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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, “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...
In January 2020, Research!America commissioned a survey seeking the opinions of Americans on federal support for current research efforts. When asked about the importance of elected officials at all levels listening to advice from scientists, a strong majority (90%) of respondents say that it is “somewhat important” or “very important”. These results are consistent with previous surveys asking the same question. In 2016, the last time this question was asked, 89% of respondents said it was “somewhat important” or “very important” for elected officials at all levels listening to advice from scientists with 58% saying “very important”, 4% more than in 2020, and 31% saying “somewhat important...
Dear Research Advocate, Yesterday, we hosted a very popular webinar, Understanding the Landscape of COVID-19 Vaccine and Treatment R&D , featuring former FDA Commissioner Mark McClellan, Director of the Duke-Margolis Health Policy Center; Stefano Bertuzzi, CEO of the American Society for Microbiology; and former CDC Director Julie Gerberding, Executive Vice President and Chief Patient Officer, Strategic Communications, Global Public Policy and Population Health at Merck. All three are working tirelessly to combat COVID-19. In speaking about current public-private research efforts, Dr. Gerberding emphasized: “This is the time we need the most openness, the most transparency, and the...
Since the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, the ability to diagnose and test for the presence of the virus in patients has been of critical importance. However, the process and steps required in testing have not always been made clear or easy for non-experts to understand. Research!America has developed this resource to explain the scientific process behind a COVID-19 test. During a recent Research!America alliance member call, Scott Whitaker, President and CEO of AdvaMed discussed how diagnostic companies are developing and manufacturing both “front end” tests to detect whether a person currently has COVID-19 and serology tests to determine whether someone has ever had COVID-19 by...
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...

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Public sentiment is everything. With public sentiment, nothing can fail; without it nothing can succeed.
Abraham Lincoln