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CMRF supports a wide range of projects

13th of June, 2017

With two Universities educating future health professionals in Christchurch, it should be no surprise to learn the depth of medical research talent, quietly working on some of the world’s most devastating health conditions, in labs and hospitals right here in our city.

The biggest challenge faced by young researchers, is accessing funding to allow them to take part in ground breaking research. With health research funding from the government static, at best, the role of local niche funders such as the Canterbury Medical Research Foundation (CMRF), has become a vital lifeline to research projects that may otherwise never get out of the starting blocks.

 The eclectic mix of research projects reflects the Foundation’s desire to fund the ‘small and interesting’ projects that have scientific merit, but which may find it hard to get adequate attention from larger funders.

The Foundation has funded projects looking at various cancers, a Fellowship to assess how well our acute care system is working at Christchurch Hospital, heart research and a project to assess the unmet health need in the Canterbury area, amongst many others.  The Foundation actively supports both Canterbury and Otago University by funding several Summer Studentships, where students are given the opportunity to get real-world research experience over the summer break and also runs its own Brain Research Institute, specializing in research into Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, Dementia, Huntington’s and Multiple Sclerosis.

 “Being able to partner with other funders to get these projects over the line, is a great way to maximize the support for research available throughout the country.” Says Kate Russell, CMRF CEO. “On our own, many of these projects would simply be too expensive, but by partnering with other Foundations we can really make an impact on these devastating health conditions. I think its also an elegant model of collaboration for the greater good and shows that, particularly in the not for profit sector, we can put aside any ideas of self-promotion, for the greater good.”

 The Foundation is 100% reliant on the support of the Canterbury community to carry on its work. CMRF would like to give $2 million away each year and is working hard to build up its capital fund to make this possible.

 “The more Canterbury supports us, the more we can give to these vitally important research projects.” Says Ms Russell. “Our hope is that Cantabrians will see the benefit of supporting a local charity, making a difference to health outcomes globally.”