Spinal cord injury (SCI) is one of the most devastating and life changing injuries a person can sustain, according to the World Health Organisation. It can happen to anyone, at any age, at any time, and there are no meaningful therapies for those with spinal cord injury.
At best, it fundamentally impacts quality of life, with a $5 million average lifetime cost of care, and premature death is inevitable. At worst, in the developing world, people die within 3 years of injury.
At the Mark Pollock Trust, we believe we can cure spinal cord injury in our lifetime. To do it we are disrupting the current academic research model and catalysing collaborations that have never been done before.
How can we cure spinal cord injury in our lifetime?
Currently, leading scientists spend a tiny fraction of their time – less than 20% – focusing directly on core research activities. That means that over 80% of their time is spent writing grants to secure funding to keep their lab afloat, teaching, supervising, administration duties, reviewing other scientists’ articles; and traveling to conferences.
The Mark Pollock Trust disrupts the academic system, removing these time-wasting factors from scientists’ work weeks. Therefore, our support will expand the time focused on their research, bringing therapies to the clinic and the people who need them.
It is broadly accepted that the cure for SCI will be a cocktail of scientific and technological interventions created across multiple disciplines and institutions. Yet, no dedicated support structure exists for these groups to convene and collaborate. Taking a strategic view of the field, we can fix this and exponentially improve the way in which research is done worldwide.
The Mark Pollock Trust works to systematically support our partners to forge connections and break through silos across disciplines and institutions. As well as expanding time for them to invest in their own research, they will have more time to create and strengthen their networks, catalysing collaborations across disciplines around the world.
Mark Pollock Trust vision
Up to this point in history it has proven to be impossible to find a cure for spinal cord injury. But we believe we can change that if enough of the right people have the will to make it happen.
So, it is the Mark Pollock Trust’s mission to find and connect those people worldwide to fast track a cure for spinal cord injury.
To fund our ongoing academic programme we are raising $ 2 million to build a hub of experts to support scientists working in this field to expand the time they spend in the lab, and collaborate across disciplines around the world.