The Future of Research, Healthcare, and Education at the University of Texas System

The vision of William H. McRaven, chancellor of the University of Texas System

Recently, William H. McRaven, Chancellor of the University of Texas (UT) System, spoke to the UT System Board of Regents to outline his vision for the future of the UT system 5, 10, and 20 years from now. During his speech Chancellor McRaven discussed his initiatives to implement what he described as “Quantum Leaps” in the ability of the UT System “to provide the citizens of Texas the very best in higher education, research, and health care.” Continue reading

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The 21st Century Cures Act: What Is It And How Does It Affect Scientific Research?

The House of Representatives approved the 21st Century Cures Act on July 10th, 2015. The bill, which was drafted by the Energy and Commerce Committee in the House of Representatives, hopes to “accelerate the discovery, development, and delivery of life saving and life improving therapies, and transform the quest for faster cures”. There are around 10,000 diseases and conditions currently known, however, there are only cures and treatments for 500 of them. Furthermore, it can often take decades for new discoveries to be translated into therapies for patients. Thus, the 21st Century Cures Act aims to solve these current problems in the biomedical research field by improving certain aspects of how the National Institute of Health (NIH), Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) operate.

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Budget Pressures are Hurting American Research

The future of the American scientific enterprise is looking bleak with the current budget levels and future budget projections. As the value of funding that congress appropriates for research and development (R&D) shrinks, scientists are starting to wonder whether they will have a job in the future and even wonder whether their profession is worth pursuing (1). In this blog post, I hope to provide a short overview of the financial situation surrounding R&D research, and present several outcomes resulting from the country’s current austerity measures. Continue reading