Tag Archives: Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute

Meet the 2013 Stem Cell Action Award Winners

The Genetics Policy Institute, a Research!America member, will honor the 2013 winners of its Stem Cell Action Awards at the World Stem Cell Summit, which runs December 4-6 in San Diego.

The Leadership Award will be given to successful businessmen and noted philanthropists Denny Sanford and Malin Burnham. They are honorary trustees of the Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute, of course, but their philanthropy extends far beyond that one institution.

The National Advocacy Award will be given to stem cell researcher Paul Knoepfler, PhD, an assistant professor at the University of California, Davis. Knoepfler’s blog is a crucial resource for stem cell science and advocacy. (Research!America won the National Advocacy Award in 2011.)

The Education Award will be given to Mary Ann Leibert, president and CEO of the Mary Ann Leibert, Inc., which publishes more than 100 peer-reviewed journals in science and biomedical research. The company’s flagship publication, Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News (GEN), began in 1980 and is now recognized as an industry leader. Continue reading →

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Bilbray, Reed Argue Now is the Time to Conquer Cancer

A recent editorial in The Washington Times by Rep. Brian Bilbray (R-CA) and John C. Reed, MD, PhD, chief executive officer of Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute, makes a parallel between President John F. Kennedy’s call for a lunar mission in 1962 and the future of medical research’s battle against cancer.

In seven years, the authors note, America went from Kennedy’s proclamation to Neil Armstrong stepping out of the lunar module. (The op-ed ran two days before the legendary astronaut’s death.)

Because of our understanding of cancer and the treatments we now have for it, the authors write, we are in a better position to conquer cancer than the space program in 1962. Moreover, they write, we can get there because of four key components:

  • Technology: Advances in DNA sequencing will allow treatments personalized to mutations in the cancer, instead of treating it based on the organ it’s affecting.
  • Food and Drug Administration reform: The authors argue for better and more efficient methods of evaluating drugs. The recently passed FDA Reform Act is a step in the right direction, but more needs to be done, they write.
  • Tax reform: In their words, “Few people realize the impact taxes have on investment. We must reform our tax code to encourage investment by the high-tech and life-science industry in research. Along with critically important National Institutes of Health funding, private-sector investment will drive research integral to finding a cure.”

“At a time when Washington finds it difficult to act on bipartisan legislation, the fight against cancer gives us something we can agree to collaborate on rather than fight over,” they write. “Now is the time for President [Barack] Obama to work with the speaker of the House and the Senate majority leader and take bold action to combat the cancer challenge.”

Of course, we hope that such bold action happens sooner rather than later. And likely voters think that too: Our most recent polling shows that nearly two-thirds of Americans think the new president should announce initiatives promoting medical progress during his first 100 days in office.