Senator Orrin Hatch Honored with Research!America Advocacy Award

Edwin C. Whitehead Award for Medical Research Advocacy
Wednesday, March 21, 2007

WASHINGTON—March 21, 2007—Utah Senator Orrin G. Hatch was honored with Research!America's 2007 Edwin C. Whitehead Award for Medical Research Advocacy.

Research!America's pinnacle award recognized the Senator's past and continuing work to advance medical and health research, including his ongoing support for growth in the National Institutes of Health and his enduring commitment to ensuring that American scientists can explore the full potential of stem cell research.

Hatch was honored March 20, 2007, at the 11th Annual Research!America Advocacy Awards gala at the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium in Washington, DC. George Stephanopoulos of ABC News served as master of ceremonies for the event.

As an original co-sponsor of the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act in current and past sessions of Congress, Hatch is working to expand federal funding for embryonic stem cell research. Hatch has also sponsored legislation to protect therapeutic cloning and advance adult stem cell research. He has said that "stem cell research could potentially be the scientific advancement that takes the practice of medicine not just to the next level, but to five or ten levels above and beyond" and "stem cell research-particularly, embryonic stem cell research-holds great promise."

Utah's Senator since 1977, Hatch is a former chairman of what is now called the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, of which he is still a member. He also wrote the legislation to establish the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Diseases. Another of his legacies to the health community is the Drug Price Competition and Patient Term Extension Act, known more commonly as the Hatch-Waxman Act.

The award benefactor is the Whitehead Charitable Foundation. Edwin C. Whitehead (1919-1992) worked to further medical research with the founding of the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research in 1982 and the founding of Research!America in 1989. His life-long commitment to medical research continues today through the efforts of his children-Susan, John and Peter-and their work with the Whitehead Institute, Research!America and other organizations on behalf of medical research.

Recipients of Research!America's Advocacy Awards are individuals and organizations that have helped create policies that support research to improve health and bring America's scientists the resources they need, and helped millions of Americans the returns of medical and health research in new preventions, treatments and cures.

Previous recipients of the Edwin C. Whitehead Award for Medical Research Advocacy include Reps. Michael N. Castle, Diana DeGette and C.W. Bill Young; Sens. Tom Harkin, Arlen Specter and Ted Stevens; Hons. Mark O. Hatfield, Connie Mack, Bob Michel, John Edward Porter and Paul G. Rogers; William G. Anlyan, MD; and Michael E. DeBakey, MD.

The other 2007 Research!America Advocacy Award winners are Mike Wallace, mental health research advocate and CBS News correspondent emeritus; David Satcher, MD, PhD, director, Center of Excellence on Health Disparities and Poussaint-Satcher-Cosby Chair in Mental Health at Morehouse School of Medicine and former Surgeon General of the U.S.; the Coalition for the Advancement of Medical Research; Susan Axelrod, president, Citizens United for Research in Epilepsy; and Nobel Laureates Michael S. Brown, MD, and Joseph L. Goldstein, MD, regental professors, and Donald W. Seldin, MD, chair in internal medicine, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center.

About Research!America

Research!America is the nation's largest not-for-profit public education and advocacy alliance working to make research to improve health a higher national priority. The 2007 Advocacy Awards represent Research!America's 11th year of recognizing the accomplishments of leading advocates for medical and health research.

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If concerted, long-term investments in research are not made, America will lose an entire generation of young scientists.
Brenda Canine, PhD; McLaughlin Research Institute, Montana