Life sciences bill to support young scientists with grants named for Dr. Judah Folkman
June 16, 2008
The $1 billion life sciences bill slated for signature by Governor Deval Patrick today contains a special provision for the establishment of the "Dr. Judah Folkman Higher Education Grant Fund." Folkman, the cancer researcher and director of the Vascular Biology Program at Children's Hospital Boston, died suddenly in January of this year.
"We commend the state legislature for its decision to name this important source of funding for Dr. Judah Folkman," said Dr. James Mandell, president and CEO of Children's Hospital Boston. "One of Judah's greatest gifts and passions was identifying brilliant young scientists and supporting and investing in them during the early part of their careers. He was deeply troubled by the recent decline in NIH funding, which has discouraged many young talented people from choosing careers in science. This fund is a great way to honor Judah's legacy and at the same time help new investigators commit to a career in the life sciences."
According to the language of the bill, the grants will be for living expenses for graduate level students, doctoral students or post-doctoral fellows "studying or employed in the life sciences." The recipients of the $5,000 to $15,000 grants must be Massachusetts residents with an annual total household income not exceeding 300 per cent of the federal poverty level, or $31,200 for a single-person household. Massachusetts' high cost of living is often cited as a deterrent to new graduate students and postdocs beginning their careers while also paying off years of student loans and starting families.
Children's Hospital Boston is home to the world's largest research enterprise based at a pediatric medical center, where its discoveries have benefited both children and adults since 1869. More than 500 scientists, including eight members of the National Academy of Sciences, 11 members of the Institute of Medicine and 12 members of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute comprise Children's research community. Founded as a 20-bed hospital for children, Children's Hospital Boston today is a 397-bed comprehensive center for pediatric and adolescent health care grounded in the values of excellence in patient care and sensitivity to the complex needs and diversity of children and families. Children's also is the primary pediatric teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School. For more information about the hospital and its research visit: www.childrenshospital.org/newsroom.