You might be asking yourself whether giving will really make a difference to liver disease research. It will, and here’s why.
Most of our research is supported by grant funding from federal and state agencies, foundations, industry, and professional societies. However, to compete for such grants, our researchers must be able to show “proof of concept” preliminary data to show that their ideas are likely to work. This is particularly true for highly innovative projects that have the potential to dramatically improve the diagnosis and treatment of liver disease.
The support of individual donors like you is needed to help initiate our most promising research projects in their earliest stages, when they are not yet eligible for support from traditional funding agencies. With your seed funding, however, we can develop these ideas to the point where we can then compete for larger grants.
For instance, the TUKTAWA Foundation gave University of Michigan hepatologists the freedom to pursue high risk, high reward research, and to train the next generation of researchers in liver disease. The Greenview Foundation, made possible by individual donations, funded the development of new treatments for hepatitis C virus. With its support, we obtained a $40,000 pilot grant to identify potential new drugs to treat hepatitis C virus. The success of such pilot projects allows us to apply for much larger federal grants to continue research in liver disease.
The Anna S.F. Lok, MD Hepatology Breakthrough Research Fund will support hepatology research at the University of Michigan, providing seed funding for pilot studies and supporting research projects conducted by fellows and early-career faculty members as they pursue new discoveries. Your contribution to this fund will increase understanding of all liver diseases, creating knowledge that can continue to lead to effective treatments and cures.
Thanks to generous donations from people like you, the first award was made to Vincent L. Chen, MD, a third-year GI fellow working with Neehar Parikh, MD and Max Wicha, MD on “Circulating tumor cells and clusters as a liquid biopsy in hepatocellular carcinoma” in December 2018.
How to Give
To support hepatology research at Michigan Medicine, click here.
If you have any questions, please email Anna Lok, MD, Director of Clinical Hepatology.