“Interdisciplinary collaborations have fueled the most impactful therapeutic advances of my lifetime. Working with outstanding scientists across complementary disciplines on challenging problems has been inspiring and highly productive.” —Tom Daniel, MD

A member of the Scripps Research Board of Directors, as well as chair of the institute’s Board of Overseers, Tom Daniel recently launched and seeded the Collaborative Innovation Fund at Scripps Research. Joined by other passionate Scripps Research supporters, the effort has raised $4 million to date.

Designed to support “high-risk, high-reward science,” bold investigations that can open new areas of scientific inquiry, the fund is envisioned to ultimately enable life-saving discoveries—through the sort of scientific inquiry that increasingly faces funding challenges from conventional sources.

“Scripps Research has created an exceptional environment for exceptional contributions by many investigators, including Nobel laureate Ardem Patapoutian, MacArthur Fellow JinQuan Yu and Wolf Prize winner Ben Cravatt— scientists who have followed their instincts to deliver truly paradigm-shifting discoveries,” says Daniel. “The Collaborative Innovation Fund will expand opportunities for other Scripps Research investigators to break ground in new areas of science. Their pioneering work will be amplified by cross-disciplinary collaboration.”

Throughout a multifaceted career, Daniel has focused on advancing science and healthcare through various roles. For more than a decade, he practiced nephrology, taught students and trained physicians at one of the nation’s leading teaching medical schools while running his own research laboratory. Seeking to speed the translation of scientific progress to patient benefit, in mid-career he joined collaborators at early biotechnology pioneer Immunex to lead research, subsequently assuming R&D leadership roles at Amgen, Ambrx and, ultimately, Celgene. Later, as a venture partner with ARCH Venture Partners, he catalyzed the formation and funding of multiple companies which he now supports as a chair or board member. Several of these companies were founded by Scripps Research scientists but all share a common feature: the application of emerging technologies to impact people’s lives.

Grounded in the principle that interdisciplinary collaboration can be transformational, the Collaborative Innovation Fund is committed to fostering bold, ambitious, cross-disciplinary investigations between teams of Scripps Research scientists. “This is an opportunity for additional funders to propel truly innovative research with the potential to change lives,” says Daniel, adding his own invitation: “Join us.”

Click here to learn more about or contribute to the Collaborative Innovation Fund.