It’s A Wrap

Dear Research Advocate,

Each U.S. consumer is projected to spend a whopping $883 dollars on average on gifts and holiday items this season. That’s more than four times the $215 per adult invested this year in NIH’s $45 billion budget. 

I’m not suggesting we cut our holiday spending since there is immeasurable value to celebrating with family and friends! However, the $883 figure does reinforce the fact that we are a wealthy nation with the capacity to significantly increase our investment in groundbreaking research and lifesaving cures. It’s essential we tell our elected officials to prioritize this investment of our tax dollars in order to more quickly reap the benefits of research. Benefits like ending Alzheimer’s, cancer, diabetes, rare diseases and more.  

On the Hill: Earlier this week, House and Senate appropriators released the text of the agreement they reached to fund the government through September 2023. As of this writing, the Senate has passed the FY23 omnibus funding package and sent it over to the House, which is expected to pass it quickly and then send it to the President for his signature. We are pleased to see that the package includes robust, and in some cases, historic increases across federal research agencies, including NIH, ARPA-H, CDC, FDA, AHRQ, and NSF.

Read our press statement on the package and use this editable email to thank your members of Congress for their hard work and dedication to ensuring our federal research agencies are able to meet the moment. 

We extend a special thank you to retiring Appropriations Committee leaders, including Senate Appropriations Chair Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Appropriations Ranking Member Richard Shelby (R-AL), and Labor-HHS-Education Subcommittee Ranking Member Roy Blunt (R-MO). All three consistently championed robust funding for federal research programs to drive medical progress throughout their combined 85 years service in the Senate. 

The Case for Global Health Investment: Dr. Roger Glass, Director of NIH’s Fogarty International Center, recently published a blog that speaks to the ROI of global health R&D. The benefits of this research investment stretch far beyond the borders of the U.S. For example, Dr. Sikhulile Moyo, a researcher in Botswana, used expertise he gained participating in a NIH Fogarty International Center-funded grant to identify the COVID-19 virus causing the Omicron variant. Investing in training researchers around the world pays major dividends for the U.S.

OSTP RFIs: In other investment and innovation news, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) is currently seeking feedback on its recently launched National Biotechnology and Biomanufacturing Initiative

Biotechnology and biomanufacturing offer new opportunities to strengthen supply chains and lower prices, create more sustainable products through bio-based production, and bolster R&D capacities across the scientific and technological ecosystem to outpace current innovation standards.

View the request for information and submit your comments by January 20, 2023.

ICYMI: On Tuesday, we hosted a memorable conversation with Erik Ewers and Christopher Loren Ewers, co-directors of the documentary film Hiding in Plain Sight, Youth Mental Illness. They discussed the development of their documentary, which provides an impactful and intimate look into the lives of 20 young people as they navigate the challenges of youth and mental illness. The Ewers – along with the film’s executive producer Ken Burns, producer Julie Coffman, and writer David Blistein – will receive Research!America’s 2023 Isadore Rosenfeld Award for Impact on Public Opinion Award on March 15, 2023. Stay tuned for more details on the awards ceremony!

End the Year With a House Call: U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, MD, hosts an every-other-week interview-style podcast, House Calls. Dr. Murthy and his guests’ conversations focus on our humanity and how we connect and heal as human beings. Recent topics have included mental health, mindfulness, and how to have meaningful conversations. I recommend it to you for your holiday and year-end listening.

If you missed Dr. Murthy’s remarks at our 2022 National Health Research Forum, I encourage you to watch the video or read the transcript – definitely a highlight of 2022!

Stay well, stay safe, and stay connected. Celebrate the season and plan to continue advocating in 2023! We will be with you all the way.