Alex Philippidis Senior News Editor Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News

Meet 10 Representatives and 10 Senators Who Walk the Walk in Supporting Research Funding

Congressional Democrats and Republicans agree on little these days, yet members of both parties have increasingly voiced the same argument when it comes to supporting basic science research, in and outside biopharma. This has been especially the case in the nearly two years since the partial federal government shutdown wrought by across-the-board spending cuts or sequestration which, when enacted in 2011, initially commanded enough bipartisan support to pass Congress and get signed by President Barack Obama.

But who within the House of Representatives and the Senate have done the most to walk the walk as well as talk the talk? This week’s GEN List posits some answers, in this year’s GEN Congressional Hall of Fame, an updated edition of a list published in 2013.

Back then, GEN found 30 representatives and 20 senators who were recognized at least once for their support of federal spending for research in biopharma and/or all sciences. Those numbers nearly doubled in the House (to 59) and rose also in the Senate (to 32), even after subtracting members of Congress who left office since 2013. As with the original list, this year’s edition does not include former representatives or senators.

As a result, GEN tightened the criteria for inclusion. This year’s Hall of Fame includes 20 current members of Congress listed alphabetically by chamber: 10 representatives recognized at least five times for their support of federal spending for research in biopharma and/or all sciences, and 10 senators similarly recognized at least six times. That recognition has come most often through awards by groups that champion greater research spending, from traditional industry groups like the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO), to umbrella organizations focused on research advocacy, disease-based advocacy groups, and even groups based outside biopharma whose criteria for awards included broad overall support for research funding for all sciences.

In a few instances, the list includes other examples of recognition, such as through public praise by an institution, or through the inclusion of their name in the formal title of legislation enacted into law, not merely through sponsorship or co-sponsorship of a bill. The list of awards and honors was compiled through online searchers of the members’ biographies, as well as of announcements on organizations’ web pages, and of lists of past winners maintained by the organizations. As in 2013, this list does not purport to be an exhaustive list of such honors and awards.

The list turns up an interesting divide: While the parties are even-steven in the Senate (5 Democrats, 5 Republicans) when it comes to recognition for supporting funding, the most-recognized House members as of this year were Democrats. That reflects in part the retirement of several Congressional Republicans who were staunch research funding supporters (most notably Jim Gerlach of Pennsylvania), as well as the emphasis by House Republicans on fiscal conservatism. Yet Democrats lost supporters of research funding as well (most notably Rush Holt of New Jersey).


HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

Rep. Michael C. Burgess, M.D.
R-TX
National Kidney Foundation, honoree at Congressional Dinner, 2015
Alzheimer’s Association, Humanitarian Award, 2012
Digestive Disease National Coalition, Distinguished Public Service Award, 2012
National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS) Coalition, Congressional Champion Award, 2011
American Academy of Ophthalmology, Visionary Award, 2010
American Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons, Congressional Leadership Award, 2009
Multiple Sclerosis Society, House Legislator of the Year, 2009
National Osteoporosis Foundation (NOF), Paul G. Rogers Leadership Award, 2008
Healthcare Leadership Council, speaker at inaugural monthly luncheon, 2011; Champion of Healthcare Innovation, year unavailable

Rep. Diana DeGette
D-CO
Research!America, Edwin C. Whitehead Award for Medical Research Advocacy, 2015
American Society of Hematology (ASH), Public Service Award, 2013
Cancer Leadership Award, presented jointly by American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), the American Society of Clinical Oncology, the Association of American Cancer Institutes (AACI), Friends of Cancer Research, and the Oncology Nursing Society, 2012
American Diabetes Association, Public Policy leadership Award, 2011
Healthcare Leadership Council, Champion of Healthcare Innovation, 2009
Research!America, Edwin C. Whitehead Award for Medical Research Advocacy, 2006

Rep. Rosa DeLauro
D-CT
ASBMB, Howard K. Schachman Public Service Award, 2015
Ovarian Cancer National Alliance, Visionary Empowerment award, 2015
One Voice Against Cancer (OVAC), Congressional Cancer Champion, 2014
Peggy Lillis Foundation, Lifetime Achievement Award, 2014
AACR, invited to address Rally for Medical Research, 2013
American Society of Clinical Oncology, the American Association for Cancer Research, the Association of American Cancer Institutes, and Friends of Cancer Research, honoree for continued commitment to and leadership in funding for cancer research and biomedical science, 2013
American Psychological Association, Congressional Champion Award, 2012
American Public Health Association, Distinguished Legislator of the Year, 2012
The Science Coalition, Champion of Science, 2012
United for Medical Research (UMR), Profile of Promise, 2011
Ovarian National Cancer Alliance, first-ever Hope Award, 2010
Women’s Health Research at Yale, Champion Award, 2006

Rep. Anna Eshoo
D-CA
National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS) Coalition, Congressional Champion Award, 2011
BIO, Legislator of the Year, 2010
California Healthcare Institute (CHI), Champion for California Life Sciences Innovation award, 2010
The Science Coalition, Champion of Science, 2009
BayBio, Bio Legislator of the Year, 2008

Rep. Chaka Fattah
D-MD
Research!America, Edwin C. Whitehead Award for Medical Research Advocacy, 2014
Brain Mapping Foundation and Society for Brain Mapping and Therapeutics, Pioneer in Healthcare Policy Award, 2014
The Science Coalition, Champion of Science, 2014
Council on Undergraduate Research with American Chemical Society, Honorary CUR Fellows Award, 2013
Biological and Ecological Sciences Coalition (BESC)1, Leadership Award, 2012
Fattah Neuroscience Initiative, the first-ever federal inter-agency collaboration focused on neuroscience, enacted by President Obama, 2011

Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers
R-WA
United Spinal Association, Junius A. Kellogg Outstanding Congressional Leadership Award, 2014
Brain Mapping Foundation and Society for Brain Mapping and Therapeutics, Pioneer in Healthcare Policy Award, 2013
Global Down Syndrome Foundation, Quincy Jones Exceptional Advocacy Award, 2013
National Multiple Sclerosis Society, 2012 U.S. Representative of the Year, 2013
American Psychological Association, Congressional Champion Award, 2012

Rep. David Price
D-NC
BIO, Legislator of the Year, 2011
Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society, Honorary Member, 2011
Society of Toxicology, Congressional Science Leadership Award, 2010
National Multiple Sclerosis Society, 2005 U.S. Representative of the Year, 2006
The Science Coalition, Champion of Science, 2002
American Chemical Society, Public Service Award, 2002

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz
D-FL
Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation (dba Susan G. Komen® and Affiliates), Betty Ford Lifetime Achievement Award of Distinction, 2014
Free the Data, Honorary Chair, 2014
AACI, Distinguished Public Service Award, 2012
AACR, Distinguished Public Service Award, 2011
Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered (FORCE), Spirit of Empowerment Award, 2010
Pennsylvania Breast Cancer Coalition, Pink Ribbon Award, 2009

Rep. Fred Upton
R-MI
Research!America, Edwin C. Whitehead Award for Medical Research Advocacy, 2015
National Kidney Foundation, honoree at first-ever Congressional Dinner, 2014
National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD), Public Health Leadership Award, 2014
CHI, Chairman’s Award, 2012
BIO, Legislator of the Year, 2011

Rep. Chris Van Hollen
D-MD
AACR, invited to address Rally for Medical Research, 2013
Alliance for Regenerative Medicine, Legislator of the Year, 2013
Global Down Syndrome Foundation, Quincy Jones Exceptional Advocacy Award, 2013
National Multiple Sclerosis Society, 2009 U.S. Representative of the Year, 2010
BIO, Legislator of the Year, 2007
National Down Syndrome Society, Leadership Award, 2004.


HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

Sen. Sherrod Brown
D-OH
American Cancer Society, Cancer Action Network, National Distinguished Advocacy Award, 2014
National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD), Public Health Leadership Award, 2014
AACR, Distinguished Public Service Award, 2012
American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), Public Service Award, 2011
AACI and Cancer Center Administrators Forum, Distinguished Public Service Award, 2010
American Society of Hematology (ASH), Public Service Award, 2010
National Multiple Sclerosis Society, 2009 U.S. Senator of the Year, 2010
Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center–Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute, James Hope Award, 2010
American Public Health Association, National Public Health Legislator of the Year Award, 2003

Sen. Richard Burr
R-NC
AACI, honored for support of cancer research, 2015
Research!America, Edwin C. Whitehead Award for Medical Research Advocacy, 2013
National Down Syndrome Society, Champion of Change, 2013
ASBMB, Howard K. Schachman Public Service Award, 2012
Institute of Food Technologists, Congressional Support for Science Award, 2010
BIO, Legislator of the Year, 2002

Sen. Bob Casey
D-PA
AACR, Distinguished Public Service Award, 2015
National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD), Public Health Leadership Award, 2015
Research!America Edwin C. Whitehead Award for Medical Research Advocacy winner 2013
ASBMB, Howard K. Schachman Public Service Award, 2013
National Multiple Sclerosis Society, 2011 U.S. Senator of the Year, 2012
BIO, Legislator of the Year, 2011
UMR, Profile of Promise, 2011
American Society of Hematology (ASH), Public Service Award, 2011

Sen. Susan Collins
R-ME
American Association of Diabetes Educators, Legislative Champion Award, 2014
Alzheimer’s Association, Humanitarian Award, 2011
JDRF (then known as Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation), Congressional Leadership Award, 2004
American Diabetes Association, National Public Policy Leadership Award, 2000
JDRF (then known as Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation), Congressional Leadership Award, 2000
American Diabetes Association, Legislator of the Year, 1999

Sen. Richard J. Durbin
D-IL
National Kidney Foundation, honoree at Congressional Dinner, 2015
The Science Coalition, Champion of Science, 2015
AACI, Distinguished Public Service Award, 2014
UMR, public praise for introducing amendment to raise NIH funding in FY 2014 Budget Resolution, 2013
Research!America, Edwin C. Whitehead Award for Medical Research Advocacy, 2011
National Multiple Sclerosis Society, 2007 U.S. Senator of the Year, 2008
American Chemical Society, Public Service Award, 2005
American Medical Association, Dr. Nathan Davis Award for Outstanding Government Service, 2001
American Public Health Association, Legislator of the Year, 1999

Sen. Orrin Hatch
R-UT
BioUtah, Public Service Award, 2013
Utah Technology Leaders For Senator Hatch, endorsement, 2012
Friends of Cancer Research, Congressional Leadership Award, 2011
BIO, Legislator of the Year, 2010
Research!America, Edwin C. Whitehead Award for Medical Research Advocacy, 2007
Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International, Congressional Leadership Award, 2002

Sen. Edward Markey
D-MA
Alzheimer’s Association, Humanitarian Award, 2015
National Foundation for Cancer Research, Szent-Györgyi Prize Keynote Speaker, 2015
The Science Coalition, Champion of Science, 2012
Cure Alzheimer’s Fund, public praise for resolution urging the U.S. Postal Service to issue a stamp to fund Alzheimer’s disease research at NIH, 2011
Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, honored for outstanding leadership on behalf of people with cystic fibrosis, 2011
Alzheimer’s Association, Humanitarian Award, 2001

Sen. Barbara Mikulski
D-MD
AACI, honored for support of cancer research, 2015
ASH, Public Service Award, 2014
UMR, public praise for introducing amendment to raise NIH funding in FY 2014 Budget Resolution, 2013
Research!America Edwin C. Whitehead Award for Medical Research Advocacy winner 2012
Cure Alzheimer’s Fund, public praise for resolution urging the U.S. Postal Service to issue a stamp to fund Alzheimer’s disease research at NIH, 2011
BIO, Legislator of the Year, 2010
ISTSS, Public Advocacy Award, 2007
National Breast Cancer Coalition, Certificate of Excellence, 2005
Foundation for National Institutes of Health, Recognition for Commitment to Biomedical Research & the Human Genome Project, 2003
Susan G Komen, Connie Mack Award for Lifetime Achievement, 2003
SETWG, George E. Brown Jr. Science, Engineering and Technology Leadership Award, 2001
NIH Office of Research on Women's Health, Visionary for Women's Health Award, 2000
The Science Coalition, Champion of Science, 2000
Neurofibromatosis, Certificate of Appreciation for Continuous Support of Neurofibromatosis Research, 2000
Alzheimer’s Association, Humanitarian Award, 1999
American Heart Association, Award of Appreciation, 1999

Sen. Jerry Moran
R-KS
ASBMB, Howard K. Schachman Public Service Award, 2015
Alzheimer’s Association, Humanitarian Award, 2014
Global Down Syndrome Foundation, Quincy Jones Exceptional Advocacy Award, 2014
The Science Coalition, Champion of Science, 2014
UMR, public praise for introducing amendment to raise NIH funding in FY 2014 Budget Resolution, 2013;
AACI, Distinguished Public Service Award, 2012
OVAC, Congressional Cancer Champion, 2012
AACR, Distinguished Public Service Award, 2011

Sen. Richard Shelby
R-AL
SETWG, George E. Brown Jr. Science, Engineering and Technology Leadership Award, 2015
The Science Coalition, Champion of Science, 2015
American Society of Clinical Oncology, the American Association for Cancer Research, the Association of American Cancer Institutes, and Friends of Cancer Research, honoree for continued commitment to and leadership in funding for cancer research and biomedical science, 2013
Society of Gynecologic Oncology, Public Service, Award, 2013
AACR, Distinguished Public Service Award, 2012;
UMR, Profile of Promise, 2011
Consortium of Forensic Science Organizations, Friends of Forensic Science Award, 2006
Lupus Foundation of America, Leadership in Lupus Research Award, 2006








































1 Biological and Ecological Sciences Coalition formed last year by American Institute of Biological Sciences (AIBS) and Ecological Society of America

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