It turns out, they like us, or so they say. Biomedical researchers should take note that for the second year in a row, U.S. Senate appropriators have declared funding the National Institutes of Health a...


When presenting to the Congressional Biomedical Research Caucus (CBRC), you want to best represent the work...

CBRC Briefings

Stem Cells in Gene Therapy

John Tisdale
July 28, 2010

Watch Dr. John Tisdale of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases at the National Institutes of Health brief the Congressional Biomedical Research Caucus on Stem Cells in Gene Therapy. Dr. Tisdale describes a new method of bone marrow transplantation that has effectively reversed sickle cell disease. In trials, nearly 200 children with severe sickle cell disease were cured with complete bone marrow transplants after undergoing a regimen in which their own marrow was completely destroyed with chemotherapy. That regimen, however, proved too toxic for adults, who have years of accumulated organ damage from the disease and are less able to tolerate complete marrow transplantation. In a separate trial, Dr. Tisdale and others sought to only partially replace the patients’ bone marrow–believing that the healthy cells would outlast and completely replace the disease-causing cells. After 2 1/2 years of follow-up, all 10 recipients were alive and sickle cell disease was eliminated in nine.

The Mammography Controversy Redux

Ann Partridge
July 21, 2010

Watch Dr. Ann Partridge from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, MA, brief the Congressional Biomedical Research Caucus on The Mammography Controversy Redux. On November 16, 2009, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) released updated recommendations for breast-cancer screening, informed by additional follow-up from previous studies and a new study focused on statistical modeling. These recommendations sparked substantial controversy and have had a polarizing effect in the breast-cancer community. Dr. Partridge presents the data that informed the USPSTF recommendations for breast-cancer screening, limitations of the research, and future directions.

Viruses in our Genomes: Unending Surprises

John Coffin
June 23, 2010

Dr. John Coffin of Tufts University presents to the Congressional Biomedical Research Caucus on Viruses in our Genomes: Unending Surprises. Watch as Dr. John Coffin sheds light on a revolutionary study that sounds more like detective work than typical science. He’ll explain how our DNA is full of DNA that comes from retroviruses, some of which are 30-40 million years old. There is no fossil record for any other virus, except for retroviruses, that we carry with us. Scientists can follow the retrovirus path back and do a lot of paleontogy to understand how these viruses co-evolved with the host. Dr. Coffin is working with a team to resurrect these viruses, or at least parts of them. These viruses may be "long-dead," but studying them could yield information that's key to understanding current retroviruses—which, according to Dr. Coffin are remarkably similar to their predecessors.