Without funding, there can be no research.
Erin Reed-Geaghan, Ph.D., first realized that daunting fact back as an undergraduate at Colby College hoping to find research opportunities.
It didn’t stop her then, or now.
Today, she’s the course director and primary lecturer for the Immunology and Biotechnology course in the College of Pharmacy. And she is learning the art of getting funded: Recently she received an award of $300,000 from the BrightFocus Foundation to support her investigation into the differences between men and women in the onset and progression of Alzheimer’s disease.
“The BrightFocus Foundation, which specifically aims to address Alzheimer’s disease (AD), macular degeneration and glaucoma, offers smaller awards that do not require the same amount of technical or scientific validation as the big NIH awards. Their goal is to support investigators in testing their highly innovative ideas.
“Sometimes it doesn’t pan out, but when it does, it can produce key findings necessary to put forth a successful application to the NIH. As someone with an interest in AD, just starting my own lab, I didn’t have the data to back up my ideas for new ways to think about the disease, so my situation aligned really well with the mission of BrightFocus,” says Dr. Reed-Geaghan.
The financial backing offers more than monetary support, she adds: “It’s reassuring to know someone else is willing to take the risk with you for the sake of solving such a devastating disease.”