Most people don’t think about the research or the people behind new drugs and therapies much less how difficult it is for scientists to find research funds. Funding is especially challenging for young scientists who pursue areas with limited funding like wound research.
Young scientists like Piul Rabbani, PhD are fascinated with the complicated nature of skin biology and wound healing and strive to find solutions for wounds that won’t heal. These chronic or non-healing wounds, ulcers, and sores, can stay open for months and years and pose a giant health risk to patients. Unfortunately, the numbers continue rising with an aging population and increase in diseases like diabetes. In the US, more than 6.5 million people have wounds that won’t heal and research funding is limited. The Wound Healing Foundation (WHF CFC#88674) brings together expertise from around the world to work towards understanding and finding solutions for chronic wounds.
Dr Rabbani from NYU Langone Health says “Receiving WHF funding in 2019 based on my scientific proposal has opened numerous avenues for my career and my research lab. This funding award came at a critical time in my career when I was in the process of establishing my lab and recruiting motivated researchers. We are now working on exciting and promising projects with US scientists, as well as international ones. The WHF funding has paved the path to other funding opportunities and has been instrumental in creating a sustainable research program. My team is composed of doctoral students and post-doctoral fellows, as well as driven and talented undergraduates and high school students from the inner-city neighborhoods of New York City. Our research laboratory is eager to take on the challenge of teasing out the intricate details of why wounds become chronic and find routes to push the wounds towards healing. Like myself, several of my lab members’ interest in this line of research comes from watching loved ones suffer from chronic wounds – radical changes in lifestyle, frustration with a non-healing wounds and repeat doctor visits, impact on mental health and overall quality of life. We know that we can combine our sociocultural experiences and scientific training to keep working on such an important healthcare issue. The solutions can only come from collaboration of ideas and knowledge, a concept at the heart of the WHF. Being a part of this innovative and dedicated community, particularly as a young scientist, is an honor.
The support from the WHF on this journey has been incredible. WHF draws scientists with very wide ranges of expertise, including physicians, nurses, biologists, chemists and engineers to name a few. Being part of a welcoming community with similar goals of improving lives of patients is wonderful. I have found collaborators, senior and peer mentors who actively support the growth of my scientific career. They are generous with sharing their experiences, offering advice and sincerely going the extra mile to boost young scientists like myself. The motivation and dedication of everyone at WHF is contagious and I share their enthusiasm of pursuing the most cutting-edge scientific discoveries to improve the quality of lives of patients and their caregivers.
If the funding, recognition and networking had not been provided when the WHF selected me, I would probably have postponed establishing a lab and sought work elsewhere, much less being able to populate a lab and work with young scientists and inner-city kids. This funding not only impacted me but my institution, my research team and our surrounding neighborhoods. When one of my post-doctoral fellows was selected this year as a young investigator winner in wound healing research, I realized that just one funding award continues to affect our future endeavors.”
Your support of young wound scientists like Piul Rabbani is greatly needed. Your donation to the Wound Healing Foundation (CFC#88674) will support young wound researchers but may also fund the discovery of a new wound treatment solution for a loved one.