for current research efforts. A combined 88% indicate that speeding medical progress should be a priority for both the President and for Congress with over 50% of respondents seeing this as “very important.” Information like this – gathered before our nation’s focus shifted to the COVID-19 pandemic – is a timely reminder of how strongly Americans desire federal support for biomedical research innovation. In the same survey, 46% of respondents elected that speeding medical progress should be a priority among candidates for the 2020 election. This sentiment has...
Dear Research Advocate, “Hopefully, the urgency that everyone is seeing around COVID-19 will translate into bigger investments for global health vaccines.” — Dr. Peter Hotez Renowned vaccinologist and prolific author Dr. Peter Hotez, Dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine and Co-director of the Texas Children’s Hospital Center for Vaccine Development, joined us yesterday for an alliance member call. Dr. Hotez spoke about the history of life-saving vaccines, COVID-19 vaccine development, and the alarming spread of the novel coronavirus across the southern hemisphere. He also spoke about the anti-science and anti-vaccine movements in our country and...
The May 2020 issue of Research!America's newsletter, The Research Advocate, is now online! In this issue: Research!America's Response to COVID-19 : In January 2020, the first case of COVID-19 was reported in Washington state. The days since then have been unprecedented in global history. The medical and research community, including so many of our alliance members, have taken on the incredible challenge of beating back the novel coronavirus, not just on the front lines in hospitals, but in laboratories across the world working to understand the virus to protect public health. Webinar Explores COVID-19 Vaccines and Treatment : As the COVID-19 pandemic surpasses one million cases in the...
Dear Research Advocate, “We are in the profession that aims to come up with answers. We have a mission and a noble one. I often like to point out while our initials are NIH….in circumstances like this we’re the National Institutes of Hope. While fear, anxiety, and stress are all around us, hope can be contagious.” —Francis Collins, MD, PhD Earlier today, Dr. Francis Collins, Director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), joined us on our alliance member call to provide an overview of NIH’s unprecedented Accelerating COVID-19 Therapeutic Interventions and Vaccines (ACTIV) , a partnership between industry and governmental leaders working to speed COVID-19 vaccines and treatments. Dr...
As part of ongoing work to keep a finger of the pulse of public opinion, Research!America has commissioned numerous questions over the years to determine what Americans know about vaccines and immunization as well as how they feel about vaccines and vaccine safety. The findings reveal a decidedly negative shift over the last decade in Americans’ attitudes towards vaccines. While this public opinion research predates the novel coronavirus pandemic, it certainly suggests that deploying effective strategies to improve the public’s confidence in vaccines must occur now and not wait until a COVID-19 vaccine is developed. Our national survey commissioned in January 2020 shows that respondents...
On February 27, a few weeks before the country was gripped by the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Tanya Petrossian gave birth to a healthy baby boy. During her grueling labor, what stunned nurses and doctors was her high pain tolerance. But Dr. Petrossian is no stranger to pain. Since adolescence and the onset of menstruation, she has endured severe pain for more than a decade. Doctors gave her conflicting opinions on the cause, from ovarian cancer to appendicitis. She finally was diagnosed and treated on Feb. 27, 2017—3 years to the day before giving birth. Her diagnosis: Endometriosis. The inflammatory disease is estimated to affect about 10% of reproductive-age women around the world—about 190...

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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