Created in 2014, the Robertson Therapeutic Development Fund is a $25 million initiative designed to help develop basic research discoveries into new medical therapies. It was established at Rockefeller by noted investment manager Julian Robertson and his family through the Robertson Foundation. Mr. Robertson, chairman and chief executive officer of Tiger Management, has been a member of the university’s Board of Trustees since 2001.
The fund is an important complement to the Tri-Institutional Therapeutics Discovery Institute (TDI), a joint venture with Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and Weill Cornell Medical College designed to link academic researchers with partners in the pharmaceutical sector. The Robertson Fund supports projects in the early and late stages of the drug development process that are not covered by TDI. In this way, the fund helps to bridge critical gaps in drug discovery, ensuring that a range of promising findings made in the university’s labs have the best chance of becoming new medicines.
Two types of awards have been established through the RTDF. The first type of award is for proof-of-concept projects aimed at identifying and validating potential therapeutic targets and diagnostics. Funding is also available for advanced projects. All Rockefeller research faculty, Clinical Scholars and postdoctoral researchers are eligible for the awards. Requests are reviewed by an independent committee of experts drawn from the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and life sciences investment industries, and awards are distributed according to a schedule based upon the successful completion of agreed-upon milestones.
A Request for Proposals (RFP) happens twice a year, with application deadlines in December and June. For further information regarding the Robertson Therapeutic Development Fund, contact Bruce Conway.