AAI Public Affairs

The AAI public affairs program advocates on behalf of AAI members by identifying critically important issues in immunology and biomedical research, providing recommendations to relevant federal officials [including those at the National Institutes of Health (NIH)], and urging Congress and the Administration to increase funding for NIH and other key agencies/programs.

PUBLIC AFFAIRS NEWS
  • Congress, President Reach Deal on FY 2019 Funding, Averting Another Government Shutdown
    In mid-February, President Trump signed into law an appropriations bill that funds the nine federal departments that had not received full-year funding through the end of fiscal year (FY) 2019...
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  • Kelvin Droegemeier Confirmed as Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy
    On the final day of the 115th Congress, the Senate confirmed Kelvin Droegemeier, Ph.D., as the Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP). Largely because of the...
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  • Next Generation Researchers Initiative and Sexual Harassment Policies Featured at NIH ACD Meeting
    In mid-December, the NIH Advisory Committee to the Director (ACD) held a meeting to discuss several important topics. Meetings of the ACD are open to the public, and the archived webcast and slide...
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  • AAI Sends Letter in Support of Animal Transportation for Research
    The National Association for Biomedical Research (NABR), of which AAI is a member, recently filed a complaint with the Department of Transportation (DOT) because of the refusal of several airlines to...
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AAI Public Affairs Activities

AAI Issues Statement on the Importance of Vaccination and the Measles Outbreak

In response to the current measles outbreak, AAI Committee on Public Affairs Chair David Chaplin, M.D., Ph.D., issued a statement on the importance of vaccines. Chaplin highlights the AAI view that vaccines are safe, effective, and save lives. The statement was released in conjunction with a Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee hearing, entitled “Vaccines Save Lives: What Is Driving Preventable Disease Outbreaks?”
 

AAI Submits Comments to NIAID on its Proposed New Innovator Award

In late December, AAI submitted comments to NIAID regarding its proposal to pilot a New Innovator Awards (DP2) program. This pilot is based on the NIH Director’s New Innovator Award, which supports “exceptionally creative early career investigators who propose innovative, high-impact projects.” Applicants must be Early Stage Investigators and do not need to have a lot of preliminary data. The proposed NIAID DP2 would differ from the NIH-wide award in two key ways: it would be available to non-citizens and to those still in their fellowship training, and the $1.5 million in direct costs would be allocated to the awardee over five years (as opposed to one).

AAI supports the NIAID effort to pilot this new funding mechanism, but believes that more clarity is needed in a number of areas, including helping applicants understand what is meant by “little preliminary data” and clearly defining the various funding opportunities available to early-career researchers (and publishing the expected paylines/success rates for those opportunities).
 

89 AAI Members Visit Congress to Advocate for Biomedical Research

Congressman Fred Upton (R-MI, 6th; pictured right) with AAI members Thomas Rothstein and Nichol Holodick
In conjunction with IMMUNOLOGY 2017™, AAI held its largest-ever Capitol Hill Day on May 16. Eighty-nine AAI members from 21 states met with Members of Congress or staff from 85 Congressional offices.

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