Opportunities for scientists to exercise their imaginations and explore new directions are remarkably hard to find within today’s research framework. Science itself is usually a painstakingly slow, deliberate, and expensive process. Research progress is hard to direct and even harder to predict. Progress is usually made by incremental advances in knowledge that build on current knowledge. The U.S. scientific infrastructure is generally geared to supporting the slow, steady march of progress. Investigators frequently have difficulty obtaining financial support through traditional sources to follow up novel ideas or observations that challenge current dogma. Yet these are the very creative opportunities that may foster a “quantum leap” or “paradigm shift” in scientific understanding, eventually contributing to advances in human health.
The Ellison Medical Foundation’s goal is to respond to that need, providing scientists with the resources, freedom, and flexibility to pursue high-risk research that could have a scientific impact worldwide. The Foundation expects that its programs will stimulate exciting innovative research that will improve lives and influence future discoveries.