health Blog

A Commitment to Fund Innovative Research

This Earth Day people will March for Science in more than 500 cities around the world. Whether or not you participate in a march, you are probably concerned about cuts to federal funding and the impact on innovative research. So are we.

As a funder of novel, high-risk research, the Kenneth Rainin Foundation knows the vital role science plays in advancing knowledge to cure chronic diseases, like Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), and improving human health. We believe that embracing untested ideas offers the best chance of achieving breakthroughs in IBD research.

Federal Funding is Vital to Innovative Research

The Rainin Foundation’s commitment to funding high-risk, high-reward research is as strong as ever. In the past three years, our funding has doubled to $3.5 million per year and will grow to $5 million per year by 2020.

Our early support enables scientists and clinicians to ask novel questions, explore interesting ideas, and gather preliminary data to forge new pathways of research into IBD. Scientists can then ask bigger questions and apply for larger grants from more traditional funding sources.

Researchers across the country aspire to be funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the largest funder of biomedical research in the US. NIH support has led to undeniable advances in our understanding of human health and disease, including the treatment of cancers, control of the spread of HIV/AIDS, and the sequencing of the human genome.

The proposed cuts would decrease the NIH’s budget by 18% to $25.9 billion and make it one of the hardest-hit research agencies. These cuts would paralyze cutting-edge research, stall medical advances and have serious effects on the next generation of researchers—consequences that would have broad reaching effects for years to come.

A Researcher’s Success

Dr. Gwen Randolph’s trajectory illustrates how private and federal funding work together to drive medical advances. With three years of Rainin Foundation funding and support, Dr. Randolph developed a novel technique that makes human tissue look like glass, and combined it with 3-D imaging to peer deeply into the workings of Crohn’s disease. The initial data she gathered helped her apply for and receive the prestigious NIH Director’s 2015 Pioneer Award. This Award will support the next phase of her research conducting patient-based studies.

Learn about Dr. Randolph’s Breakthrough Moment.

Make Your Voice Heard

If you want to protect research funding and the future of science, then you have to make your voice heard. Contact your Representatives and Senators to let them know you oppose these cuts.

Our Future as a Funder

The Rainin Foundation is dedicated to funding innovative research. As part of this commitment, our Health Program is evaluating our strategic priorities to ensure our funding supports the most impactful research possible. We look forward to sharing our findings with you in the near future.

Laura Wilson, PhD

Laura Wilson, PhD

Director, Health Strategy & Ventures

Laura leads the strategic direction for the Foundation’s Health program by collaborating with leading scientific and medical researchers, as well as building partnerships with organizations and international stakeholders to expand and advance innovative Inflammatory Bowel Disease research. Read more.


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