William N. Hait, MD, PhD, global head, Janssen Research & Development, LLC, part of the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson, has been elected to the Board of Directors of Research!America, the nation’s largest nonprofit advocacy alliance working to make research to improve health a higher national priority. Research!America advocates for federal funding and a legislative and regulatory climate that supports the entire research ecosystem, ranging from basic research to industry research and development.
“I am very honored to be elected to serve on the Research!America Board of Directors,” Dr. Hait said. “Innovation and scientific research are critical to developing new solutions for serious unmet health care needs, and organizations like Research!America are essential in ensuring that medical innovation continues to be a priority for our society.” Continue reading →
The United Nations Foundation is an unwavering supporter of global health, from prevention of malaria deaths to polio eradication (in partnership with Research!America, the Global Health Council and others the UN Foundation held a briefing about the importance of the polio vaccine in 2011). With support from Johnson & Johnson and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, their latest initiative is the Global Mom Relay, an innovative campaign to raise money and awareness in support of women and children’s health around the globe. Until May 8, there will be a daily story about motherhood on the Huffington Post from a variety of global authors. Each time a relay post is shared via Facebook, Twitter or email, Johnson & Johnson (a Research!America member) and the Gates Foundation (a long-time Research!America supporter) will donate $5 to one of four UN Foundation initiatives helping women and children around the globe: Girl Up, the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves, Mobile Alliance for Maternal Action and the Shot@Life campaign.
Please visit www.unfoundation.org/globalmomrelay/ to learn more and share today’s post!
As we ring in the New Year, 2013 promises to be an exciting time to be involved in the fight to raise support and awareness for neglected tropical diseases. As the world becomes more interconnected and global warming changes disease patterns, NTDs are increasingly spreading across borders – including right here at home. For example, Slate recently published an article addressing the return of dengue in the United States. In the past few years, dengue has sickened hundreds in Florida and other southern states. Experts warn that the combination of the virus, a lack of immunity to dengue and widespread mosquitoes provide the perfect storm of conditions for larger dengue outbreaks in the U.S.
As the spread of NTDs adds urgency to the fight, scientists continue to work every day to develop innovative ideas to combat NTDs. In a trial experiment in Africa, researchers are testing the ability of prawns to combat schistosomiasis. A parasitic disease that can be fatal, schistosomiasis is spread through water snails. Prawns are the primary consumers of snails, so researchers hope that re-introducing prawns to rivers at the African test site will help decrease transmission of the disease. In addition to innovative experiments, every week there are reports of new scientific breakthroughs that will help save lives. Just last week, the FDA approved a drug to fight drug resistant tuberculosis, the first new drug for the disease in over four decades. Developed by Johnson & Johnson, the drug cures patients in less time than older treatment options. It is these kinds of innovations and breakthroughs that demonstrate the power of research investments and the importance of research for global efforts to eliminate neglected diseases. Be sure to check back soon for new NTD highlights!
–Morgan McCloskey, global health intern