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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

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...
Dear Research Advocate: This morning, the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee held a hearing with Dr. Kelvin Droegemeier, the nominee for director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP). Committee Chairman John Thune (R-SD) said Dr. Droegemeier is eminently well qualified to lead OSTP and he hopes for a speedy confirmation. Use this editable email to reinforce that sentiment with your Senators! You can read Dr. Droegemeier’s testimony for the hearing here . Also in the Senate today, the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee held a hearing on "Prioritizing Cures: Science and Stewardship at the National Institutes of Health...
Dear Research Advocate: President Trump signed the John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019 (NDAA), authorizing $716 billion in spending for the Department of Defense (DoD). R&D features prominently, including the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program ( CDMRP ), the WRAIR Labs, and other medical and public health research pivotal to domestic and global health security. A particularly compelling example of the value of defense research is the recent story of the youngest person to receive a face transplant in U.S. history, part of a research study DoD funded because of its critical applications for wounded warriors. Read more in this USA Today...
Dear Research Advocate: With the recent nomination of atmospheric scientist Kelvin Droegemeier, PhD, to head the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), I have been asked about the role of this office and its director. In this terrific analysis , Former OSTP assistant director Tom Kalil lays it all out and also offers compelling observations on the nature of effective leadership. Anyone interested in public service, policy-making or policy-influencing, and/or honing leadership skills, would do well to spend a few minutes with “Policy Entrepreneurship at the White House.” Research!America sent a letter to Senate Commerce, Science, Transportation Committee Chair John Thune...
Dear Research Advocate: The Senate approved a four-bill minibus package including appropriations under the jurisdiction of the Interior-Environment, Financial Services, Agriculture (which includes FDA) and Transportation-HUD Subcommittees yesterday, and will now likely take up a combined Labor-H/Defense appropriations bill (inclusive of NIH, CDC, AHRQ, the Department of Defense CDMRP and other important research funding). Research!America sent a letter to Appropriations leaders today reinforcing their commendable efforts to wrap up FY19 appropriations before the 9/30 deadline. The stakes here are high: the alternative scenarios -- either flat funding under a continuing resolution or a...
Before the 20 th century, the only way to become immune to ailments like measles, smallpox, and diphtheria was to develop naturally acquired immunity – to contract a disease and hopefully survive it to prevent future infection. The development of vaccines revolutionized care for these diseases, and smallpox and diphtheria have since been eradicated in the United States while cases of measles are down 99.9% since the measles vaccine was introduced in 1963. August marks National Immunization Awareness Month, during which health care providers, researchers, and patient advocates join forces to inform the public on the health benefits of vaccines as well as advancements in vaccine research. A...
Dear Research Advocate: We saw the power of a robust public health force, integrated public health programs, and an innovative R&D pipeline this week as the World Health Organization declared the recent Ebola outbreak contained . Think of the lives and dollars that could be saved if global health were accorded the priority it deserves on a sustained basis, rather than gaining traction only when crises are upon us! We have updated our Top Ten Reasons to invest in global R&D. Use this terrific Kaiser Family Foundation primer on all things global health policy-related, and make the case for global health research as a strategic asset on social media or with your congressional...
Around one in five American adults lives with a mental illness, such as depression, bipolar disorder, or an anxiety disorder, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. Many of these people also have serious, often preventable, physical illnesses, but often don’t get the care they need for those problems. As a result, people with serious mental illnesses die on average 10 to 20 years earlier than others. These illnesses affect minority communities to a substantially greater degree than they do non-Hispanic white populations. Due to the stigma associated with mental illness, difficulty accessing effective treatments and qualified providers, and a lack of clear evidence to support...
Dear Research Advocate: In United for Medical Research’s terrific Amazing Things Podcast series, chairman of the House Labor-HHS Subcommittee, Tom Cole (R-OK) talks about what investments in research mean for the health, well-being and prosperity of America and Americans. Listen in - Chairman Cole can teach us all a thing or two about high impact advocacy! It is important for stakeholders in research to take time to demonstrate the utility of research and innovation investments, speaking out to current and future Congressional champions on both sides of the aisle. With that aim in mind, Research!America has expanded our bipartisan candidate engagement initiative for the midterm elections,...

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Without continued support for health research, many of the most promising young scientists, their ideas and a myriad of potentially life-changing scientific breakthroughs will vanish into oblivion.
Paul Marinec, PhD; University of California San Francisco