Prioritizing early-stage medical research that promises a sweeping, positive impact for humanity
Pushing Humanity Forward
The Karen Toffler Charitable Trust prioritizes medical research, projects, and initiatives that have the potential to heal, protect, and advance humanity in profound, high-impact ways. We strive to advance bold ideas and help to make a big impact by supporting areas of research others may overlook. We do that by filling in funding gaps and connecting early-stage researchers with a powerful and relevant network.
We accomplish this objective by offering meaningful annual grants and marshaling other scientists, researchers, and donors in support of new ways of thinking and problem-solving.
Funding for Early-Stage Research
Where others see risk, we see the potential for profound impact. As so often happens in medical science, young researchers lack the support necessary to compete with established labs. For most traditional funding organizations, early-stage projects are considered too risky. As a result, some of the most promising ideas stall.
The Karen Toffler Charitable Trust has built a future-focused framework that allows us to be a bridge from early-stage ideas to a stage of research where funding traditionally is more obtainable. We back our commitment to groundbreaking science with meaningful financial support. The impact is seen in the incredible work being done by individuals and organizations that might otherwise be unable to move their work forward.
RARE AND UNDERFUNDED CONDITIONS
The Tofflers were renowned for their dedication to humanity and their ability to bring together disparate ideas to form world-shaping discoveries. It’s in that spirit that the Karen Toffler Charitable Trust commits funds to little-known and micro areas of research that show promise for understanding and solving pressing and unexplained medical issues on a macro level. By supporting research for rare diseases such as Guillain-Barre syndrome or Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (ITP), as well as emerging infectious disease surveillance, we help to care for those who may be impacted now and create connections to the breakthroughs essential for the future health and security of humanity.
Current Karen Toffler Charitable Trust Priorities
Around the world, approximately 50 million people have been diagnosed with dementia, a group of brain disorders that cause memory, thinking, behavior, and coordination to deteriorate. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause. Every year, nearly 10 million new cases emerge. As the population ages, the numbers are projected to rise substantially.
Some models show that more than 150 million people could be categorized as having dementia by 2050¹.
The impact is profound, and not limited to diagnosed individuals and their families. The physical, psychological, social, and economic impacts of dementia are staggering. Direct care for dementia care is estimated to cost upwards of $1 trillion worldwide and is forecasted to double by 2030².
Through targeted grants, the Karen Toffler Trust is supporting groundbreaking research into the causes and treatments for these disorders. Together with our Toffler Scholars and other grant recipients, we are helping to shape a better future.
¹ World Health Organization Fact Sheets, “Dementia,”
² Alzheimer’s Disease International, “World Alzheimer Report 2018, The state of the art of dementia research: New frontiers,” https://www.alz.co.uk/research/WorldAlzheimerReport2018.pdf
Global Health Research
In 2006, in Revolutionary Wealth, Alvin Toffer observed, “Nations are largely unprotected against the cross-border transmission of diseases old and new, not to mention global pandemics. Public-health systems are underfunded.”
Our interconnected world is a marvel of modern society, but we must work together to mitigate the health risks of increasing connection. Global health research emphasizes transnational health issues, determinants, and solutions. The Karen Toffler Trust is supporting this vital work by focusing on infectious disease surveillance.
MERS, Ebola, Zika virus, and now COVID-19 are just some of the diseases pose a major global health threat to humanity. Early detection and identification of these activities are essential for the effective control of infectious disease outbreaks and subsequent spread of emerging or unexplained diseases.
“The future patterns of global power can only be glimpsed if, instead of looking at each major shift of power as an isolated event, we identify the common forces running through them.”
― Alvin Toffler, Powershift
See a Bigger Picture
Passion and promise fuel our work, the work of those we fund and support, and the people in their lives.
Your involvement will change humanity for the better.