2021 National Health Research Forum

The 2021 National Health Research Forum, Straight Talk: Fighting Health Threats Faster took place from Monday, September 13, 2021, to Wednesday, September 15, 2021.

For more than 20 years, the National Health Research Forum has gathered top federal officials, leadership from across our broad membership, and distinguished national media to take an unvarnished look at issues that are vital to the wellbeing of our nation, our economy, and patients in the U.S. and across the globe.

In 2021, via a virtual platform, more than 90 speakers including high-ranking governmental officials joined us over three days with expert insight and Q&A opportunities for participants.

SEPTEMBER 13-15, 2021

COVID-19 prompted a remarkable acceleration in research and development focused on the tests, treatments, and vaccines needed to combat the pandemic. The response showed that faster progress is possible. At the same time, COVID-19 exposed challenges that reach beyond the pandemic to hinder medical and public health progress broadly.

Fighting health threats faster means:

  • finding and seizing opportunities to uncover and translate new knowledge into viable medical and public health advances; and
  • defining and removing roadblocks that slow progress or impede that progress from being leveraged to benefit all.

Advancing these objectives is a daunting prospect, but if the sense of urgency and resolve that has driven progress against COVID-19 can be applied to other health threats, we can maximize the healthy lifespan of all people, regardless of their race, gender, age, or life circumstances.

More to be announced, but we are privileged that the following leaders are participating in this year’s forum:

  • The Honorable Fred Upton (R-MI-6)
  • The Honorable Diana DeGette (D-CO-1)
  • The Honorable Josh Gottheimer (N-NJ-5)
  • Eric Lander, Director, White House OSTP
  • Sethuraman Panchanathan, Director, NSF 
  • Francis Collins, Director, NIH
  • Rochelle Walensky,  Director, CDC
  • David Meyers, Acting Director, AHRQ
  • Ned Sharpless, Director, NCI
  • Peter Marks, Center Director, FDA Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research 
  • Jacqueline Corrigan-Curay, Principal Deputy Center Director, FDA Center for Drug Evaluation and Research
  • Julia Beaver, Acting Chief of Medical Oncology, FDA 
  • Patrick J. Kennedy, Former U.S. Representative (D–RI) 
  • Mark McClellan, Director, Duke-Robert J. Margolis, MD Center for Health Policy 
  • Scott Gottlieb, Former Commissioner, FDA
  • Robert Califf, Former Commissioner, FDA
  • Albert Bourla, Chief Executive Officer, Pfizer Inc
  • John Maraganore, Chief Executive Officer, Alnylam Pharmaceuticals
  • Mark Reisenauer, President, Astellas Pharma US
  • Maria Ryan, Vice President and Chief Clinical Officer, Colgate-Palmolive Company
  • Laurie Hernandez, Olympic Gymnastics Champion and One Mind Champion

Thank you to our sponsors

For sponsorship information, contact Katie Goode, Director, Alliance Development and Membership, at 571-482-2706 or at kgoode@researchamerica.org.

Media Contacts

Tim Haynes
Senior Director of Communications 

Luck shouldn't play a role in why I'm alive.
Laurie MacCaskill, a seven-year pancreatic cancer survivor