Dr. Pedram Gerami, Department of Dermatology (Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine)
Dr. Pedram Gerami, Department of Dermatology (Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine)

A little bit of money can go very far, especially when addressing medical research.

At the IDP Foundation, Inc. we have championed medical research by supporting research scientists at Northwestern University since the formation of the foundation in 2008. We have accomplished this by developing two categories of grants to support innovation in medical research: 1) The IDP Foundation Research Scientists Grants and 2) The IDP Foundation Research Innovation Challenge Grants.

IDP Foundation Research Scientists Grants

The IDP Foundation Research Scientists Fund was established in 2008 to advance some of the most promising research being conducted at Northwestern Memorial Hospital and its affiliated centers, including the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and The Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University.

The scientists who receive our support represent of a variety of departments and fields, including Cancer, Neurological Sciences, Cardiology, Opthalmology and Gastroenterolgy and other valued areas of medical research. These premier investigators are dedicated to advancing medical knowledge through pioneering research. The IDP Foundation Research Scientists Grants are a catalytic component to the continued success of the medical researchers.

Here are a few of the many esteemed IDPF Research Scientists.


Dr. Mark Agulnik

Dr. Mark Agulnik

Department of Hematology and Oncology

The IDPF grant to Dr. Agulnik enables him to focus on efforts to develop innovative clinical trials for sarcoma, including investigating additional research questions and recruiting collaborators at other institutions.

Dr. Darren M. Brenner

Dr. Darren M. Brenner

Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology

The IDP Foundation has provided the opportunity to share the vision to establish the Northwestern Neurogastroenterology Program and to fund strategic priorities that will launch the program on a positive trajectory.

 Dr. James Surmeier

Dr. James Surmeier

Department of Physiology

IDPF's grant to Dr. Surmeier and his team has supported the training of postdoctoral researchers focusing on unraveling the mechanisms that are driving Parkinson's disease and identifying strategies that slow its progression.

Dr. Surendra Basti & <br> Dr. Nicholas Volpe Dr. Surendra Basti & <br> Dr. Nicholas Volpe

Dr. Surendra Basti &
Dr. Nicholas Volpe

Department of Ophthalmology

With the IDP Foundation’s support, the Department of Ophthalmology has established the IDP Foundation Fellowship in Ophthalmology Fund, with a one-year funded research fellowship (beginning in 2019) working under Dr. Basti with Dr. Volpe as the Department Chair.

IDPF's commitment has allowed this fund to be established in perpetuity and will encourage other donors to add their support in the future.

Dr. James D. Thomas

Dr. James D. Thomas

Department of Cardiology

Dr. Thomas and his team have used the IDPF grant to support the Heart Valve Disease Research Program. Most recently, Dr. Thomas's team established the IDP Foundation Image Processing Laboratory that has become crucial in performing important cardiovascular research.

Dr. Pedram Gerami

Dr. Pedram Gerami

Department of Dermatology

IDPF has provided support to Dr. Gerami for the advancement of research in pediatric melanoma. Dr. Gerami is an international leader in molecular diagnostics and his research group has been involved in the development and implementation of molecular tests that have become integrated in the standard of care for difficult to diagnose melanocytic tumors.


IDP Foundation Research Innovation Challenge Grants

Designed to encourage a spirit of collaboration, the IDP Foundation, Inc. created a five year program called the IDP Foundation Research Innovation Challenge Grants at Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Center of Northwestern University.

Beginning in 2014, this commitment provided “seed” grants to Lurie Cancer Center scientists and clinicians to address novel questions and explore new ideas.

Each year, the Lurie Cancer Center committee requests proposals from faculty members that are pursuing innovative, team-driven, cancer research projects that are translational in nature, cross-disciplinary, and collaborative. The committee decides which research scientists will receive the grants based on a competitive process.

The IDPF Research Innovation Challenge Fund led to a supplemental grant from the Sherman Fairchild Foundation, ensuring that the Lurie Cancer Center will continue its good work even after our five year committment is complete.


Dr. Leonidas C. Platanias

Dr. Leonidas C. Platanias

Director – Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center

Dr. Platanias heads the Lurie Cancer Center committee that administers the proposals for the IDPF Research Innovation Challenge Grants while also serving as the Director of the Lurie Cancer Center.

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