What Makes the CLL Global Research Foundation Unique?

William Wierda MD, PhD
President & CEO, CLL Global Research Foundation
Executive Medical Director, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center

William Wierda, President and CEO, discusses the ways in which the CLL Global Research Foundation is different and how the organization’s collaborative spirit advances CLL research.


Dr. William Wierda:

There are a few things that make it different. One is that the research that’s supported is reviewed and vetted and discussed and supported through a scientific advisory board, which consists of experts in CLL who know the disease, who know what’s going on in the disease, and who have an appreciation of the areas of eminent need and what’s important and what we want to focus on. We do get a fair amount of donations from patients. So, there’s a vested interest in their support and the work that we’re doing.

The other thing is that the overhead or the indirect – the administrative costs for the organization are very low, so very few dollars go to supporting administration of the grants, etc. So, most of the donation money goes directly to the research, which that’s unique among even non-profit organizations, which have more administrative infrastructure and more bureaucracy.

We have one administrator who administrates for the organization, and that means that most of the funding can go to research, which is, I think, very important.

Again, I think, the tradition with the foundation has been one of collaboration and collegiality. When we come together for these alliance meetings that we have, I think there’s an openness and – there’s a shared interest in the disease. There’s an openness where investigators and researchers will share openly their data even before it’s published. That’s something that’s very unique, and you don’t see, this community. And so, that’s extremely important and of great value to investigators who work in CLL.

And then, again, the focused research on what are areas of unmet need is very important. And our outreach to patients is very important. So, I think we touched on the main topics and things that are very interesting and important to me with the foundation.

Related Posts