11:40 am - 12:00 pmSunday, September 29
LK 120
Can the crowd save medical research?
LK 120
Can the crowd save medical research?
Chief Medical Officer, Consano
We are in a golden age of medical research. The Human Genome Project and the rapidly growing genetic technology industry has fostered an explosion of useful and powerful knowledge. Many previously untreatable... Read more

Description

We are in a golden age of medical research. The Human Genome Project and the rapidly growing genetic technology industry has fostered an explosion of useful and powerful knowledge. Many previously untreatable diseases can now be targeted with tailored and highly effective treatments. When Dr. Brian Druker discovered Gleevec more than a decade ago, he transformed a CML diagnosis from a death sentence into a manageble chronic disease, and simulanteously ushered in a new era of targeted, minimially toxic disease therapy. Herceptin, a similarly targeted treatment for aggressive HER2+ breast cancer, has significantly prolonged and improved the lives of a large group of patients who used to have few viable treatment options. Given the tools at our disposal, we now stand at the threshold of making thousands of similarly amazing medical advances. Patients are waiting for them. The media is ready to report about them. Nothing can stand in our way. But how will we pay for it?

Medical research funding is critically ill. Available research dollars are in short supply and the federal sequestration has only compounded this harsh reality. Competition for the dwindling number of available NIH grants is at an all-time high, with only 10% of applicants successfully obtaining funding. Just a decade ago, one-third of NIH submissions were funded. Given the recent scientific advances, the problem is not a lack of good ideas, but quite simply, a lack of available funding.

During the same time that the government has elected to decrease scientific research funding, the public has embraced the concept of crowdfunding. Led by Kiva, Kickstarter, and Indiegogo, individuals and small businesses have discovered a viable new source of raising project capital. The crowdfunding space has seen many other platforms come online, but a young breast cancer survivor has created a new nonprofit crowdfunding site dedicated to medical research funding. Consano, which means "to heal" in Latin, gives anyone the ability to support the specific type of high quality research that matters to them. Can this transparent, directed and connected platform shift attention to our growing medical research funding problem, and ultimately help make an impact on medical progress. We sure hope so, and I look forward to sharing our first six months of experience with the Stanford Medicine X audience.

 

Scott Finkelstein, MD practices pediatric and trauma anesthesiology at Legacy Emanuel Hospital in Portland, Oregon. After his wife was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2011, and as the father of two daughters who are now at increased risk of developing breast cancer, he wants to directly support medical research that might offer them additional treatment and prevention options in the future. Through his work at Consano, he hopes to provide a platform for patients with any disease to support specific and meaningful research projects and connect with researchers who might provide them with comfort while enduring their journey, new ways to heal, and hope for the future. He obtained a B.A. in Human Biology at Stanford, earned an M.D. from UCSF, and completed residency training in the UCSF Department of Anesthesiology, where he was awarded the Stuart C. Cullen award for clinical excellence.

Contact Us

We're not around right now. But you can send us an email and we'll get back to you, asap.

Not readable? Change text. captcha txt

Start typing and press Enter to search