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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. Each blog post aims to inform readers about the health and economic benefits of research.  

Recent Blog Posts

New research from Research!America member Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis shows that a component of bee venom can be safely used to target and kill HIV virus particles while leaving human cells intact. The compound, called melittin, punches holes in the outer protective coat, or ’€œenvelope,’€ of viruses, including HIV. Researchers modified the nanoparticle to protect human cells from the toxin by adding ’€œbumpers’€ to prevent the toxin-laden particles from fusing with cells, yet the smaller virus particles are able to fit between these bumpers and interact with melittin. The lead author on the study, Joshua L. Hood, MD, PhD, says that application of this new...
March 8, International Women’€™s Day, ’€œhas grown to become a global day of recognition and celebration across developed and developing countries alike,’€ reads InternationalWomansDay.com, a global hub for sharing news and resources about the day. While great strides have been made in the past hundred years to improve the health and equality of women in America, there are still areas of medical care and research where women are at risk; these areas represent a great opportunity for America to lead the way in promoting health and equality for women around the world. Some Research!America alliance member organizations work every day to bring increased awareness to health issues affecting...
Dear Research Advocate, Yesterday, the House passed a budget for the remainder of the fiscal year that includes this year’€™s cuts from sequestration along with an additional one percent across-the-board cut. The bill now heads to the Senate for consideration, where we are likely to see higher funding levels than the House version, but with sequestration still in place. Congress seems anxious to avoid the brinksmanship and the government shutdown threats that have characterized past debates. While the less rancorous environment surrounding the CR is a welcome change, the complacency around sequestration is not. As research advocates, we cannot let these cuts stand. Sequestration isn’€™t a...
On March 4, NIH-supported investigators reported the first ever "€œfunctional cure"€ of HIV in a toddler in Mississippi. The child received antiretroviral drugs within hours of birth and continued on the drugs for 18 months, when treatment was stopped. Despite discontinued treatment, the toddler no longer had detectable levels of HIV when seen by medical professionals 6 months later. Subsequent tests confirmed that the child had indeed been "€œfunctionally cured"€ of HIV. Although more research is necessary to see if these results can be duplicated, scientists believe this provides hope for the hundreds of thousands of children born with HIV each year. NIH funding not only supported...
Just released data from the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) details the final amount to be cut from federal research program budgets as sequestration goes into effect. The full details are available on the updated Research!America sequestration fact sheet , though previous projections were relatively accurate as compared to these final numbers. Cuts to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration will be higher than previously expected, with a combined loss of $593 million dollars for FY13. That amount is roughly equivalent to ensuring the safety of new medical and biological products at the FDA and programs that focus on prevention...
On February 28, Rare Disease Day , more than 60 countries and hundreds of organizations come together to raise awareness of the plight of those afflicted with rare diseases. Although rare diseases affect more than 100 million people worldwide, there is limited public awareness and insufficient research funding to develop tools to prevent and treat these diseases. This year, the theme of the day is ’€œRare Disorders Without Borders.’€ Advances in rare disease research are far more likely to succeed if teams of researchers from different countries pool resources, share findings and work together to find new solutions. There are clear parallels between these rare diseases and neglected...
Dear Research Advocate, To say that the attention paid to sequestration is extraordinary is to understate the case, but there has not been enough public outcry to force meaningful congressional action. It is highly unlikely that a rabbit will be pulled out of a hat between now and 11:59 p.m. tomorrow night. Damage will be done, and meanwhile the political playing field switches to a new month and new, related and ever-deepening crises. Possibly the only good news is that the media has ratcheted up coverage of the impact of sequestration on medical research, with stories about ’€œcuts on top of cuts on top of cuts,’€ in the words of Eric Hoffman of Children’€™s National Medical Center, one...
It’€™s all over the news: The federal government is headed for significant, across-the-board budget cuts. Sequestration, or 10 years of automatic spending cuts, is a self-inflicted consequence passed by Congress, aimed to be a drastic outcome of failing to agree on a federal deficit-reduction package. Some Members of Congress argue that the sequester will not have a significant impact; they claim that the 5.1% cuts made in 2013 are only a drop in the bucket and there is no need to worry. However, the amount of money that the National Institutes of Health will lose, $1.56 billion, could fund the entire National Institute of Mental Health for more than a year. Cuts to the National Science...
Research!America’s booth at GHTC briefing On February 26, the Global Health Technologies Coalition held a Capitol Hill briefing, ’€œ Renewing US leadership: Policies to advance global health research .’€ The briefing included displays from global health nonprofits, the launch of GHTC’€™s fourth annual policy report as well as a panel discussion. Panelists included Dr. Lee Hall, Chief of Parasitology and International Programs at NIAID, Dr. Alan Magill, Director of Malaria at the Gates Foundation and Dr. Caroline Ryan, Deputy Coordinator for Technical Leadership at PEPFAR. Each highlighted key U.S. contributions to global health including the development of a rapid TB diagnostic, advances...
February 26, 2013 The Board of Directors of Research!America joins me in extending our deepest condolences to Dr. C. Everett Koop’€™s family, friends and colleagues as we mourn the passing of a visionary leader and champion of medical research. Dr. Koop was well-respected and revered by scientists, the public health community and the public at large, thanks to his unceasing commitment to strengthening government support for research to address health threats. As U.S. Surgeon General, he was known as ’€œAmerica’€™s Family Doctor.’€ Notably, by promoting fitness and raising awareness of disease prevention and immunization, he encouraged individuals to take an active role in their health ...

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