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Washington, D.C., April 22 – A coalition of the nation’s medical schools, teaching hospitals, universities, patient groups, research companies and organizations – including some of California’s leading research institutions – today launched a new effort to urge Congress to enact significant, annual increases in funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the nation’s primary sponsor of medical research. The new campaign, ResearchMeansHope.org, will use print, radio and online advertising, as well as electronic and social media to raise public awareness of the critical need for sustained, real growth in federal funding for medical research. A new Web site, ResearchMeansHope.org, also provides information about the importance of NIH-supported research and makes it easy for the public to send a message to Congress.
The campaign is sponsored by the Association of American Medical Colleges, the Association of American Universities, the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities, the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology, the Johns Hopkins University, and more than 40 other supporting organizations. Participating California organizations include: Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, City of Hope, Life Technologies, Stanford University School of Medicine, and the University of California Health System (University of California, Davis; University of California, Irvine; University of California, Los Angeles; University of California, San Diego; University of California, San Francisco). The full list of organizations may be viewed at http://www.researchmeanshope.org/about.html.
“Today’s medical advances bring hope to millions of individuals and their families,” said John Stobo, M.D., senior vice president for health sciences and services for the University of California Health System. “The investment that we make today is helping our medical professionals perform groundbreaking and technologically advanced research that will save lives and provide hope for the millions who suffer from devastating illnesses like diabetes, cancer, and Alzheimer’s.”
NIH-funded research has pioneered many of the advances that today enable Americans to live longer and healthier lives. Over the past 30 years, there has been 50 percent decline in deaths from heart disease and a 60 percent decrease in deaths from stroke. And, while once four out of five children with leukemia died, today four out of five survive.
More recently, NIH-funded advances have led to a vaccine to prevent cervical cancer, new, targeted therapies for many types of cancer, the identification of genetic markers for mental illness, improved treatments for asthma, and the near-elimination of mother-to-child HIV transmission.
“NIH funded research is vital to the health of our nation. Each year more than 182,000 people are diagnosed with cancer. For these patients and their families, cures cannot come quickly enough. Our quest for improved treatments and cures can advance significantly when robust,
sustained funding is made available,” said Michael A. Friedman, M.D., president and CEO of City of Hope.
“Although NIH-funded research has touched the lives of every American through breakthrough medical discoveries, many people are not aware of this essential funding source for new cures
and treatments,” said Thomas M. Priselac, president and CEO of Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. “ResearchMeansHope.org is a much-needed effort to inform people about what is at risk in the future without appropriate support of the National Institutes of Health.”
More information about the ResearchMeansHope.org campaign – and the many benefits of NIH-supported research – can be found online at www.ResearchMeansHope.org. To become a friend of the campaign on Facebook, visit http://www.facebook.com/pages/Research-Means-Hope/83176136398. To follow the effort on Twitter, go to http://twitter.com/researchhope.
ResearchMeansHope.org founding members comment on the critical need for sustained, real growth in medical research funding:
“Despite considerable progress in new treatments and therapies, too many people continue to struggle daily with diseases that have no cure, like diabetes, mental illness, and Alzheimer’s disease. Medical research is their best hope.”
Edward D. Miller, M.D., dean and CEO of Johns Hopkins Medicine.
Contact: Gary Stephenson
410-955-5384 or 443-324-6726
“Unfortunately, ‘boom and bust’ cycles of support in recent years have resulted in delayed hope for patients and their families and lost opportunities for science. While the recent infusion of federal funds for NIH in the economic recovery package is welcome news, the NIH budget still declined 11 percent after inflation between 2003 and 2009. It is essential that we renew our national commitment to sustained, real growth in NIH funding over the long term.”
Darrell G. Kirch, M.D., president and CEO of the Association of American Medical Colleges.
Contact: Retha Sherrod
“The lack of sustainable NIH funding threatens to affect an entire generation of young researchers, as the difficulty in obtaining grants drives our best and brightest scientists to seek
opportunities outside of the lab. We can’t afford that loss of talent in our search for medical breakthroughs.”
Richard Marchase, Ph.D., president of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental
Biology and professor of cell biology and vice president for research at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
Contact: Carrie Wolinetz, Ph.D.
“NIH-funded research also ensures that our nation remains at the forefront of medical insight and discovery, producing a steady stream of innovations and talented researchers that flow into U.S. industries and make them more competitive.”
Robert Berdahl, Ph.D., president of the Association of American Universities.
Contact: Barry Toiv
“ResearchMeansHope.org will help the public communicate an important message to Congress: It’s time to invest in the future by committing to sustained, real growth in the NIH budget.”
Peter McPherson, president of the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities.
Contact: Paul Hassen