Canadian Microbiologist Looks to Crowdfunding to Aid New Cancer Therapy

Canadian microbiologist Elizabeth Bent has an idea that just might transform cancer therapy and she is looking for help by crowdfunding on RocketHub.

Elizabeth BentAbout five months ago, Bent came across an intriguing study showing that certain types of bacteria in the human gut can reduce the risk of diseases like lymphoma. She contacted the study’s lead researcher, UCLA’s Dr. Robert Schiestl, and proposed some follow-up studies that could ultimately lead to new, less toxic ways to treat cancer. He invited her to his lab in Los Angeles to collaborate.

Unfortunately due to widespread cutbacks to research funding, Schiestl can’t cover Bent’s travel, accommodation or living expenses. Until they’ve done preliminary studies to test Bent’s ideas, they don’t have the data they need to apply for grants. But without grants, they can’t do the preliminary research. “It’s a bit of a chicken and egg problem,” says Bent.

So Bent is turning to crowdfunding to raise the $20,000 she estimates she’ll need to complete the initial work. It’s an unusual way to fund scientific research, but Bent is inspired by Princeton pharmacologist Ethan Perlstein, who raised more than $25,000 in online donations to explore how amphetamines affect the brain.

Bent commented on her project stating;

“I really think I could be on to something and that it could be groundbreaking,”

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