An old sailor's proverb offers some good advice for medical researchers in the current funding crisis: In a storm, pray to God but row to shore.

That philosophy of self-help is the premise on which Research!America was founded just over a year ago. The idea was to get everyone in the boat to put their oars in the water and pull together.

The organizers of our alliance saw the need for a broad-based advocacy effort to argue the case for medical research and champion its cause in the court of public opinion and the halls of Congress. Until Research!America was incorporated, no single national organization existed to announce the needs, articulate the benefits, and enunciate the priorities of medical research.

Formation of the alliance brought together for the first time voluntary health agencies, colleges and universities, scientific societies, professional associations, foundations, and philanthropists in an organized effort to mobilize public...

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