Medical researchers increasingly funding own projects

January 20, 2015

As the competition for public funding for medical research in Canada grows, researchers and medical personnel are increasingly contributing their own money to projects. For an upcoming clinical trial involving arthritis patients, Toronto’s University Health Network (UHN) is using money from a $1.25 M fund started 5 years ago by 10 orthopedic surgeons at UHN’s Toronto Western site. Last year in Thunder Bay, 8 orthopedic surgeons committed $2 M over 10 years for a research project aimed at reducing amputations due to diabetes complications among the Aboriginal population in northern communities. These instances, and others, point to the difficulties of gaining funding, especially for projects in the so-called “valley of death,” the “chasm between basic scientific breakthroughs and late-stage clinical trials for which public funding has always been scarce.” Researchers hope that personal donations will encourage granting agencies and the public to make donations as well. Globe and Mail