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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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Thirty million people in the United States are living with a rare disease and less than five percent of existing rare diseases have an approved treatment option . At Horizon Pharma, we are driven by a personal commitment to our patients to collaborate and innovate to close the innovation gap in rare disease. Conversations such as Research!America’s National Health Research Forum, which discussed the challenge of unmet medical needs , are vital in highlighting areas where cross-sector collaboration will enable us to find treatment options faster. Sitting alongside my fellow panelists, it was clear that while the challenges of unmet needs persist, our shared commitment will drive forward new...
Dear Research Advocate: I am especially pleased to report that the House passed the Labor-H/Defense FY19 appropriations conference report yesterday, by a vote of 361-61. The President has said he will sign the bill, thus avoiding a partial government shutdown with its myriad negative consequences (including the toll on medical and public health progress). Please do as we have and say thank you to Congressional leadership for passing this bill in timely fashion, with funding that supports putting research to work to find the solutions to what ails us. Of particular note, the bill includes a $2 billion increase for NIH, as well as increases for other federal health agencies under HHS auspices...
Dear Research Advocate: Earlier this week, I visited both campuses (Davis and Sacramento) of the University of California, Davis. Uniquely, the campuses include a medical school, veterinary school including a primate center, school of engineering, nursing school and graduate and undergraduate science programs, all highly ranked. Campus leaders are justly proud of the collaborative programs they have fielded. It was especially rewarding to talk to early career scientists, fired with enthusiasm and determination to find the solutions to what ails us, and ready, willing and able to advocate. They inspired me! My time at UC Davis brought to mind “New Voices in Sciences, Engineering and Medicine...
September is Healthy Aging Month, and here at the Buck Institute for Research on Aging , we are on a mission to end the threat of age-related disease for this and future generations. We believe it is possible for people to enjoy healthy lives at age 95 as much as they do at 25, and to achieve that, we’re seeking a more comprehensive understanding of the biology of aging itself. Over the last century, average human lifespan has been increasing at a rate of approximately 2 years per decade, primarily due to advancements in antibiotics and other medical treatments, as well as improved public health efforts. The U.S. Census Bureau estimates that by 2035, people over the age of 65 will outnumber...
Dear Research Advocate: Big news: it appears a Labor-H/Defense appropriations “conference report” (i.e. final bill) will clear Congress and reach the President’s desk before the September 30 deadline. Earlier this week, we sent a letter urging conferees Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO), Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), Representative Tom Cole (R-OK), and Representative Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) to push for the highest funding levels possible for NIH, CDC, AHRQ and CDMRP given the boundaries set by the House and Senate versions of the legislation. This just in: a summary of the conference report . A preliminary read (emphasis on “preliminary”) indicates that the conferees did indeed opt for favorable funding...
Aging well is more than simply celebrating more birthdays. To most of us, aging well means living more years in good health and well-being. The Alliance for Aging Research is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping people live longer, healthier lives. We at the Alliance recognize that an essential part of healthy aging is prevention. Vaccines are an easy way to prevent serious infectious diseases that lead to thousands of hospitalizations and deaths each year, and cause millions of people to lose time with families, at work, and tending to other important responsibilities. Vaccines have also saved millions of lives. Americans seem to realize the value of vaccines to community health...
The September 2018 newsletter is now online . Highlights from this month include: Research!America hosted its 2018 National Health Research Forum at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. Top leaders in government, industry, patient advocacy and academia talked about “in the moment” issues that could impact the trajectory of medical and health research and public health. Thought leaders came together for candid discussions on efforts to find solutions to pressing health challenges. Research!America has selected 10 graduate student and postdoc-led science policy groups from across the country to receive microgrants as part of the Bipartisan Civic Engagement Initiative. Groups will work to increase...
Dear Research Advocate: Research!America’s annual health research forum, “Straight Talk,” will kick off tomorrow, Thursday, September 6, at 10:15 AM EST at the Newseum in Washington, DC. I am sending this week’s letter a day early to ensure that you have the link to the livestream, since we are at full capacity in the room. Featuring HHS Secretary Alex Azar II and a host of other national leaders in the research and public health arenas, the goal of the forum is to foster candid discussion and seed new thinking around topics that are front and center in research and innovation. Be sure to listen in! The House returned from August recess yesterday and opted to “fast-track” the Labor-H/...
I valued the opportunity earlier this week to join the team from the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science as they delivered their high quality program at Mississippi State University. Mr. Alda gave a typically inspirational and amusing keynote and also kicked off the interactive sessions the next morning. The Alda Method© team-teaches communication skills, drawing on working actors’ improvisational abilities coupled with the expertise of educators and researchers who regularly contribute to the academic literature, including the Oxford Handbook of The Science of Science Communication . As more academic institutions consider adding a communication and public engagement component to...
There are more than 39 million residents of the state of California. Thirty-nine million people in the United States own a voice-recognition device. There are roughly 39 million citizens of Poland. Thirty-nine million seconds is more than 450 days. And 39 million people in the United States live with migraine. More Than a Number As a society we are mesmerized by numbers. Just look at how private health insurance functions in our country. Insurance companies don’t look at people as people. We are numbers on a spreadsheet and our health is gambled on based on profitability. We are social security numbers, bank account numbers, and license numbers. Health care advocacy inverts this construct...

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Funding research gives all of us a better chance of living a healthier life.
Pam Hirata, heart disease survivor