Congresswoman Renee Ellmers: Leading the Discussion to Find New Cures

Photo of the Week:

I hosted a roundtable discussion Thursday in Research Triangle Park on 21st Century Cures and Treatments, which featured federal and local representatives from the healthcare industry. It was an excellent way to discuss opportunities for accelerating the discovery, development and delivery of new treatments and cures for prevalent diseases. This event coincided with the Energy & Commerce Committee’s bipartisan 21st Century Cures Initiative, and I’m so glad we could continue the discussion in North Carolina.


As we continue to grapple with the Ebola epidemic, it is important we do everything we can to protect public health and keep our country safe. After speaking with officials at RDU Airport, I have verified that most airport personnel remain untrained and unequipped to handle this epidemic. After hearing this, I wrote a letter to the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) requesting that the CDC and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) provide updated screening guidelines for airport personnel. It is imperative they are adequately prepared to recognize symptoms of this deadly virus. To read my full statement regarding this letter, click here.

Perhaps the most exciting event this week occured Thursday, when I had the privilege of hosting a roundtable discussion in Research Triangle Park on the ways to accelerate the development of new treatments and cures in America. Rep. Michael Burgess (R-TX) joined me for this discussion, as did participants from the CDC, Food and Drug Administration (FDA), National Institutes of Health and Human Services (NIH), and local representatives of the N.C. biopharmaceutical industry. During this discussion, we touched on the need for vaccinations, including the progress in developing an Ebola vaccination. It was wonderful to speak with so many brilliant people and hear directly from industry representatives on what can be done to expedite this process. I hope you’ll check out some of the photos from this event below and on my Flickr account or read this article in the Raleigh News & Observer.

This week was another busy one, but it was great being able to make it to so many different parts of the district. I hope you’ll scroll down to see more of where I was and what I did this week.

Please let me know if there is anything I, or a member of my staff, can do for you. I have offices in Asheboro, Dunn, and Washington, and we are only a phone call away.


Visiting Biogen Idec:

I really enjoyed speaking with students from Research Triangle High School at the opening of The Community Lab at Biogen Idec over in RTP. This lab features a laboratory classroom where Wake and Durham middle and high school students can engage with science in an interactive setting.


Friend of Farm Bureau Award:

I enjoyed meeting with N.C. Farm Bureau President Larry Wooten yesterday and was honored to receive the 2014 Friend of Farm Bureau Award.


21st Century Cures and Treatments Roundtable:

Here is a closer look at the layout of Thursday’s panel discussion. Included in the panelist line-up were representatives from biopharmaceutical companies here in the Second District, including: Pfizer, Novartis, GlaxoSmithKline, Arbovax, and Merck.




Dr. Haynes (pictured in the middle) serves as the Director at Duke Human Vaccine Institute. Above he discusses the resources in North Carolina that are available to expedite vaccine development and to promote new jobs.