Innovative Medical Research Grants

Investing in cutting-edge and innovative scientific research

The Rogers Family Foundation believes that innovations in medical research can bring about profound changes in people’s lives. Yet, sustained funding for promising early stage research is very often inaccessible or not available to researchers. We therefore have created a small pool of resources that we make accessible to a select number of organizations that are at the forefront of research and innovation. Our hope is that our support will allow researchers to continue and accelerate their research projects to a point where they can achieve proof of concept and unlock additional research resources.

Bringing Scientific Discoveries to the People

Established in 2000, the California Institute for Quantitative Biological Sciences (QB3) is a nonprofit research, networking, and technology commercialization institute spanning three University of California campuses (San Francisco, Berkeley, and Santa Cruz) that fosters collaborations among scientific faculty in order to enhance innovation and discovery.

To help achieve the goal of bringing basic scientific discoveries to practical benefit in a shorter period of time than is typical, the Rogers Family Foundation created the “Bridging-the-Gap” program to allow QB3 researchers to execute promising lines of research that are typically in too early of a stage to garner institutional or government funding. An ideal outcome of this support would be that research done at QB3 would lead to the filing of an intellectual property patent, the creation of a new company, or access to additional funding.

Since 2005, the RFF has invested $6,500,000 in more than 20 QB3 projects. Under the leadership of Dr. Regis B. Kelly, QB3 continues to grow and prosper as it evolves and sustains its efforts to bridge the “valley of death” for innovative ideas and research.

Click here for more information on QB3.

In addition to funding QB3, RFF has also supported the following departments and programs at the University of California, San Francisco: the UCSF Mission Bay Medical Center, the UCSF Cardiology Council, the UCSF Housecalls Program, the UCSF Pediatric Epilepsy Center, and UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland.

Cutting Edge Research for Parkinson’s Disease

The Michael J. Fox Foundation has a sole focus on finding a cure for Parkinson’s disease through investments in both ongoing research and improved therapies for those living with Parkinson’s.

RFF has been investing in the work of the MJF Foundation since 2015 with the most recent investments supporting the next phase of research into a new compound, anle138b, which has the potential to slow the progress of Parkinson’s disease. After initial trials with healthy volunteers proved successful, researchers are ready to move into clinical trials with mild to moderate individuals living with Parkinson’s. This latest research has been informed by the work of Dr. Matthew Lewin, currently based at the Center for Exploration and Travel Health at the California Academy of Sciences (see information on the Center below), on how venom from snakebites passes through the brain blood barrier. These findings have been instrumental in working to understand how to use the same process – crossing the brain blood barrier – to deliver interventions to patients with Parkinson’s to stop degeneration in the brain. Dr. Lewin is currently serving as an advisor to the research being led by the MJF Foundation.

Click here for more information on the MJF Foundation.

Center for Exploration and Travel Health at the California Academy of Sciences
The Center for Exploration and Travel Health (CETH) at the California Academy of Science has two primary missions 1) to excel in providing exploration health services to the museum community; and 2) to be a leading academic center in travel-medicine research and education. RFF has supported the CETH since 2015 with a focus on the work of Dr. Lewin, an internationally recognized expert in the practice of emergency medicine and wilderness medicine. During his time at CETH, Dr. Lewin has played an active role in developing and testing protocols for the safe handling and first aid of Academy and Aquarium employees potentially exposed to venomous animals housed on Academy grounds and on display to the public. His current research is focused on the global expansion of treatments for snakebite.

Click here for more information on the Center for Exploration and Travel Health at the California Academy of Sciences.