The Stuart Fund
Ken Stuart is one of the world’s pioneers in discoveries surrounding infectious diseases. The Center for Infectious Disease Research has established the Stuart Fund to honor Ken’s legacy and to catalyze the future of science. By investing in the Stuart Fund, you will be a part of this future by supporting young investigators pursuing the next groundbreaking discovery in the fight against diseases such as malaria, tuberculosis and HIV.
In 1976, Dr. Ken
Stuart founded what is now known as the Center for Infectious Disease Research
– the largest independent non-profit of its kind in the United States.
Since then, Ken has been busy. He is a leading expert on the pathogens causing African sleeping sickness, leishmaniasis and Chagas disease, and he led the formation of an international consortium that sequenced and compared specific parasite genomes. Ken is also recognized for his groundbreaking studies of RNA-editing – knowledge leading to targets for drug development. Ken is credited with putting Washington state on the forefront of global health research. In the past 10 years alone, Ken’s research has received more than $43,822,000 in public and private funding, including funding from the National Institutes of Health and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Today and looking ahead to the future of science, Ken and CID Research see the tension that exists between exploring new scientific concepts and funding this scientific exploration.
Research is expensive – highly-innovative projects, or projects challenging an existing paradigm (such as when Ken Stuart demonstrated RNA-editing despite tremendous skepticism), are generally not funded by the government. Private funding makes this new, innovative research possible.
One current example is our investment in a young faculty member’s early research. Three years ago, thanks to private philanthropy, the Center provided $250,000 for a year of funding to establish proof of concept for an exciting and innovative approach towards an HIV vaccine. Funds such as these typically allow freedom to establish critical milestones that are required to secure ongoing research funding from Federal sources. In this case, Dr. Sather secured a $5 million NIH grant based on these preliminary studies that will advance research into HIV vaccines.
It can take years for young researchers to make discoveries that the government will support. This researcher’s path resembles that of most young scientists whose work cannot be catalyzed without investors like you.
Another example is that of Dr. Suzanne McDermott, who came from Scotland to work with Ken.
Suzanne sees how opportunities made possible by private funding, and through Ken's mentorship, helped her move forward with her research in neglected diseases.
"All early career scientists need a mentor who gives them the chance to show what they can do. For me, that was Dr. Ken Stuart, the founder of CID Research.
Thanks to Ken, I was given the chance to study the weird and wonderful biology of trypanosomes while collaborating with great scientists at CID Research and elsewhere. We’ve uncovered the first insights to some long-standing mysteries surrounding these bugs. From that research, I’ve been first author on a number of papers, and we’ve advanced our understanding of the parasites that cause Trypanosomiasis, Chagas’ disease and leishmaniasis which threaten millions of people each year.
Supporting the Stuart Fund gives scientists like me a chance to make a real impact on saving lives."
The Stuart Fund
Created with Ken's vision, the Stuart Fund honors Ken’s legacy and progressively looks forward to the future of science. It is dedicated to catalyzing new scientific ideas and the work of early-career scientists who pursue groundbreaking discoveries that will positively impact our health.
The Stuart Fund can help close the gap between new science and government funding, and provide younger scientists with the opportunity to develop their ideas into the new tools and approaches that will lead to vaccines, drugs and diagnostics our world desperately needs.
Are you ready to become part of the future of science?