Research Means Hope Today and Every Day

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National Medical Research Day is today, October 21, 2009.  Ohio State Medical Center will gather to honor researchers between 4 pm and 6 pm today.  We’ll post pictures and video from patients who are being cured by research funded by the NIH and talk to researchers in the trenches trying to answer questions about cancer, heart health, autism and others.
Please share your story about how research has touched your life by adding comments below.

If you are interested in learning more about how to get involved in advocacy for research, New Voices for Research is a great place to start.

Release from Research Means Hope:

Leaders from the nation’s medical schools and teaching hospitals, scientific community, universities, patient community and industry organizations gathered today in honor of “National Medical Research Day” to thank the Obama Administration, Congress, and American taxpayers for the medical research funding included in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, and to urge approval of significant, annual budget increases for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to sustain the momentum created by these funds.

“Medical research is the road to recovery, both for our nation’s physical as well as fiscal health,” said Edward Miller, M.D., dean and CEO of Johns Hopkins University and chair of the ResearchMeansHope.org campaign, the sponsor of today’s press conference. “The nation’s medical research community is extremely grateful for this unprecedented infusion of funds for NIH research, which will not only create jobs, but will, over time, improve and even save lives.”

ResearchMeansHope.org is a campaign to raise public awareness of the critical need for sustained growth in federal funding for medical research.  This effort 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 organizations.

In addition to thanking the Administration and Congress for the Recovery Act funding, participants at today’s press conference also called on the president to fulfill his promise of making medical research a key pillar of the nation’s long-term economic growth strategy as the administration prepares its budget priorities for 2011.

The Recovery Act includes $10.4 billion in funding for NIH.  To date, more than $4 billion has been awarded, generating nearly 13,000 new grants to support the full continuum of medical research.  According to White House estimates, this funding will create tens of thousands of jobs over the next two years.

“This is a huge boost for the research community, for investigators at all stages of their careers,” said Judith S. Bond, Ph.D., M.S., Distinguished Professor and Chair, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at The Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine. “After six years of virtually flat NIH funding, these funds will allow the research community to explore important, innovative new ideas.”

“Every American suffering from disease understands that research means hope on a very basic level,” says Billy Tauzin, president and CEO of Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA). “We are proud to join with Research Means Hope coalition and applaud President Obama and Congress’ efforts to increase NIH research funding while urging that even more be done.  Combined, the medical research supported by the NIH, medical schools and its affiliates, as well as research laboratories of pharmaceutical and biotech companies across America hold real promise in the search for new treatments and even more cures for diseases that patients throughout the world hope for.”

NIH-funded research has helped millions of Americans lead longer, healthier lives.  For example, over the past 30 years there has been a 50 percent decline in deaths from heart disease and a 60 percent decline in deaths from stroke.  NIH-funded advances have led to a vaccine to prevent cervical cancer, improved treatments for asthma and near-elimination of mother-to-child HIV transmission.  This and other research offers hope for those facing serious diseases such as cancer, Alzheimer’s, depression, and Parkinson’s. NIH funding also supports the nation’s economic health by creating skilled jobs and new products that lead to long-term economic growth.

Patients speaking at the conference underscored the benefits of NIH research. Twelve-year old Chloe Lamprecht, a volunteer with the American Diabetes Association, JDRF and the University of Nebraska Medical Center, was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in November 2004.  In recent years, diabetes research has led to a number of advances including development of quick-acting and long-acting insulins and an external insulin pump to replace daily injections.

“Living with Type 1 Diabetes is very challenging.  I never get a day off from the disease,” said Chloe.  “My hope is for a cure, but until a cure is found I hope that researchers will find better ways to help me manage my diabetes.”

Olivia Grace Jones was diagnosed at six months with idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy.  Today she is an energetic five year old with a new heart thanks to advances in surgery, transplant technologies, medical equipment progress and advances in pharmaceuticals.  She and her parents Schonay Barnett-Jones and Kevin Jones, are volunteers for the American Heart Association

“My family understands the wonderful benefits that are gained from medical research.  Twenty years ago Olivia’s outcome could have been very different,” said Barnett-Jones.  “But, today because of advances in pediatric cardiac research specifically, our little girl is growing and thriving and dreaming of being a zoo keeper.  What more could any parent ask for?”

For more information on ResarchMeansHope.org and the many benefits of NIH-supported research, visit www.ResearchMeansHope.org.  To become a friend of the campaign, on Facebook, visit http://facebook.com/pages/Research-Means-Hope/83176136398. To follow the effort on Twitter, go to http://twitter.com/researchhope.

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