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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

National Institutes of Health Director Francis Collins, MD, PhD , and a Research!America Board member, former Congressman Mike Castle , will appear on BioCenturyTV during the next two weeks to discuss declines in federally funded research. “BioCentury This Week” airs at 8:30 a.m. Sundays on WUSA-9 in the Washington, DC, area. In other areas, the program is available on the show’s website at www.biocenturytv.com . The September 23 show will feature Collins, who will discuss sequestration, NIH grant rates, ways to reduce the costs of clinical trials and the NIH’s public-private partnerships. The September 30 show will feature Castle; Daniel Ford, MD, MPH , vice dean for clinical investigation...
Dear Research Advocate, To call attention to the unintended consequences of the sequester, we held a press briefing today in partnership with United for Medical Research. Two Members of Congress who are still in town, Reps. Ed Markey (D-MA) and Brian Bilbray (R-CA), spoke about the high priority the nation must place on NIH and about the usefulness of data from a new national public opinion poll showing that 51% of Americans say that across-the-board cuts are not the right way to reduce the deficit. To see more poll results for use in your advocacy, click here . Other speakers this morning spoke about what’€™s at stake for everyone who cares about the research enterprise: patient hopes for...
So it’s not a big deal if patients skip a pill or two? On the contrary. Several studies have looked at the issue and the range of their findings is exceptionally broad. One thing that cannot be disputed: The cost is extraordinary. On the low end of the range, the lack of adherence to medications costs the U.S. health care system $100 billion annually in direct costs. The high end: $289 billion. The reasons are obvious: In the absence of therapies, diseases and conditions aren’t slowed or defeated. So the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality took a look at a number of academic studies to determine if anything could be gleaned from an overview of interventions. Indeed, there are ’€” but...
For the second week in a row, an article on the West Nile outbreak has made The Washington Post’€™s top stories. On September 12, the Post responded to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports indicating that 2012 may be the deadliest year yet for West Nile in the United States. The article suggests that each year may only get worse as human travel increasingly brings us into contact with infected animals, and the viruses continue to evolve. There is currently no vaccine and no effective drugs to treat West Nile. With this growing threat, federal support for neglected tropical disease research has never been more urgent. This research is necessary in order to protect the health...
Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA), left, and Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) both spoke at the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network rally on Capitol Hill on Thursday. Behind them is Christopher Hansen, president of ACS-CAN. The American Cancer Society and its advocacy arm, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, kicked off its lobby day on Capitol Hill with a rally that urged Congress to preserve funding for research, prevention and treatment of cancer. But the event wasn’t just about cancer: Four Division I men’s basketball coaches also helped kick off the rally. But it wasn’t merely a token appearance. The coaches ’€” Tad Boyle of the University of Colorado, Paul Hewitt of George...
Dear Research Advocate, Congress is back in Washington but still in campaign mode, making its decisions with the election very much in mind. A 6-month continuing resolution (C.R.) is expected to pass momentarily. The C.R. would put off appropriations decision-making until the new Congress has gotten under way, flat-funding the government through March of next year at fiscal 2012 levels. The atmosphere of fiscal uncertainty for the agencies that fund research, and everyone seeking that funding, is in fact demoralizing in the extreme. Compounding the problem is that the C.R. does nothing to address the looming problem of sequestration, which is scheduled to take effect on January 2, 2013. The...
On Friday, September 7, at the National Institutes of Health campus, the Trans-NIH Global Health Working Group hosted a lecture titled, ’€œRapid, automated diagnostics for tuberculosis: a potential new benchmark.’€ Mark Perkins, MD, who has worked at the Global Tuberculosis Programme of the World Health Organization and is currently the chief scientific officer at the Foundation for New Innovative Diagnostics (FIND), discussed the development of a new testing method for tuberculosis. Identified as the cause of death for 1.4 million individuals in 2010, including people in the United States , TB is a significant global health concern. However, it is consistently underdiagnosed due to...
The Albert and Mary Lasker Foundation has announced the winners of its 2012 Awards : Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research Award: Michael Sheetz, PhD (Columbia University); James Spudich, PhD (Stanford University); and Ronald Vale, PhD (University of California San Francisco) Lasker~DeBakey Clinical Medical Research Award: Sir Roy Calne (University of Cambridge, emeritus); Thomas E. Starzl, MD, PhD (University of Pittsburgh) Lasker~Koshland Special Achievement Award: Donald D. Brown, DSc (Carnegie Institute); Tom Maniatis, PhD (Columbia University) The winners were announced Monday. The seven men will be honored at a ceremony September 21 in New York. “The Lasker Awards celebrate biomedical...
23andMe ’€” the company helping individuals interpret their own DNA ’€” is hosting a Capitol Hill briefing September 13 that will focus on the role of crowd-sourcing as it relates to the future of research on Parkinson’s disease. The event will be held from noon to 1 p.m. at the House Visitors Center, Room 201. Speakers include Maryum Ali , daughter of legendary boxer Muhammad Ali and a Parkinson’s activist; former astronaut Rich Clifford , a Parkinson’s activist and patient; and Anne Wojcicki , co-founder and CEO of 23andMe. Crowd-sourcing has proven to be a successful method of researching Parkinson’s; 23andMe discovered two new genes associated with Parkinson’s using just this approach...
Dear Research Advocate, In last week’€™s letter, I highlighted research-related themes in the Republican National Platform. The good news included explicit support for basic and applied research and a pledge to make the R&D tax credit permanent. The bad news included strident criticism of FDA ’€” such that support for adequate funding was unclear ’€” and opposition to embryonic stem cell research. The Democratic platform asserts that Democrats will ’€œdouble funding for key basic research agencies.’€ It also goes further than the Republican platform in improving the research and development tax credit and places a very strong emphasis on science education as critical to our innovation...

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We have health challenges in this country that science will provide answers for if given the chance and we haven't given science that opportunity
Mary Woolley, President and CEO, Research!America