ICRF was founded over 40 years ago by a group of American physicians and scientists to provide funding for cancer research in Israel. Our mission is to further advance our understanding of cancer and facilitate discoveries that might lead to effective treatments. While the initial focus of our founders was to prevent the "brain drain" of talented and brilliant Israeli researchers leaving the country due to lack of financial support, their ultimate dream is still our dream today - that a cure for cancer will be discovered in Israel - and benefit all mankind.
Since 1975, ICRF has transferred over $60 million which has funded over 2,300 grants conducted by Israeli scientists at 24 different Israeli research labs. This accomplishment is a credit to the successful combination of generous donors, outstanding scientists, enthusiastic volunteers, and devoted staff - all are essential to the achievement of our mission.
Cancer scientists in Israel are invited to submit their grant proposals to ICRF which are then rigorously reviewed and graded by a scientific review board to ensure that the best and most promising grant proposals are identified. Each year, renowned scientists and highly esteemed oncologists gather in New York to review these scientific grant applications from Israeli scientists. And each year, there are more superb grant proposals worthy of funding than dollars available to support them.
And so our challenge is to raise as much money as possible through our nine chapters (7 in the U.S., 2 in Canada and 1 in Israel) to support the groundbreaking work of Israeli cancer scientists. By doing so we accomplish two worthy goals - first, contributing to top notch research aimed at discovering the keys to combating cancer and developing effective cures, and second, supporting Israel by helping to fund its best scientists.
Over the past decade, I had the privilege of participating in three scientific missions to Israel with ICRF supporters. At research labs across Israel we heard first hand from Israeli scientists about the advances they were making and the pressing need for more funds to support their research. These missions strengthened my personal connection to ICRF and inspired me to help elevate our brand and increase awareness of and support for the invaluable work done by cancer scientists in Israel.
I am proud and honored to assume the role of Chair of ICRF International. I hope to build on the achievements of my predecessors with the goal of funding as many outstanding Israeli scientists as possible in their quest to increase cancer understanding leading to effective treatments.
Rob Densen, our new President, and I would like to extend special thanks and great appreciation to Immediate Past President, Brad Goldhar, and Immediate Past Chair, Ken Goodman, for their exemplary leadership and many accomplishments on behalf of ICRF.
Thanks to those of you who have contributed to ICRF - you can be proud that you have become a valuable stakeholder in working towards a cure for cancer. For those who are new to ICRF, we look forward to engaging with you on our journey to support cancer research in Israel.