Wednesday, August 20, 2014

The impact of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge on research funding

If you have been living on a deserted island, you may have missed the hundreds of videos of all of your friends and relatives - and even Steve O - taking the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.

According to this comprehensive article written by a Professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine, the challenge has raised over $13 million for ALS research.  At its peak in 2010, NIH was spending $59 million per year on ALS research.  In light of the flat NIH budget in recent years, that funding amount has been decreased by 32%.  Creative fundraisers such as the ice bucket challenge are not only great for spreading awareness, but also an innovative way to engage the public in funding vital next steps in research.  My only hope, however, is that people who are pouring buckets of ice water over their heads in an excuse to post bathing suit pictures of themselves on social media are also making a donation to the ALS Association or another worthy charity. 

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