Send your comments and tips to email@example.com
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Ctr.
Boston Medical Center
Brigham and Women's Hospital
Cambridge Health Alliance
Caritas St. Elizabeth's Medical Ctr.
Children's Hospital Boston
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Joslin Diabetes Center
Mass. General Hospital
Mass. Health Law
New England Baptist Hospital
Short White Coat
Tufts-New England Medical Center
UMass Memorial Medical Center
University of Massachusetts
VA Medical Centers
A Healthy Blog
Running A Hospital
Nature Network Boston
SciBos - Corie Lok's blog
Nurse at small
Dr. Gwenn Is In
Healthy Children blog
Other Globe Blogs
Elizabeth Cooney is a health reporter for the Worcester Telegram & Gazette.
Boston Globe Health and Science staff:
Karen Weintraub, Deputy Health and Science Editor, and Gideon Gil, Health and Science Editor.
Short White Coat blogger Ishani Ganguli
Short White Coat blogger Jennifer Srygley
Wednesday, May 23, 2007
$1m cancer prize promotes sharing of ideas
Taking a page from an investors' club handbook, hedge fund managers and a Harvard scientist today introduced the Gotham Prize for Cancer Research, a $1 million annual award that will be given to a researcher who posts a promising idea on an online forum.
"As researchers who live and die by grant support, we want to hold on to our ideas," said prize co-founder Dr. Gary C. Curhan of Harvard Medical School and the School of Public Health. "But it's important to share the best ideas and also try to expedite their investigation."
The prize was created by New York hedge fund managers Joel Greenblatt and Robert Goldstein of the investment firm Gotham Capital and Curhan, a kidney specialist at Brigham and Women's Hospital. For the website, they took as their model the Value Investors Club, an online group where members share investment ideas.
The winner will be selected based on the quality of the idea, the feasibility of studying it, and on the comments it generates on the forum. The prize will be awarded in February. An additional $250,000 Ira Sohn Conference Foundation Prize in pediatric oncology will also be offered.
The scientific advisory board for the prizes includes Dr. Meir J. Stampfer of Harvard's medical and public health schools.
Joan S. Brugge, a cancer researcher at Harvard Medical School who is not involved in the prize, applauded the marketplace of ideas approach that the website will take.
"Since research money is really tight, any influx of support for cancer research is a good thing in general," she wrote in an e-mail. "'Experimentation' to evaluate new strategies to stimulate novel ideas and new approaches can't hurt cancer research and could indeed lead to important new breakthroughs."
Federal funding for cancer research has been flat in recent years, but still provides the foundation for basic knowledge, she said.
"These kinds of creative approaches ... should not be viewed as substitutes for continued robust/large scale support of investigator-initiated programs at NIH," Brugge wrote.