Advancing our Shared Mission

The Foundation for the National Institutes of Health (FNIH) supports the mission of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) – making important discoveries that improve health and save lives. 

As an independent third-party chartered by Congress, the FNIH can manage relationships among diverse partners – government agencies, private industry, not-for-profit organizations and academic institutions – giving them the structures they need to organize themselves around a common goal. This helps us catalyze scientific innovation and generate data and results that benefit everyone. 

There is no better example of the FNIH’s nimble, flexible and responsive approach to partnerships than the Accelerating COVID-19 Therapeutic Interventions and Vaccines (ACTIV), the public-private partnership formed to address the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic. The ACTIV partnership includes eight federal agencies, 20 pharmaceutical companies and four not-for-profit organizations. The FNIH provides critical management of this effort, including coordinating the treatment clinical trials.

To learn more or to Donate to the FNIH Pandemic Response Fund to help tackle COVID-19 and prepare for future pandemics.  

For NIH staff: How NIH can request support from the FNIH NIH staff and contractors who would like to request the FNIH’s assistance in security resources or managing a program or special event should contact the NIH Office of Science Policy (OSP) within the Office of the Director, NIH, which serves as a central clearinghouse for engaging the FNIH. The Office of the Director’s NIH-FNIH Steering Committee reviews all such requests on behalf of the NIH and those that receive the Committee’s approval are forwarded to the FNIH. The FNIH then undertakes a due diligence process including an assessment of the project’s interest to potential donors. The FNIH’s Board of Directors through its Portfolio Oversight Committee is ultimately responsible for authorizing new NIH-FNIH collaborations.

To begin the process, NIH representatives should contact Dr. Tyrone Spady, Director, Science Policy Coordination, Collaboration, and Reporting Division. For events, please review the NIH Food Policy for NIH-FNIH Partnerships before submitting an inquiry.

Convening the Best 

Big biomedical challenges can only be solved through collaborative effort. The FNIH excels at building alliances that harness the diverse capabilities of partners across public and private sectors to solve problems that no partner could solve alone. 

For example, the Biomarkers Consortium (BC) is a public-private partnership to discover, develop and seek regulatory approval for biological markers (biomarkers) to support new drug development, preventive medicine and medical diagnostics. Formed in 2006, the BC now has 60 members and continues to grow. 

The BC has developed and implemented biomarker projects in cancer, metabolic disorders, neuroscience and inflammation and immunity, several of which have led to the submission of biomarker qualification plans to the Food and Drug Administration. FDA-qualified biomarkers enable clinical researchers to design more efficient clinical trials, which will ultimately lead to faster approvals of new drugs in areas of high unmet need. 

To learn more about the Biomarkers Consortium, contact advancement@fnih.org. Corporations, foundations and not-for-profit organizations interested in becoming members of the Consortium should contact development@fnih.org.

Another example is the GeneConvene Global Collaborative. Launched in 2020 and building on 15 years of FNIH scientific leadership in the area, this education, training and knowledge platform develops recommendations and guidance that support the responsible conduct of research and development of genetic biocontrol technologies. Through the FNIH, GeneConvene recently led the development of consensus recommendations for testing gene drive technology for malaria control, bringing together diverse stakeholders to agree on ways to move this important research forward safely and ethically. 

To learn more about the GeneConvene Global Collaborative, contact development@fnih.org.

Improving Lives 

Biomedical research is a long game, and the impact of today’s research may not be felt until decades later. To address immediate needs, the FNIH helps patients through key programs funded by generous donors. 

The Edmond J. Safra Family Lodge (Family Lodge) offers a home-like place of respite for families and loved ones of patients who are receiving clinical treatment at the NIH Clinical Center, the nation’s premier clinical research hospital. The Family Lodge provides accommodations to adult patients and their families at no cost to them. From 2005 to October 2018, the Family Lodge hosted approximately 140,000 guests from all 50 states and around the world. 

The FNIH raised more than $10.7 million from more than 1,000 donors to construct and, since 2005, to support special programs at the Family Lodge. Gifts from donors help the FNIH provide grab-and-go breakfasts, special meals for patients and families during the holidays and support for building renovations over time. 

To learn more about the Family Lodge or to make a donation, contact advancement@fnih.org.

The FNIH and Friends of Patients at the NIH collaborate in the Partnership for Patients, to support patients and their families while they receive treatment at the NIH Clinical Center. Friends of Patients helps financially strapped patients with immediate needs like local housing, while the FNIH secures resources for the Clinical Center and the Family Lodge. For example, through its NIH In-Kind Drugs Program, the FNIH secures gifts of drugs that are standard supportive care for patients at the Clinical Center, freeing up much needed NIH resources to support new and cutting edge research. 

Acting on Opportunity

The recently created Futures Fund is designed to give the FNIH some flexibility to take advantage of opportunities to advance biomedical research as they arise. In this way, the FNIH will have the ability to explore promising opportunities with a feasibility study before investing more funding and effort into high-risk, high-impact projects. 

We are proud to support the FNIH Futures Fund, allowing the FNIH to more nimbly respond to new challenges and ensuring its ability to continue creating a healthier future for all of us.” -- Dr. Steven and Jann Paul

Join us to act on opportunity. To learn more, contact advancement @fnih.org