Advancing Cures Today for the National Institutes of Health (ACT for NIH), a new national, non-partisan campaign, launched last month with the goal of seeking an immediate, significant funding increase for the National Institutes of Health to support medical research. The effort brings together patients, scientists, advocates, and lawmakers.
“Medical research in the United States is in crisis,” the group's President, Pat White, said in a news release. “Basic scientific discovery funded by NIH leads to new treatments for patients facing life-threatening illnesses. We are missing critical opportunities to discover cures and therapies for diseases like cancer, Alzheimer's, heart disease, diabetes, and countless other conditions.”
White was previously Associate Director for Legislative Policy and Analysis at NIH, as well as Vice President for Government Affairs at the Association of American Universities, Legislative Director for the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology, and Director of Public Affairs for the American Association of Immunologists. He also worked in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and in Congress, where he was Chief of Staff to the late Rep. Robert W. Davis (R-M).
Along with White, ACT for NIH is led by an Advisory Committee of the following members of the medical community:
- Nobel Laureate David Baltimore, PhD, President Emeritus of California Institute of Technology;
- Ronald DePinho, MD, President of the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center;
- Jennifer Doudna, PhD, Professor at the University of California, Berkeley;
- Bernadette Gray-Little, PhD, Chancellor of the University of Kansas;
- Michael Milken, philanthropist and public health advocate; and
- Ronald Petersen, MD, PhD, Director of Mayo Alzheimer's Disease Research Center and Professor of Neurology at Mayo Clinic College of Medicine.
ACT for NIH receives philanthropic support from Jed Manocherian, Founder and Chairman, who is a member of MD Anderson Cancer Center's Board of Visitors. Greg Manocherian, Vice Chairman, is active with many charitable foundations. Jed and Greg Manocherian are real estate investors and developers.
ACT for NIH has published additional information about its mission online at www.actfornih.org, and seeks to raise awareness via social media using #ACT4NIH.