Ladies and gentlemen, colleagues, friends, and esteemed donors,
Representing our entire research team, I am standing here humbled, and with profound gratitude to express our deepest thanks for your remarkable support of our research. Your belief in the power of biomedical science, your trust in my team, and your generous gift have played an indispensable role in advancing our SCN2A studies toward a transformative path of precision medicine.
I still vividly recall attending the 2nd SCN2A conference back in 2017, when I just started my independent lab. At that time, our resources were limited, and I was the only researcher in the entire lab. Over the past few years, our lab has grown significantly. In fact, now we have over a dozen researchers in the lab. And I am very proud to share with you that every single one of them is working on SCN2A disorders. This growth was certainly not possible without substantial support from private donors like yourself and federal agencies like NIH. But government funding does not come by easily. Countless proposals I wrote were not selected for funding, and I spent almost an entire year writing these grant proposals nonstop. Not to mention that even for a grant with a favorable score, it often takes about 8-12 months to receive funding after the grant submission. During that challenging time, we were immensely grateful to receive the Action Potential grant from the FamiliesSCN2A foundation. This grant provided us with the hope and means to sustain our operations and retain our talented researchers during that difficult time. And eventually, allowing us to obtain large NIH funding with a 200x return on investment.
Most recently, we are extremely privileged to receive the Hodgkin-Huxley Research Award from the FamilieSCN2A foundation, made possible by a significant gift from one dedicated family. With the support from this award, we aim to advance n=1 translational research — an endeavor that is rarely funded by NIH or pharmaceutical companies. This substantial Award from our esteemed donor family has empowered us to undertake high-risk high-reward projects, explore novel therapeutic strategies, and pioneer cutting-edge technologies that hold enormous promise of transforming lives. In fact, with all the generous support, our students, postdocs, and research scientists have generated a wealth of published and unpublished data over the past years, resulting in six posters at this conference. These posters stand as a testament to our commitment to combating SCN2A disorders day in and day out. I hope you got a chance to check them out yesterday.
As we express our heartfelt gratitude today, we want to assure you that your gift will continue to fuel our determination, and inspire our relentless pursuit of a cure for SCN2A disorders. We are committed to charting new courses, leaving no stone unturned in our quest to find effective therapies. Together, we are shaping a future where SCN2A disorders are conquered, and the promise of health and well-being is fulfilled for all of our children.
We will fight for you until that future arrives. Thank you!