August 09, 2012

Research Roundup: What we’re reading this week

Communications Officer

In this regular feature on Breakthroughs, we highlight some of the most interesting reads in global health research from the past week.

Peter Hotez, dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine and the president and director of the Sabin Vaccine Institute, calls for research to create new drugs, vaccines, and diagnostics to fight neglected tropical diseases, which are appearing in the United States.

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases has announced that researchers at 14 US institutions will explore new approaches to designing HIV vaccines with new awards that are part of a four-year, $34.8 million initiative. In related news, the National Institutes of Health announced a new funding policy that will result in extra scrutiny for proposals from researchers receiving more than $1 million a year in direct support from grants.

Scientists at Yale University are working on a new birth-control drug for male mosquitoes that could slow the spread of malaria.

Margaret Hamburg, commissioner of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), spoke recently with Sens. Al Franken (D-Minn.) and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.). The group discussed possible measures to improve FDA and federal regulations for approvals of new medical devices.

This week, the White House launched the Presidential Innovation Fellows program. The new program pairs innovators from outside government with innovators inside government on programs like an open data initiative, which also involves the US Agency for International Development.

A new poll from GHTC member Research!America finds that 90 percent of voters say it is important for the Democratic and Republican presidential candidates to address medical and health research this year.

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