Sarah Ford | October 26, 2015

The Life-saving Impact of Biomedical Research

FNIHAdvances in biomedical research are critical to fighting disease, and lengthening and improving quality of life.  But today’s health challenges are too complex to be solved by any single organization – government, business, academia, not-for-profit organizations, patient advocates – working in isolation. That’s where the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health (FNIH) comes in.

“Partnerships between public and private sectors are powerful mechanisms to tackle questions that cannot be resolved by a single entity. This is particularly true in the biomedical field where the dizzying rate of innovation and awe-inspiring discoveries can be translated into new therapies, diagnostics and prevention strategies that have a direct impact on the wellbeing of people everywhere and of every age. The Foundation for the National Institutes of Health is uniquely positioned to create and manage such partnerships – with a proven record of success and the trust of all our collaborators and partners, we can make great things happen,” says Dr. Maria Freire, FNIH President and Executive Director, FNIH.

In this post from our Shape the Future Blog Series, FNIH shares how their work is helping advance the future of biomedical research.

Making Multi-Partner Projects Succeed

The Foundation for the National Institutes of Health (FNIH) connects with leaders in all of these sectors, which allows them to catalyze unique collaborations.  The FNIH has created management and funding models that make multi-partner projects succeed.  To fit the project needs, these alliances vary in size and scale, successfully generating and implementing new research models that can lower costs and accelerate the pace of biomedical research in the United States and across the world.

Advancing biomedical research can save lives by generating key information that helps diagnose, prevent and cure disease and disability.  Indeed, it is because of such advances that we now understand that many treatments can be tailored to the needs and genetic make-up of an individual – so called “precision medicine”.  Since its inception, the FNIH has worked closely with scientists, physicians and regulators in projects that have generated new ideas, overcome obstacles and achieved groundbreaking research results that could ultimately lead to new medicines, vaccines and diagnostics, including some for uses in precision medicine.  The current FNIH portfolio has more than 120 projects, which range from $1,000 patient-care initiatives, to training a new generation of scientists, to multi-million-dollar global research programs and clinical trials in areas such as heart and lung disease, cancer, brain research, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, arthritis, among others. The potential for life-saving impact on patients is enormous and demonstrates why funding for medical research must be, and must remain, a national priority.

Sufficient Funding is Imperative for Achieving the Next Great Discoveries for Health

Without sufficient funding for biomedical research and regulatory infrastructure, we cannot find the answers to basic biological questions that lead to new treatments and potential cures that halt or slow the diseases that afflict us today.  As a society, if we are to continue progress in revolutionizing our ability to conquer diseases and disability, investing in biomedical research and bringing multiple partners together nimbly and proactively is imperative. It is also clear that we must ensure that we have a robust pipeline of scientists and physicians to support this critical enterprise. Without this talent, we cannot hope to have the next great discoveries for health.

That’s where corporate partnerships and programs like workplace giving campaigns play an integral role. Workplace giving generates over $4 billion annually – much of which is unrestricted, sustainable support.  Since its inception, the FNIH has raised more than $800 million in support of over 500 programs that benefit biomedical research and the mission of the National Institutes of Health. Support from employers and their employees through workplace giving programs empower FNIH and its partners to overcome obstacles and achieve groundbreaking research results, which will ultimately help save lives.


In this PBS video, Dr. Maria Freire discusses the future of biomedical research.

Join America’s Charities, now through December, as we highlight different nonprofits and share how individuals and companies can Shape the Future of various causes through workplace giving programs.  

Our thanks to FNIH for sharing their mission and impact with us.  You can learn more about their work by visiting their website at To support their efforts, please donate to the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health (FNIH) through your company’s workplace giving program (CFC #29165 if you’re a Federal employee participating in the Combined Federal Campaign). 

If your company would like to start a workplace giving program to support nonprofits like FNIH, click here

Shape the Future Through Workplace Giving


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