Advancements in pediatric research promoted under Joyce bill

U.S. Rep. John Joyce (R-PA) on June 8 sponsored the bipartisan Pediatricians Accelerate Childhood Therapies (PACT) Act of 2021, which would authorize federal investments in pediatric innovation.

“Right now, American scientists are making unprecedented progress in innovation, and they must have the resources that they need to develop treatments and cures for the 21st century,” Rep. Joyce said. 

If enacted, H.R. 3773, which Rep. Joyce introduced with original cosponsor U.S. Rep. Kim Schrier (D-WA), would authorize the director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to make awards to outstanding scientists, including physician-scientists, to support researchers focusing on pediatric research, including basic, clinical, translational, or pediatric pharmacological research, according to the text of the bill.  

“Our pediatric community is dedicated to serving American children, eliminating devastating diseases, and saving lives,” said Rep. Joyce. “It is a privilege to partner alongside Dr. Schrier to introduce the bipartisan Pediatricians Accelerate Childhood Therapies Act as we invest in pediatric innovation and serve American children and families.”  

Among other provisions in H.R. 3773, the NIH director may prioritize award grants to applicants who are individual researchers presenting qualifying applications and representing populations that have been historically underrepresented in pediatric medical research, including women and racial minorities; certain eligible institutions of higher education; and research institutions partnering with such institutions of higher education to offer programs that support early-career pediatric researchers, according to the bill’s text. 

“Investing in these early career scientists, with a focus on those who have been historically underrepresented in research, will ensure this vital research will continue and help every child,” said Rep. Schrier.

Reps. Joyce and Schrier, who are both medical doctors, in April also introduced the bipartisan Strengthening the Vaccines for Children Program Act of 2021, H.R. 2347, to build on and improve the Vaccines for Children program, which provides free immunizations.