Bridging the bed-bench gap :
contributions of the Markey Trust
Since the 1970s there has been a serious gap between fundamental biological research and its clinical application. In response to this gap the Lucille P. Markey Charitable Trust instituted the General Organizational Grants program, which funded two types of awards to provide training that would bridge the bed-bench gap. These training awards fell into two categories: (1) those that provided significant opportunities for M.D.s to engage in basic research during and immediately following medical school and residency, and (2) those that provided significant clinical exposure for Ph. D.s while they were predoctoral or postdoctoral students. These grants were intended to close the widening gap between rapid advances in our understanding of the biological process and the translation of that knowledge into techniques for preventing diseases. This report examines the General Organizational Grant programs, identifies best practices, and provides observations for future philanthropic funders.