Rockefeller University received a $25 million gift from the Robertson Foundation that will be used to create the Robertson Therapeutic Development Fund. This fund will be used to help turn basic research discoveries into new medical therapies by providing support for dozens of Rockefeller projects over the next five years. Research grants ranging from $10,000 to $1 million will be awarded from the fund in order to provide Rockefeller scientists with the resources they need to take exceptionally promising research initiatives through the steps that lead to breakthrough medications, new diagnostic tests or other clinical innovations.Read More
Of the eleven scientists just announced as winners of the new Life Sciences Breakthrough Prize, four of them have their labs within a block or two of each other in Manhattan: two at Rockefeller University, one at Weill Cornell Medical College, and one at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. The prize, given to recognize past achievement in research aimed at curing disease and extending human life, comes with $3M to allow each of those researchers the freedom and flexibility to pursue even more groundbreaking work in the future. The founding sponsors of the prize are tech entrepreneurs Sergey Brin (Google) and Anne Wojcicki, Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook) and Priscilla Chan, Art Levinson (Apple), and Yuri Milner (venture capitalist). The 11 winners this year will serve on the board to choose 5 winners each in subsequent years.
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"High-risk, high-reward" life science research funding isn't something we hear about very often in these days of fiscal belt-tightening, especially coming from the private sector. Fortunately the NIH is still committed to supporting exceptional life science labs that take the road less travelled, with the Director's Transformative Research Awards and the Director's New Innovator Awards, because the potential payoff justifies the gamble taken. The NIH has standard criteria by which they evaluate grant proposals. Realizing that those criteria would enevitably leave out some of the most daring and ground-breaking research, they came up with the High Risk awards. 2012 Director's Awards from the NIH Common Fund (totalling some $155M) have gone to 81 investigators, and 5 of them are faculty members and heads of laboratories at Rockefeller University.
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At this time of year especially, our hearts seem to go out all the more to those in need, which is why we like this blog, which we've updated with a recent video which should bring a smile to your face. Please consider donating your excess inventory in 2012! --updated(12/23/2011)
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