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Medical research is rigorous and takes years from the laboratory to patient care.

In Hollywood, research might look like the fumbling of wild-eyed scientists, but research in reality is much less haphazard and far more systematic. Not to say that serendipity doesn’t find its way into research laboratories, but that is the exception rather than the rule.

Stated one way, research is the process of collecting and analyzing information to increase our understanding about a particular topic. In medicine, researchers may collect data by

“I think that what Naomi’s Fund is trying to achieve is wonderful.  As research funding from governmental sources becomes more tight, it takes dedicated individuals and families to help cancer researchers raise the funds needed to sustain promising research projects that help us understand the biology and mechanism of childhood cancers.”

Dr. Winston Huh, MD
Pediatric Hematologist / Oncologist

Assistant Professor, Department of Pediatrics Patient Care, Division of Pediatrics
The University of Texas, MD Anderson Cancer Center Houston, TX

testing specimens, such as blood, taken from people. However, they can only perform research on people–also called clinical trials–after many years of laboratory research, publishing their research findings in peer-reviewed publications, efficacy and toxicity testing, and a stringent vetting and approval process conducted by the federal government. Read more about clinical trials and  medical research process (the order may vary depending on the specific research project).

Medical research more and more relies on funding from individuals and private organizations, especially at start up.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is the largest source of funding for medical research in the world, and is the means by which leading researchers in the U.S. have traditionally sustained their studies over the long term. But in recent years, fewer researchers are winning NIH grants.

In 2011, the NIH grant success rate was 15 percent, falling from almost 30 percent a decade earlier. This is discouraging news for the welfare of children with pediatric cancer because breakthroughs in treatment won’t happen without breakthroughs in the laboratory first. But the encouraging news is that research hasn’t stopped because individuals and private organizations are picking up where federal funding has fallen short.

Individuals like you can assist in ensuring that pediatric cancer research receives the funding it needs.

Click on the picture and join the conversation about research.

By spreading the word that children continue to die from a lack of understanding about pediatric cancer, you are calling attention to the need for more research. By spreading the word about declines in NIH funding, you are alerting individuals and private organizations that pediatric cancer research needs their financial support. By spreading the word about research that promises to save lives and that wouldn’t have been possible without private monies, you are showing prospective donors that their dollars will be well spent.

Naomi’s Fund seeks to connect donors to promising pediatric cancer research projects, such as one at the University of Chicago that is determining why chemotherapy fails certain patients. Dr. Pinto’s research – a birds eye view.