The San Diego-based Guthy Jackson Charitable Foundation is a single-issue disease funder that is passionate about its cause. Here are the top things to know about this family foundation.
1. All Funding is for Neuromyelitis Optica (NMO) Spectrum Disease
According to its mission statement, this foundation is “dedicated to funding research in the search to understand the pathophysiology and biochemistry of Neuromyelitis Optica (NMO) Spectrum Disease. Our foundation is passionate in its support of providing opportunities to develop programs for prevention, clinical treatments, and an eventual cure for this rare and often misunderstood disease.”
In addition to research funding, Guthy Jackson provides an online community for people who have been diagnosed with the disease or who want to learn more about it. The foundation also accepts donations for this cause and dedicates 100 percent of all funding gifts to basic scientific research.
2. There are No Application Deadlines or Forms
Although Guthy Jackson doesn’t announce an open call for submissions, it is amenable to inquiries from relevant researchers and institutions. To be eligible for the foundation’s support, you should have an innovative concept for advancing NMO therapeutics or have a plan to utilize current applications and methods in NMO science research.
Simply email the staff at firstname.lastname@example.org with your CV and a letter of intent to connect with the foundation staff.
3. Prominent Research Facilities Receive Support
This funder typically supports well-established, domestic universities with respected medical research programs. The focus is on research conducted in the U.S., however, some support has gone to institutions in Canada and the UK. Below are a few of the institutions it has supported. A list of individual researchers the foundation has supported can be viewed on Guthy Jackson’s website as well.
- Mount Sinai School of Medicine
- New York University
- Massachusetts General Hospital
- Yale University
- The University of British Columbia
- St. George’s University of London
4. GJCF in the News
The foundation recently sponsored a panel that outlined new diagnostic criteria for neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder. Sometimes, this disease is mistaken for multiple sclerosis, so improved diagnoses are crucial.
"It’s very important for clinicians to know about these updated criteria,” explained Dr. Dean Wingerchuk. “An accurate diagnosis is necessary for selecting the right therapy. We treat NMOSD differently than we treat MS, and some MS therapies actually aggravate NMOSD."
The foundation has recently supported research at the Gladstone Institutes showing how a blood clotting protein can trigger an immune attack on the human brain. It has also funded the work of Johns Hopkins University’s Michael Levy, MD, Ph.D., who did a podcast about regenerative stem cell therapies for MS.
To learn more about this funder check out IP’s full profile of the Guthy Jackson Charitable Foundation.