Breaking the mold: New models in research funding [HRA Members Meeting, Spring 2018]

Research funding mechanisms usually require a number of standard documents (i.e., research proposal, biographical sketches, and budget) and go through a peer review process. A number of groups however, are trying new approaches to accelerate innovation and solve tough problems through novel funding mechanisms. In this session, we will hear from three organizations using funding models ranging from endowments and crowdsourcing to unique scientific gatherings and ways to connect academic research to drug discovery and clinical studies. During this session, speakers will discuss the rationale for using their approaches, key considerations when developing and implementing a certain approach, and the successes and pitfalls of using such approaches.


Shannon Gallagher-Colombo, PhD, Assistant Director, Scientific Review and Grants Administration | AACR Foundation

Shannon Gallagher-Colombo, PhD, is Assistant Director of Scientific Review and Grants Administration at the AACR. In this role, she oversees a multi-million dollar portfolio of industry- and foundation-sponsored research grants for cancer scientists at all career stages. In addition, she works closely with the AACR Foundation, providing scientific expertise and relationship management to AACR’s many valued funding partners. Prior to joining the AACR, Gallagher-Colombo was a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Radiation Oncology at the University of Pennsylvania, where she was involved in basic, preclinical, and clinical research investigating the use of photodynamic therapy as a treatment option for solid malignancies.



Simon Noble, PhD, Director, Science Communication | CHDI Foundation

Simon Noble has a diverse scientific communications background, beginning in scientific publishing as an editor at Nature Medicine where he managed the peer review process for all immunology and infectious disease manuscripts. Prior to joining CHDI in 2009 he was Senior Director for Scientific Communications at the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI), a non-profit research, development, and advocacy organization committed to ensuring the development of an effective AIDS vaccine. He was also the editor of IAVI Report, that organization’s publication detailing scientific progress and challenges. Prior to this he pursued a transatlantic research career that included a PhD and postdoctoral fellowships focused on virology and immunology (including H1N1 swine influenza virus) at the Universities of Warwick and Wisconsin-Madison.

Christopher Martin, PhD, Interim Vice President of Science Programs | The Kavli Foundation

Chris Martin is the Interim Vice President for Science Programs at The Kavli Foundation, where he has been a Science Program Officer since 2013. He leads the Foundation’s interactions with its 20 endowed Kavli Institutes around the world in the fields of Theoretical Physics, Astrophysics, Nanoscience, and Neuroscience and builds catalytic opportunities to advance scientific research and funding, such as the U.S. BRAIN Initiative. Dr. Martin’s interests span the continuum from physics to public policy. Prior to joining the Foundation, he was a professor of physics and astronomy at Oberlin College (2004-2013) where he studied the Milky Way Galaxy using the Herschel Space Observatory, long duration balloon missions, and telescopes around the world. During his tenure at Oberlin, he spent a year as an American Association for the Advancement of Science Congressional Fellow with the United States Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation and was involved in the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2010, space policy, nanotechnology, and the federal funding of science research. Dr. Martin completed his Ph.D. in theoretical physics at the University of California Santa Barbara in 1999, and then became the Station Science Leader at the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station and spent two years wintering over at the bottom of the Earth during his postdoctoral fellowship at the Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.

Michael Batten, MD, MBA, Director, JDRF T1D Fund | JDRF

Michael L. Batten, M.D., M.B.A., is a director in the JDRF T1D Fund. In this role, he focuses on advancing scientifically and commercially promising Type 1 Diabetes research by facilitating venture creation of and syndicated venture investments in companies pursuing the best opportunities to prevent, treat and ultimately cure T1D. By leveraging his experience and relationships with key stakeholders in academia, industry and venture capital, he brings a unique skill set to JDRF that compliments the organizations efforts to translate novel, innovative science into lifesaving therapies for Type 1 Diabetes patients. Previously, Dr. Batten invested in both private and public healthcare companies as the life science portfolio manager at Merrill Lynch’s Strategic Investment Group and as a founding member of the investment team of the Health Holdings group at Caxton Associates. Prior to his investing roles, Michael was a member of Pfizer’s Business Development group where he led multiple transactions and was instrumental in the creation of Pfizer Venture Investments, the strategic venture capital arm of Pfizer. Dr. Batten received his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from North Carolina State University, his M.D. from The University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill School of Medicine, trained in Ophthalmology at New York University, and received his M.B.A. at The Wharton School of The University of Pennsylvania with a concentration in healthcare management and finance.