Guthy Jackson Charitable Foundation: Grants for Disease

OVERVIEW: This funder exclusively supports prevention, treatment and cure research for Neuromyelitis Optica (NMO) Spectrum Disease. It funds prominent research facilities and institutions of higher education.

IP TAKE: With such a specific focus, it’s easy to tell whether you’re eligible for funding here or not. There are no regular deadlines or forms, and support extends nationwide. What is certain here is that researchers supported by Guthy Jackson are expected to work in collaboration with one another. 

PROFILE: Like many disease-focused foundations, the Guthy Jackson Charitable Foundation began with a family crisis. Victoria Jackson and Bill Guthy’s daughter was diagnosed with Neuromyelitis Optica (NMO) Spectrum Disease in 2008. This is an incurable, yet treatable, autoimmune disorder that causes the body’s immune system to attack its own healthy cells, often in the optic nerves and spinal cord. Since little research was available about the disease, they created a foundation dedicated to funding basic science research to find answers that will lead to the prevention, clinical treatment programs and ultimately a cure.

The goal of this funder is to support biomedical research to better understand the disease’s pathophysiology and biochemistry. Victoria Jackson has been a Hollywood makeup artist, TV infomercial star, and cosmetics entrepreneur. Bill Guthy leads Guthy-Renker, a Palm Desert, CA, infomercial studio, and manages one of the largest television response-driven marketing companies in the world.

Guthy Jackson’s approach to funding is all about enhancing the NMO knowledge base by supporting innovative research approaches dedicated to studying the pathophysiology and biochemistry of NMO. Funded researchers must collaborate with colleagues and meet annually to share their findings.

This funder typically supports well-established, domestic universities with respected medical research programs such as Stanford and Johns Hopkins. Some support has gone to institutions in Canada and the UK.

A list of the individual researchers supported by the foundation can be viewed on Guthy Jackson’s website. The foundation works with a team of medical advisors to make funding decisions. It accepts donations and dedicates 100 percent of all funding gifts to basic science research centers.

Although the foundation doesn’t publish an open call for project submissions, interested researchers can submit a CV and letter of intent here. Inquiries can can directed to the foundation's staff here, or by phone at 858-638-7638.

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