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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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Dear Research Advocate, On the Monday before Thanksgiving each year, Research!America, along with public health leaders across the nation take time to salute the people who work day-in and day-out to protect us from disease, injury, and other threats to our nation’s health. Members of this critical workforce can be found in every community across the country. They track infectious diseases and administer the vaccines to prevent their spread. They warn us about overuse of antibiotics leading to drug-resistant infections. They educate us about preventing accidental deaths by using infant car seats and about newer but avoidable dangers like vaping. And more. The public health workforce...
Thyroid eye disease is a serious, debilitating, and vision-threatening autoimmune disease where the immune system attacks muscles and other tissue behind and around the eyes, which can result in potentially sight-threatening proptosis (eye bulging). Symptoms include light sensitivity, bulging eyes, double vision, and red, watery, and irritated eyes. People living with thyroid eye disease frequently experience long-term reduced quality of life, including an inability to work and carry out many other day-to-day activities At a recent briefing held by the National Alliance for Eye and Vision Research (NAEVR), a Research!America alliance member, patient Christine Gustafson shared a common...
Dear Research Advocate, Earlier this week, we honored our nation’s veterans. Beyond a profound debt of gratitude, veterans deserve our vigilance in addressing such threats as PTSD, TBI, and suicide, the rate of which is tragically growing faster among veterans than in the general population . Thousands of U.S. veterans participate in clinical research aimed at addressing these and other health threats, and the VA itself plays an under-appreciated role in advancing medical and public health progress. See our fact sheet on VA research for examples of the agency’s impact. Among the many devastating consequences of TBI, preliminary research focused on veterans suggests that rates of migraine...
Dear Research Advocate, With new rumors surfacing daily, it’s difficult to gauge the odds of Congress and the Trump Administration completing FY20 appropriations this calendar year. We are now anticipating another short-term CR that will flat-fund government into December, buying a bit more time for final negotiations. If those negotiations fail, the options become yet another CR or a government shutdown. None of these scenarios serves the public interest. Imagine if federal agencies couldn’t adjust spending to jettison what is not working and invest in what is. Imagine if there were resources to seed the kind of medical and public health progress that saves lives, yet those resources lie...
For more than 30 years, Research!America has encouraged health and medical research to be a higher national priority. Year after year, our public opinion surveys have shown that the public also places this high value on research. In 2019, our survey asked, "How important is it for the President and Congress to assign a high priority to ensure faster medical progress?" 84% of the respondents said it was "very important" or "somewhat important." In 2017 and 2018, we asked this question focusing on the role of the President. When asked, "How important is it for President Trump to assign a high priority to put health research and innovation to work to assure continued medical progress?" we...
The World Health Organization (WHO) reported that in 2016, a greater number of deaths by suicide than by Parkinson’s disease, natural disasters, ovarian cancer, war, thyroid cancer, Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and opioid use disorders combined. Additionally, the VA Office of Mental Health and Suicide Prevention reports that veterans have a higher rate of suicide than non-veterans by over 150%. To address this concerning statistic, the Friends of VA Medical Care and Health Research (FOVA) hosted a congressional briefing entitled “The Science of Veteran Suicide” on September 26, 2019 to focus on how research can be used to understand, and therefore prevent, the additional risks veterans face. The...
Dear Research Advocate, It’s Halloween! I was astonished to learn that Americans will spend some $9 billion on candy, costumes and decorations this year. $9 billion would fund: NIH’s National Institute on Dental and Craniofacial Research for more than 27 years; CDC’s Vaccines for Children program for almost two and a half years; FDA’s Foods program for eight and a half years; or NSF’s entire budget for more than one year. These comparisons (and you can imagine many more like them) aren’t meant to disparage a fun holiday, but rather to underscore that investing in life-saving medical and public health research is affordable for this wealthy nation of ours — in fact, it’s a relatively small...
The fall 2019 edition of Research!America's newsletter, the Research Advocate, is now online ! Among the articles in this issue: Advocacy Award Recipients Announced The 24th annual Research!America Advocacy Awards, to be held at the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium in Washington, D.C. on March 11, 2020, brings together leaders from government, industry, academia, patient groups, scientific societies, independent research institutes, and health advocacy organizations to honor exceptional advocates for research. Earlier this month, Research!America announced the first round of recipients for many of the awards. Bruce M. Alberts, PhD , former president (1993-2005) of the National Academy of...
Dear Research Advocate, Today, we announced several of the extraordinary leaders in medical and health research advocacy who will be honored during our 2020 Advocacy Awards Dinner. Dr. Bruce Alberts, former president of the National Academy of Sciences (among a plethora of distinctions), will receive this year’s John Edward Porter Legacy Award, generously supported by Ann Lurie. Bruce is just one of the remarkable individuals who will be recognized, as highlighted in today’s release . We will soon announce the recipients of the Isadore Rosenfeld Award for Impact on Public Opinion and the Edwin C. Whitehead Award for Medical Research Advocacy . I hope you will join us on March 11, 2020, to...
In 2013, President Obama announced The Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative , an ambitious ten-year plan tasked with “revolutionizing our understanding of the human brain.” The BRAIN Initiative seeks to expedite discoveries about the fundamental workings of the brain, so that researchers can better tackle the many diseases and disorders of this complex organ. The BRAIN Initiative spans several federal entities and includes partnerships with industry leaders, and academia, among others. In 2019, we are halfway through the Initiative’s time frame. At a recent briefing held by the Coalition for Life Sciences , guest speakers Dr. Eva Marder , PhD,...

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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