Research!America to Honor Chair Emeritus The Honorable John Edward Porter and Other Medical and Health Research Advocacy Leaders
Research!America’s 22nd annual Advocacy Awards will pay special tribute to The Honorable John Edward Porter, Research!America Chair Emeritus, for his decades-long commitment to advancing medical and health research. Porter served as U.S. Congressman from the 10th district in Illinois from 1980 to 2001 during which time he chaired the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies. The event will take place on Wednesday, March 14, 2018, in Washington, D.C., where Porter will receive the Research!America 2018 Legacy Award, thereafter to be named in his honor.
“John Porter is the epitome of a champion and highly influential leader for medical and health research,” said The Honorable Michael N. Castle, chair, Research!America. “Throughout his long and stellar career, he has worked tirelessly to help speed discoveries in medicine and improve the lives of millions of Americans. We are pleased to celebrate his many accomplishments by honoring him with this award and know it will inspire many others to become champions for research.”
Other 2018 Advocacy Award winners announced today, with additional awardees to be named in the coming weeks, are Roger I. Glass, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Fogarty International Center and associate director for international research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), recipient of the Geoffrey Beene Builders of Science Award; Shari and Garen Staglin, founders of One Mind, One Mind Institute (IMHRO), and Bring Change2Mind, recipients of the Gordon and Llura Gund Leadership Award; EveryLife Foundation for Rare Diseases, recipient of the Paul G. Rogers Distinguished Organization Advocacy Award; and Peter J. Hotez, M.D., Ph.D., dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine and professor of pediatrics and molecular virology and microbiology at Baylor College of Medicine, recipient of the Research!America Advocacy Award for Sustained National Leadership. The annual Research!America Advocacy Awards program was established by the Board of Directors in 1996 to honor outstanding advocates for medical, health and scientific research.
“The 2018 honorees are exceptional in their commitment to bolstering our nation’s scientific enterprise, both at home and abroad, leading and championing innovative research and the patient voice to raise awareness of the importance of medical research,” said Mary Woolley, president and CEO, Research!America. “We applaud their achievements in advancing life-saving medical and health discoveries to improve the lives of people worldwide.”
The Honorable John Edward Porter has served as a member of the Research!America board since 2001, 12 of those years as chair and now chair emeritus. Porter was U.S. Congressman from the 10th district in Illinois for 21 years, serving on the U.S. House Committee on Appropriations and chairing the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies, which allocates funding for the NIH and other health-related federal agencies. He was instrumental in doubling the funding for the NIH over five years. In 2014, the John Edward Porter Neuroscience Research Center, a state of the art facility at the NIH, was dedicated in his name. Porter is also the recipient of the National Academy of Sciences Public Welfare Medal, the Academy’s highest honor. He is a senior advisor in the international law firm Hogan Lovells LLP.
Roger I. Glass, M.D., Ph.D., who will receive the Geoffrey Beene Builders of Science Award, is director of the Fogarty International Center and associate director for international research at the NIH. In these roles, Glass oversees an extensive portfolio of grants and awards that support training of global health researchers and facilitates NIH’s research and training partnerships abroad. Dr. Glass's research expertise is in the prevention of gastroenteritis from rotaviruses, noroviruses and cholera. He has maintained field studies in India, Bangladesh, Brazil, Mexico, Israel, Russia, Vietnam, China and elsewhere, and created a team of epidemiologists and virologists that spearheaded global efforts to research and introduce rotavirus vaccine worldwide. Dr. Glass is the recipient of numerous awards, including the prestigious Charles C. Shepard Lifetime Scientific Achievement Award, presented by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for his 30-year career as a leader in scientific research, and the 2015 Albert B. Sabin Gold Medal Award for his novel scientific research in the prevention of gastroenteritis from rotaviruses and noroviruses.
Shari and Garen Staglin, founders of the Staglin Family Vineyard, will receive the Gordon and Llura Gund Leadership Award for their commitment to accelerating cures for brain disorders through scientific research. Shari and Garen have actively given back to the community and supported charitable causes for 45 years. Their focus on brain health research is the result of their son Brandon’s diagnosis of schizophrenia in 1990. Brandon is now director of marketing and communications at One Mind Institute and his sister Shannon is president at the Staglin Family Vineyard. The Staglins founded One Mind, One Mind Institute and Bring Change2Mind to address brain disorders and stigma. For the last 23 years their annual Music Festival for Brain Health, along with their other advocacy efforts, have raised over $280 million for brain health research.
The EveryLife Foundation for Rare Diseases has been selected to receive the Paul G. Rogers Distinguished Organization Advocacy Award. Rare diseases affect more than 30 million Americans, and there are fewer than 500 approved treatments for the 7,000 rare diseases that exist. The EveryLife Foundation was founded in 2009 to improve the regulatory process for drug development, from clinical trials to approval, by working with patient organizations, industry, academic scientists, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the NIH to spur insightful scientific analysis and dialogue, expand grassroots support, and ultimately bring about key policy changes. The Foundation played a pivotal role in securing passage of the bipartisan 21st Century Cures Act, which was signed into law in 2016.
Peter J. Hotez, M.D., Ph.D., will receive the Raymond and Beverly Sackler Award for Sustained National Leadership for his far-reaching work in the areas of neglected tropical disease (NTD) research and vaccine development. Dr. Hotez is dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine where he is also professor of pediatrics and molecular virology and microbiology. He serves as the director of the Texas Children’s Hospital Center for Vaccine Development, where he leads a unique product development partnership for developing new vaccines for hookworm infection, schistosomiasis, Chagas disease, leishmaniasis, and SARS/MERS, diseases that affect hundreds of millions of people worldwide. In 2006 at the Clinton Global Initiative, he co-founded a Global Network for NTDs to provide access to essential medicines for hundreds of millions of people. Hotez was among the first to predict Zika’s emergence in the U.S. and is recognized as an authority on vaccines. He is an outspoken leader of national efforts to educate the public about vaccines amid growing misconceptions about them, and he has appeared on BBC, CNN, Fox News and MSNBC. Hotez is founding Editor-in-Chief of PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases and an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine.
For more information about the 2018 Advocacy Awards Dinner, visit www.researchamerica.org/advocacy_awards.
About Research!America’s Advocacy Awards Dinner
The annual Research!America Advocacy Awards program was established in 1996 by the Board of Directors to honor outstanding advocates for medical, health and scientific research. Recognized individuals and organizations are those whose extraordinary leadership efforts have been effective in advancing our nation’s commitment to medical, health and other scientific research. The awards dinner will take place on March 14, 2018, at the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium in Washington, D.C. For more information, visit www.researchamerica.org/advocacy_awards.
Research!America is the nation's largest nonprofit public education and advocacy alliance working to make research to improve health a higher national priority. Founded in 1989, Research!America is supported by member organizations representing 125 million Americans. Visit www.researchamerica.org.