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Bridging the Funding Gap Between Academia and the Clinic

January 22, 2014 | Emily Livingstone

Like you, we want to get involved. We understand the importance of groundbreaking cancer research, and support only the highest caliber of science. Creative and analytic thought is the key to tackling all aspects of the field, from translational research to funding.

Almost two years ago, the Cancer Research Institute established its Clinic and Laboratory Integration Program (CLIP) to fill an important funding gap between academic research and clinical experimentation. CLIP supports transitioning laboratory studies that are critical to optimizing new cancer treatments but often lack sufficient funding. Recognizing this lapse, the Cancer Research Institute pledged to provide dedicated support for this area of research; thus, CLIP was created to bring together the best scientific thinking and the most promising clinical goals, resulting in innovative treatments for a wider range of patients.

In 2011, 38 letters of intent were submitted for CLIP funding; last year, we received 133—a 350% increase. This overwhelming response demonstrates an urgent need for more funding in cancer immunotherapy research.

In 2011, the program received 38 letters of intent, four of which were picked to receive the coveted CLIP grants. Last year, application numbers increased dramatically, resulting in a pool of 133 highly qualified scientists, each of whom had the knowledge and drive necessary to continue championing the cause. Unfortunately, despite the generosity of our dedicated supporters and foundations, we were only able to fund 6% of the deserving projects. From melanoma to cervical cancer, these eight researchers are now spearheading research that will optimize cancer immunology in the clinic.

This overwhelming response demonstrates that CLIP is meeting a vital need in the field. There are hundreds of questions out there to be answered, and hundreds of scientists with the interest and ability to answer them. We are only limited by one thing: funding.

So let’s talk about ways to get creative and give more. Why not try brewing your coffee at home instead of buying it for a week – you can now give another $15 to support cutting-edge research. Run a marathon, a half – or, if you’re like me, a 5k – in support of the Cancer Research Institute. Have a bake sale, throw a party, set up a bar night. By being innovative in our quest to give, we can support innovation in cancer research as well.

You can ­­take the first step and make your gift to the Cancer Research Institute today. Together, we can conquer cancer.

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