Have a say in cancer research
Connecting investors directly with cutting edge scientists is an exciting idea, and is exactly what Invest in Research does.
Connecting investors directly with cutting edge scientists is an exciting idea, and is exactly what Invest in Research does. This very successful initiative at The Princess Margaret provides a unique opportunity to invest in some of the world’s top cancer specialists.

Invest in Research is a next-level philanthropy initiative based on a venture capital model where investors get “pitched” by researchers looking for funding. The group of investors then vote on who will receive one of two grants of $100,000 that are awarded each year.  An exciting aspect of the program later occurs when the impact of the funding is presented directly by the people doing the groundbreaking work.

With boardroom style accountability, the program has shown great success with more than $1.3 million raised since Invest in Research began in 2007. This has been leveraged into more than $20 million of additional funding for new discoveries. Eight important projects have been supported and more projects are on the horizon. These projects are helping to lead the charge towards Personalized Cancer Medicine, which means improved care for thousands of families, friends, neighbors and coworkers.

The Invest in Research group has already funded many cutting-edge projects:
  • Fighting cancer at the molecular level. Lung cancer has few treatment options, but thanks to Invest in Research Dr. Brad Wouters project identifies the genetic alterations in lung cancer. Patients with tumors having specific genetic alterations can receive a highly effective form of 'tailored' treatment.  The research has leveraged a new grant from the provincial government for an astounding $10 million.
  • Treating tumour micro environments- a new approach. Dr. Ming Tsao and Igor Jurisica, PhD, are world-class researchers who study the environment around the tumour, looking for new treatments using antibodies that attack pathways that keep the tumour alive. This research uses one of the most powerful computers in Canada, capable of 9000 billion calculations per second.
  • Repurposing drugs- a drug development breakthrough. Creating new drugs takes many years and  and millions of dollars. Dr. Aaron Schimmer has shortened that time to 2 years by taking already existing drugs and testing their effectiveness against cancer.The money Dr. Schimmer received from the Invest in Research grant was leveraged into an additional $1.6 million and resulted in three drug patents.
  • Making strides on a challenging cancer.  Pancreatic cancer has a low rate of survival and is one of the least studied.  Invest in Research money was used by Dr. Steven Gallinger for groundbreaking research around the genetics of pancreatic cancer in families.

iir.jpgThe projects funded by Invest in Research all have a personalized approach in mind which leads to increased understanding of how cancer works, and brings us closer to the best possible treatment for each patient.

We asked Invest in Research supporter Gary Morassutti to tell us about why he got involved in this unique program. Here is what he had to say: “My immediate reaction was, instead of just writing a cheque, this will be an educational, interactive and empowering way to donate to PMH cancer programs. A very novel way to motivate the next generation of philanthropists.”

Be part of a dynamic process where you support the world’s smartest, most cutting-edge scientists in finding lifesaving solutions to cancer...solutions that you have helped to select.

For more information, please contact:
Malka Greene, Senior Development Officer, The Princess Margaret Hospital Foundation, phone: 416.946.4668, email: malka.greene@pmhf.ca
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