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Our Approach

At BCRF, we fund people, not just their projects. This means that we seek out the best minds in science and medicine to help us unravel the complexities of cancer, and then we provide them with the funding and freedom to pursue their greatest ideas.

When Evelyn Lauder and Dr. Larry Norton founded BCRF in 1993, they realized the irrefutable power of research. They also recognized what was needed to gain real ground in the fight against breast cancer—the freedom and security for researchers to thrive and innovate. Their approach was simple: identify those people with the most promising ideas, then give them the money and flexibility to pursue them.

Our Scientific Advisory Board (SAB), comprised of leading experts in breast cancer research, plays a pivotal role in informing and steering the direction of our grantmaking. Members of the SAB represent the spectrum of breast cancer research from laboratory science to clinical oncology, making the advising body well equipped to strategically guide each donated dollar to have the greatest impact on patient lives. The SAB invites proposals from pioneering scientists and clinical investigators who have made or are positioned to make critical headway in cancer research. After careful vetting of invited proposals, the SAB makes its funding recommendation to the BCRF Board of Directors, who then vote to approve the awards. Grants are generally awarded for one year, but may be invited for renewal pending satisfactory progress, and continued need and fit within BCRF’s overall research portfolio.

“The key to the success of the BCRF model is that it encourages innovation, non-competitive collaboration, unrestricted information sharing and an over-all attitude of goal-directed collective inquiry. We emphasize flexibility, cooperation and intellectual risk-taking. The results have been remarkable not only in achievements but also in spirit. And spirit drives progress as much as intelligence, knowledge and dedication.”- Dr. Larry Norton, Founding Scientific Director.

What makes our approach unique is that it enables our researchers to think big, follow promising leads and break new ground. We encourage them to partner with fellow researchers around the world and quickly move their ideas from the lab to the patient. Our goal is not only to make new discoveries and invent new methods to address all aspects of breast cancer, but also to do it in record time. Our reward is in lives saved.