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Funding Biomedical Research Programs: Contributions of the Markey Trust Grant Programs The Markey Trust made awards in the three main stages of a biomedical research career in which “supporting and encouraging basic medical research” can occur. General Organizational Grants were directed to improve the education and training of both Ph.D.s and M.D.s planning careers in basic clinical research and research in molecular medicine. Markey Scholars and Fellows Awards identified and supported outstanding younger researchers in the biomedical sciences, providing them with long-term financial assistance early in their careers. Research Program Grants provided funding opportunities for established scientists with proven records of excellence in biomedical research. A few grants that fell outside the above categories were put into a miscellaneous category. The distribution of funding is shown in Figure 1. The Markey Scholars and Visiting Fellows Awards, which will be the subject of a subsequent full-length evaluative report, and the General Organizational Grants program, which has been described in Bridging the Bed-Bench Gap: Contributions of the Markey Trust, are described only briefly here. A thorough description of the Research Program Grants is presented in the next section of this report.
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Funding Biomedical Research Programs: Contributions of the Markey Trust FIGURE 1 Distribution of the Markey Trust programs and grant making. SOURCE: Lucille P. Markey Trust, 1996. MARKEY SCHOLARS AND VISITING FELLOWS The Markey Trustees recognized the importance of providing funding to young biomedical scientists to launch their careers. The Trust dedicated $63,093,900 to fund the Scholar Awards in Biomedical Sciences and the United Kingdom and Australian Visiting Fellows. Scholar Awards in Biomedical Sciences By establishing the Markey Scholars program in 1984, the Trustees recognized that top priority should be given to the support of young researchers as they moved from postdoctoral into junior faculty positions. The goal was to enable the Markey Scholars to conduct independent research early in their careers. Between 1985 and 1991, 113 Markey Scholars were supported for up to three years of postdoctoral training followed by five years as beginning faculty members. This support included both salary and research funding. Scholar awards ranged from $570,000 to $711,000 depending on the length of the postdoctoral experience. The Markey Trust was unique in providing support for young scientists for up to eight years. The total funding for Markey Scholars was $59,795,900.
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Funding Biomedical Research Programs: Contributions of the Markey Trust United Kingdom and Australian Visiting Fellows In addition to the scholars program, the Trustees supported outstanding young scientists from the United Kingdom and Australia by enabling them to spend two years as postdoctoral fellows at American research institutions. A total of 36 Visiting Fellows—26 from the United Kingdom and 10 from Australia—was elected between 1986 through 1994. Total support amounted to $3,298,000. GENERAL ORGANIZATIONAL GRANTS Almost at its inception, The Markey Trust had become cognizant of a growing gap between biomedical research and clinical application. In 1989, input was sought from a number of biomedical scientists on directions for Trust funding during its remaining term. They advised that there was general concern in medical schools about the “bed-bench gap” and that plans were emerging in many universities to develop new curricula and teaching techniques to close the gap between laboratory research and research based on clinical observation. The Markey Trust indicated that it would be responsive to proposals to address the development of training programs designed to bridge the “bed-bench” gap. The trustees received a number of proposals that fell into two categories: those that provided significant opportunities for M.D.s to engage in basic research during and immediately following medical school and residency and those that provided significant clinical exposure for Ph.D.s while they were predoctoral or postdoctoral students. The first of these awards, classified as General Organizational Grants, was made in 1992. These grants were designed to close the widening gap between rapid advances in our understanding of biological process and the translation of that knowledge into techniques for preventing diseases (Lucille P. Markey Charitable Trust, 1995). General Organizational Grant programs were funded for approximately five years, although due to the flexibility of the Markey grants, many grant recipients were able to extend the grant’s duration. Because of the limited term of the Trust, General Organizational Grants could not be renewed. Between 1988 and 1995, 22 General Organizational Grants amounting to $62,121,700 were awarded. The average amount awarded was about $2.8 million, but award amounts ranged from $50,000 to $13,750,000. MISCELLANEOUS AWARDS During its tenure, the Markey Trust made a number of awards that did not fit into the three major award categories. These awards continued
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Funding Biomedical Research Programs: Contributions of the Markey Trust support made by Mrs. Markey during her lifetime, funded endowed chairs, provided scholarships to biomedical researchers, and funded related research support. These award programs, totaling $53,606,232, are listed below. Lucille P. Markey Basic Medical Research Funds To memorialize the Trust’s support for the training of biomedical scientists, endowments totaling $14,000,000 were made to seven institutions. These institutions established permanent endowments known as the Lucille P. Markey Basic Medical Research Funds to provide support for promising predoctoral and postdoctoral fellows and junior faculty.4 Markey Predoctoral Fellows In its early years the Trust provided $9,400,000 to 15 academic institutions to assist predoctoral students in biomedical science programs. These graduate students were known as Markey Fellows. Other Grants for Career Development The Trust provided $3,030,000 to six research institutes to fund summer seminars and short courses for potential scientists in basic medical research. Continuation of Programs Initiated by Mrs. Markey These awards were made in 1984 and 1985 to the University of Kentucky and University of Miami and totaled $8,700,000. Endowed Chairs Between 1985 and 1996, the Markey Trust provided $11,500,000 to fund endowed chairs.5 4 These seven institutions were: Harvard University; Johns Hopkins University; Rockefeller University; Stanford University; University of California, San Francisco; University of Michigan; and University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. 5 The endowed chairs were: Rockefeller University, Henry G. Kunkel Professor; University of Kentucky, Warren Wright, Sr.-Lucille Wright Markey Chair, Gluck Equine Research Center; University of Kentucky, Lucille P. Markey Chair in Oncology Research; University of Kentucky, Warren Wright, Sr.-Lucille Wright Markey Chair, Gluck Equine Research Center (supplement); University of Miami, Markey Professorship in Biochemistry and Molecu
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Funding Biomedical Research Programs: Contributions of the Markey Trust Research Support and Related Grants Between 1985 and 1997, the Trust provided $6,976,232 to fund 56 miscellaneous grants to support smaller research projects and to encourage or facilitate basic medical research. RESEARCH PROGRAM GRANTS Research Programs Grants represented the largest component of the Markey Trust’s funding activities. During the 11-year interval from 1985 to 1995, 92 organizations were awarded a total of $316, 248,175. In fiscal years 1996 and 1997, the Trust made supplementary awards of $500,000 each to 18 grant recipients in recognition of outstanding progress by Markey-supported investigators. Consequently, awards in the Research Program Grants program totaled $325,248,175. They ranged in amount from a low of $500,000 to a high of $12, 613,000. The Trust initially defined the purpose of Research Program Grants as follows: Research Program Grants are made to institutions with a major commitment to the life sciences to assist in the establishment, reorganization, or expansion of significant biomedical research programs or centers. The grants usually involve funding for the recruitment of new faculty, pre-and postdoctoral support, completion or renovation of laboratory space, purchase of new equipment, and additional technical assistance (Lucille P. Markey Charitable Trust, 1988). lar Biology; Washington University in St. Louis, Markey Professorship in Basic Biomedical or Basic Biological Sciences; and Yale University, Lucille P. Markey Professorship in Biomedical Sciences.
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