Tag Archives: University of Washington

2013 Canada Gairdner Awards

Since 1959, the Canada Gairdner Awards recognize and reward the achievements of medical researchers whose work contributes significantly to improving the quality of human life. Among the world’s most esteemed medical research prizes, the awards distinguish Canada as a leader in science and provide a $100,000 prize to each scientist for their work.

Four U.S. scientists are among this year’s winners:

  • Canada awardHarvey J. Alter, MD and Daniel W. Bradley, PhD received the Canada Gairdner International Award for their contributions to the discovery and isolation of the hepatitis C virus. Dr. Alter is a senior investigator and Chief Infectious Diseases Section and associate director for research, Department of Transfusion Medicine at the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Bradley is a consultant for infectious diseases viral hepatitis at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
  • Stephen Joseph Elledge, PhD, received the Canada Gairdner International Award for his work in DNA repair. Dr. Elledge is a Gregor Mendel Professor of Genetics and Medicine at Harvard Medical School. Continue reading →
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Research!America’s Inaugural Advocacy Academy

AAcademy1

Advocacy Academy participants: Mesias Pedroza, PhD, Baylor College of Medicine; Chloe N. Poston, PhD, Eli Lilly and Company; Jeffery G. Mellott, PhD Northeast Ohio Medical University

Last week, we held our inaugural Advocacy Academy, bringing 12 postdoctoral researchers from across the U.S. to Washington, D.C.  A two-day advocacy training program that culminated in Congressional visits with the participants’ representatives. We selected this group of motivated and concerned early-career scientists from a diversity of institutions, including Northeast Ohio Medical University, UCSF, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, Baylor College of Medicine, the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, Johns Hopkins University, Weill Cornell Medical College, the University of Washington and Banner Sun Health Research Institute, Eli Lilly and Company,  as well as local researchers at the National Cancer Institute and National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. For these young researchers, sequestration and budget cuts have clamped down on available resources to investigate diseases in the lab and raised concerns about the viability of a future career in research. Feeling compelled to take action, these postdoctoral research fellows came to Washington to convey the personal and societal importance of medical and health research.  And they did a terrific job. Continue reading →

The Seattle Forum on Science Ethics & Policy

Current FOSEP leaders: Renee Agatsuma, Cyan James, Bish Paul, Abigail G. Schindler, PhD, Corey Snelson, PhD, Christopher Terai. (James and Schindler are the main authors)

FOSEP logoFounded by Melanie Roberts in 2004, the Seattle Forum on Science Ethics and Policy (FOSEP) brings distinguished speakers to campus, builds community science literacy, and trains future leaders in science policy and advocacy. While there can be a dearth of opportunities at the university level to educate scientists in policy, advocacy, and communication, FOSEP aims to explore the intersection of science and society and to educate its members to become future leaders and innovators. At FOSEP we provide unique leadership opportunities for graduate students and postdoctoral fellows and support developing leaders in learning to better communicate advances in science and technology at the University of Washington and its partner institutions.

FOSEP-led discussions and lectures are a place where students, professionals, and community members of all levels can exchange views on issues as diverse as food policy, health care, and astronomy. Sequestration and continued budget cuts to federal research funding are an increasing concern among FOSEP participants. In response, we have held discussion groups regarding sequestration and science funding, have encouraged our 300+ members to contact their elected officials, and have allied FOSEP leaders with ASBMB and ASPET’s science policy and advocacy activities. Continue reading →

Cuts to NIH research squeezes young scientists out

Op-ed by Abigail Schindler, PhD, postdoctoral fellow at the University of Washington, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and co-leader of the Seattle Forum on Science Ethics and Policy published in The Seattle Times.

Abigail1When I think about not being a scientist anymore my heart hurts. But sadly, due to continued budget cuts to biomedical research, within the next few years that is most likely exactly what I will be — no longer a scientist, no longer a researcher searching for cures for disease.

And I am not alone. The number of young scientists being forced out of basic biomedical research in the United States is increasing at an alarming rate, and when this next generation of scientists leaves, it is not coming back.

Like me, these are early career scientists trained in the United States by U.S. tax dollars. We are scientists whose life goal has been to one day have our own research program at an academic institution committed to the search for breakthroughs and cures. Yet because of these budget cuts, catchphrases such as the “brain drain” are proving true. This is a bad omen for U.S. global leadership in biomedical research and the future health and wellness of our nation.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is the nation’s premier biomedical research agency and the leading supporter of biomedical research in the world. Despite numerous public polls showing strong support among Americans for government funding of basic biomedical research, NIH’s budget was cut by $1.5 billion this year, or 5 percent, from $31 billion. Continue reading →

Investments in Research Reduces Injury and Violence

By Frederick Rivara, MD, MPH. Rivara is President of Society for Advancement of Violence and Injury Research (SAVIR). Dr. Rivara holds the Children’s Guild Association Endowed Chair in Pediatrics, and is a University of Washington professor of pediatrics and an adjunct professor of epidemiology. He  is also Editor of JAMA Pediatrics.

Frederick Rivara, MD, MPH

Frederick Rivara, MD, MPH

More than 400 public health researchers and practitioners participated in the 2013 National Meeting of the Society for Advancement of Violence and Injury Research (SAVIR) and Safe States Alliance. Hosted in Baltimore by the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy, this event focused on how research and practice have contributed to reducing injury and violence in this country over the last twenty years while at the same time calling attention to the pressing needs of today and tomorrow.

Speakers provided compelling examples of how investments in the science of injury prevention and control have paid off in lives saved. For instance, the tools of epidemiology were instrumental in establishing the heightened risk of death among infants in the years before car seats were mandatory – in fact, epidemiologists, physicians, and advocates working together used that science to change laws and educate parents so that today using infant car seats is almost universal in the United States. Continue reading →