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Information on a research foundation

Doctor C

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Greetings Everyone,

I am a PhD healthcare statistician and researcher. I work for a large healthcare agency that provides seed funding for healthcare projects. I have over 13 published articles in peer-reviewed journals on a number of topics ranging from education in healthcare, qualitative research, critical care, and genetics. I work with clinicians on a weekly basis and understand the research and grant funding process fairly well.

So why have I contacted this forum? I think the time is ripe for the formation of a HSV research foundation, or something similar. By research foundation, I mean a nonprofit organization whose sole purpose is to solicit private funding for HSV cure research. This money could then be made available to qualified labs and universities that are conducting HSV research (e.g., Dr. Bloom at the Univ. of Florida and Dr. Cullen at Duke). Such funding would ensure no disruptions in HSV research and it would provide an impetus for other centers and universities to take up the cause.

Why is now a good time to form a foundation? Many people don’t realize that interest in HSV has just received a boost from two recent discoveries, that the HSV virus likes cancer cells (new research is looking at ways to deliver anti-cancer agents to tumors via inactivated HSV virus) and that HSV may be contributing to Alzheimer’s disease. A foundation could leverage interest in finding a cure for HSV by pointing to oncology (cancer) and Alzheimer’s applications. Also, many people don’t realize that HSV is a leading cause of blindness in otherwise healthy individuals.

HSV research is miniscule compared to other research and it is not heavily funded by the NIH, compared to other research programs. Why? Because it is generally viewed as non-life threatening (with the exception of encephalitis, which is quite rare). This explains why it is important for an organization to solicit other sources of funding from philanthropy organizations. Given that the virus is ubiquitous, life changing, and so easily transferred from one person to another through intimate contact, I think that it may not be especially difficult to create interest from various giving organizations.

Creating a research foundation would likely be costly at the start, which is why such a group would need to collaborate with businesses and organizations keenly interested in HSV. For example, Cosmopolitan magazine is allied with the Melanoma Research Foundation because skin cancer affects beauty. Could not an HSV research foundation team up with national modeling agencies or skin care, eye care, and make up industries (e.g., Loreal)? It could also seek a collaboration with Torjan condoms and similar industries.

Finding a cure for HSV would make people around the world shout for joy. It would be welcome news for millions of people everywhere, regardless of social-economic status, age, race, religion, and sexual orientation because it affects people at every level of every demographic. A research foundation would go a long way in achieving this goal.

I am interested in what the administrators and visitors to this website think. Ideas on barriers, solutions, and benefits to creating a research foundation are welcome.

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