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Dallas Morning News: $12 million gift could help Children’s Health take ‘big risks’ in research

Dr. Ralph DeBerardinis

Scientists in Dallas are hoping a $12 million gift from the Moody Foundation will help them take “big risks” with research and achieve big rewards in understanding pediatric diseases.

The Galveston-based philanthropic organization announced Tuesday that the Children’s Medical Center Research Institute at UT Southwestern is its latest recipient of a major financial contribution.

The award includes an immediate $5 million to create a new faculty scholar endowment and a pledge of $700,000 a year for at least a decade to support the institute’s research initiatives.

To scientists such as Dr. Ralph DeBerardinis, whose laboratory focuses on the link between metabolism and metastatic cancers, that means the ability to take riskier bets with research.

“A lot of creative ideas never end up being relevant to human disease. But if we don’t test those ideas, we will never have transformative findings,” explained DeBerardinis, who will be the first to hold the newly created title of Robert L. Moody Sr. Faculty Scholar.

It’s difficult to get grants to do that kind of research now, he said. “This money can fund the crucial, initial incubating stage of an idea that ultimately could become transformative.”

Continue reading at the Dallas Morning News.

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