US Funders Look to Australia
20 January 2003 at 12:01 pm
It seems that Australian researchers are flavour of the month with American philanthropists, with two major funders donating to projects down under since the New Year.
The once anonymous Atlantic Philanthropies established by American billionaire Charles Feeney has offered $25 million to the Royal Children’s Hospital to expand its research into childhood illnesses, including cancer and heart disease.
Feeney made his fortune from duty free shops, and his donation is thought to be one of the largest made in Australia.
Feeney’s Atlantic Philanthropies has made substantial donations to other research institutes and Australian universities in recent years particularly in Queensland. The funder also donated around $5million dollars to projects through Ron Clarke’s CEPA.
A condition of the donation to the Royal Children’s Hospital, to be shared between the hospital and the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, is that it must be matched by $25 million raised from other sources.
The Institute is reported to be confident the funds can be raised. Discussions with the State and Federal Governments and leading children’s charities are already taking place.
A South Australian PhD researcher from Flinders University has also found favour with the Michael J Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research.
The Michael J. Fox Foundation announced last week that it has awarded 11 grants worth $2.6 million to researchers investigating the role of protein degradation in Parkinson’s disease to projects in the US, Canada, Sweden and Australia.
South Australian researcher Wei-Ping Gai receives the grant for the project entitles “Ubiquitin Conjugates in Parkinson’s Disease & Dementia with Lewy Bodies”!
The Foundation says there is a growing body of evidence that degenerative diseases of the central nervous system are characterised by the over-accumulation of abnormal protein deposits.
The Foundation says each application underwent a rigorous, two-tiered peer review process, culminating in a final grant review meeting in late October.
For more information on funding from the Michael J Fox Foundation go to www.michaeljfox.org.
For more information on Atlantic Philanthropies go to www.atlanticphilanthropies.org.