A Researcher’s Guide to the Cancer Moonshot

By Leah Cairns

One year before leaving office, then President Obama and Vice President Biden announced the Cancer Moonshot, a new initiative to drive cancer research forward by achieving 10 years’ worth of research in 5. They envisioned a combined effort by the government, private industry, researchers, physicians, patients, and philanthropies to cure cancer. Experts have since weighed in with recommendations on how to achieve this lofty goal, and funding mechanisms for collaborations and research are in place. This brief overview is meant to provide researchers with an idea of the goals and the funding mechanism of the Moonshot, and to guide a researcher who is interested in policy in finding opportunities for advocacy.

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21st Century Cures

By Andrew Pike, Ph.D.

On December 13, 2016, former President Barack Obama signed a bill known as the “21st Century Cures Act” into law. The bill had strong bipartisan support and passed both houses of congress with nearly unanimous consent. This bill covers a broad range of health related topics from tackling the opioid crisis and encouraging novel drug discovery to increasing access to mental health care. Many of these changes had been under consideration for some time, and address long-standing health care issues. Others, such as the “Cancer Moonshot” and “BRAIN Initiative” have appeared more recently and represent the projects spearheaded by Vice-President Joe Biden and President Obama, respectively.

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