Yesterday’s Wall Street Journal details how advocates for lung cancer research are striving to increase funding levels. Lung cancer has two things going against it in the competition for funds:
- Many patients are smokers, and therefore garner little sympathy
- Lung cancer has a high mortality rate, so few survivors are around to advocate
The lung cancer people are trying to improve their image by featuring non-smokers in their advocacy efforts. But another promising angle –for scientific research in general– would be to increase the value of research being done by developing a coordinated, multi-disciplinary research strategy, rather than simply throwing money out to individual researchers who submit interesting grant proposals.
A good example of this concept is the Myelin Repair Foundation for Multiple Sclerosis, which I will be writing more about in a future post. Their model promises to increase research productivity and speed scientific advances.June 15, 2005