The unmet need for philanthropic funding of early career cardiovascular investigators.
Philanthropic donations have funded scientific investigations of cardiovascular disease for much of human history, and the patrons who enabled them are indirectly responsible for major breakthroughs in the field. Today, however, the lion's share of funding for cardiovascular research in Western countries comes from the government, professional agencies, and industry. Rapid budget cuts at these traditional sources of financial support are having a devastating impact on the cardiovascular research infrastructure by slashing funding for investigators. A particularly unfortunate consequence is the discouraging effect this is having on early career investigators, who are the life-blood of future breakthroughs in the field, leading to the potential loss of an entire generation of researchers. Here, we summarize the challenges faced by emerging cardiovascular investigators, make a case for the unmet need for appropriately targeted philanthropic support for cardiovascular research, and provide a roadmap for solving the funding shortfall for these investigators.
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