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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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Neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) are a group of 17 bacterial and parasitic infections that affect more than 1.4 billion people worldwide. NTDs are both infectious and chronic and disproportionately affect people in poverty. The U.S. has played an important role in the fight against NTDs, particularly through the NTD program at USAID. Although the program is extremely successful and has delivered treatments to more than 250 million people worldwide, currently the program only focuses on five of the seventeen NTDs. The remaining twelve are often overlooked, in part because existing tools are simply not sufficient to treat these NTDs. To discuss these issues and more, please join us on...
Dear Research Advocate: According to our new national public opinion poll on clinical trials and related topics, most Americans are willing to share their personal health data to advance research, and 72% would be willing to participate in a clinical trial if recommended by their doctor. This complements what we know from other polling, i.e. that Americans want research to proceed at a pace of scientific opportunity. Yet we continue to lose ground in the gridlocked political environment, which, by its inaction, is dashing the hopes of patients and families anxious for new therapies and cures. What’€™s wrong with this picture? It isn’€™t as though research hasn’€™t yielded both societal and...
Only Small Percentage say Health Care Professionals Have Ever Talked to Them about Medical Research ALEXANDRIA, Va. – June 12, 2013 – More than two-thirds (72%) of Americans say it’s likely they would participate in a clinical trial if recommended by their doctor, but only 22% say a doctor or other health care professional has ever talked to them about medical research, according to a new national public opinion poll commissioned by Research!America. A wide majority (80%) say they have heard of a clinical trial – more than half (53%) through the Internet and only 24% from a doctor or other health care provider. Only 16% of those polled say they or someone in their family have ever...
By Megan Kane, PhD Megan Kane As reported on Research!America’€™s blog and in numerous media channels, scientists are facing a difficult funding environment made even worse by sequestration. I am one of the members of the ’€œentire generation of scientists at risk’€ that NIH Director Dr. Francis Collins and others have referenced in their warnings about the long-term harm of sequestration. Due to tightening budgets in research laboratories, I was forced to make a decision earlier this year: either delay my graduation from my doctoral program or look for immediate employment outside of a lab environment and possibly never get back to the bench. A colleague pointed me to the advertisement...
Alan I. Leshner, PhD In a recent op-ed published in the Toronto Star Dr. Alan Leshner, Research!America board member, writes that federal deficits in the United States and Canada ’€œpose a significant threat’€ to basic research. He notes that ’€œsome policy-makers seem to value near-term, industry-focused science more highly.’€ But adds that basic science has larger potential payoffs than applied research. ’€œThe most well-known example of life-changing basic research is of course Sir Alexander Fleming ’€™s accidental 1928 discovery of a mould (penicillin) that seemed to repel bacteria. German physicist Wilhelm Röntgen ’€™s 19th century efforts to pass cathode rays through glass now...
Tell Congress to Champion it, not Chop it. With sequestration now in effect, across-the-board cuts have eliminated vital funding from the CDC’€™s budget. And even before sequestration, CDC has weathered several years of arbitrary budget cuts. This underfunding is crippling CDC’€™s ability to protect Americans from deadly pandemics, bioterrorisim, drug-resistant strains of infections, and other major public health threats. A recent Gallup poll indicates that many Americans understand the critical role CDC plays ’€¦ but policy makers aren’€™t getting the message. Help set things straight by sending a message to your representatives about the importance of CDC. And remember to get the word out...
This post is an excerpt of a Bloomberg column by Albert R. Hunt on how sequestration hurts medical research, especially in the fight to better understand’€”and hopefully cure’€” Alzheimer’€™s disease. Albert R. Hunt Many Republic ans, and Democrats, never thought the automatic across-the-board spending cuts known as sequestration would take effect. After all, they might produce dangerous, if unintended, consequences such as potentially bankrupting the U.S. health-care system, along with millions of families. Typical Washington hyperbole, right? It actually is happening under sequestration, which kicked in three months ago, a product of America’€™s political dysfunction. Because the cuts...
By Neal Sweeney, PhD, President. Sweeney is a postdoctoral scholar at UC Santa Cruz studying stem cell therapies for eye disease. Chartered in 2008, UAW Local 5810 represents over 6,000 postdoctoral scholars at the University of California, or approximately one tenth of all postdocs nationwide. Our members work at the cutting edge of the most sophisticated research in the world in a wide variety of health-related fields and beyond, and their contributions and discoveries move society forward in important ways. The contract that our union negotiated with the University of California in 2010 includes a minimum salary scale that matches the NIH/NRSA scale, a stable and comprehensive benefits...
The International Mental Health Research Organization is inviting you to submit essays about neuropsychiatric research and national mental health policy for their 2013 Brainstorm Contest . The best essay will snag the author two tickets to the IMHRO’€™s Music Festival for Mental Health . These tickets get you entry to the scientific symposium, reception, concert and dinner at the Staglin Family Vineyard on September 7, 2013. Participants are invited to write essays on the following topics (only one essay per topic will be accepted): What one discovery or technology would you most like to see emerge from neuropsychiatric science in the next five years, and why? [ view suggested topics ] What...
Dear Research Advocate: On Wednesday, the House Appropriations agriculture subcommittee approved the funding bill that includes the Food and Drug Administration. The bill allocates nearly $100 million above the post-sequester levels. Unfortunately, the baseline budgets in the House are so low that this increase is still lower than FY12 FDA funding. We must not fall into the trap of lowering our expectations and applauding an artificial victory. The true mark of success is funding that keeps up with need. We must keep working. As demonstrated particularly by the 18.6% cut targeted for the House LHHS appropriations FY14 budget, the pressure to shrink government by slashing discretionary...

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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