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IDP Foundation, Inc.

Irene Pritzker

Irene Pritzker

The IDP Foundation, Inc., of Chicago recently pledged $1 million to create the IDP Foundation Research Innovation Challenge Grants at the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University. These "idea" or "seed" grants will provide Lurie Cancer Center scientists and clinicians with crucial resources to ask novel research questions and explore new ideas relating to cancer.

The highly competitive IDP Foundation awards will raise the bar for scientific discovery by rewarding ingenuity. Projects that are selected for funding will be collaborative in design and scope, reaching across disciplines. Investigators who are collaborating on translational research and who can demonstrate potential impact through their innovative work will receive funding to get their projects off the ground. This start-up funding will enable these scientists to collect the preliminary data needed to apply for National Institutes of Health funding in the future.

"This support from the IDP Foundation will be extremely helpful in our efforts to bridge laboratory research to translational clinical applications," said Leonidas C. Platanias, MD, PhD, Jesse, Sara, Andrew, Abigail, Benjamin, and Elizabeth Lurie Professor of Oncology and interim director of the Lurie Cancer Center. "I am very grateful to Irene Pritzker for her enthusiastic support of these new initiatives and her steadfast commitment to our research work at the Lurie Cancer Center."

Steadfast Support for Northwestern

The IDP Foundation is a generous, longstanding partner of Northwestern Medicine and the Lurie Cancer Center. Since 2008, the IDP Foundation's Distinguished Research Scientists' Award has provided funds to Northwestern investigators who are advancing medical knowledge through pioneering research and providing compassionate, state-of-the-art cancer care. Thanks to the support of the IDP Foundation, the pace of research and discovery at the Lurie Cancer Center is accelerating every day.

In addition, the IDP Foundation also has invested in breakthrough efforts across Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, including groundbreaking Parkinson's disease research in the Department of Physiology, and an international collaboration (called The Mela Project) between the Feinberg School and Mekelle University in Ethiopia. The Mela Project is fostering education in the field of obstetrics and gynecology.

Improving Our Future

The IDP Foundation was founded in 2008 with a focused mission: mobilizing resources and strategic support to increase education opportunities.

"The grants we have made have always facilitated further funding for each of the researchers we have supported. So we see these grants as 'seed capital' – investing in research that has the potential for widespread impact," said Ms. Irene Pritzker, president of the IDP Foundation. "Over the years we have seen the Lurie Cancer Center grow into one of the nation's leading research institutions and are proud to be playing a role, however small, in this."