Building on that insight, Daniel recently launched and seeded the Collaborative Innovation Fund at Scripps Research. He is joined by Charles McCabe, chief advisor for the Manifold Fund and a longtime Scripps Research supporter. Together, they have contributed $4 million and invite others to contribute as well.
The fund is designed to support “high-risk, high-reward science,” bold investigations that can open new arenas of scientific inquiry while providing for potentially life-saving discoveries, the sort that often face 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 Jin-Quan Yu, and Wolf Prize winner Ben Cravatt—scientists who have followed their instincts to create new fields and major contributions,” says Daniel. “The results have been truly paradigm-shifting. Expanding opportunities for other Scripps Research investigators to break ground in new areas of science requires a bold approach that is quite difficult to fund before early data demonstrate feasibility. This fund will enable early work in new and promising areas amplified by cross-disciplinary collaboration.”
Submitted proposals will be reviewed by a Senior Advisory Board that includes Daniel and several scientific leaders at Scripps Research, including Patapoutian, Yu, Cravatt, neuroscientist Lisa Stowers and biochemist Travis Young. They will select the most promising projects to advance to the final round of review and funding.
“This fund will keep Scripps Research at the forefront of discovery, fueling breakthrough therapeutics,” says Stowers.
“That’s the point,” adds Daniel. “This is an opportunity for scientists and funders to propel truly innovative research with the potential to change lives.”