Our Impact


Embracing high-risk ideas that have high-impact potential

Supporting Breakthroughs

In Dementia and Infectious Disease Research

For more than 10 years, the Karen Toffler Charitable Trust has been a partner and source of support for medical research institutions and individuals working to solve humanity’s greatest needs with cutting-edge and emerging ideas. By focusing on providing funding and a network for future-focused approaches often considered too early and high-risk for traditional channels, we are driving forward not only meaningful solutions but the community of those who have the potential to create them for years to come.

We accomplish this urgent and audacious commitment through two strategic areas of focus: Toffler Grants and the Toffler Scholar program.




Toffler Scholar &
Leadership Awards


Funding Given

The Toffler Scholar Program

Perhaps more than anything else we do at the Karen Toffler Charitable Trust, the Toffler Scholar program reflects the future-focused legacy of our founders, Alvin and Heidi Toffler. It is expressly dedicated to filling a support gap for promising young medical researchers, physicians, and scientists who are at a pivotal point in their careers. With funding and a vital, relevant network, recipients have the resources they need to continue their groundbreaking work and develop into experienced professionals.

Toffler Scholars are selected for their keen intellect, innovative thinking, meticulous planning, and demonstrated passion for their work. Through working on disparate projects across multiple areas, every Toffler Scholar is united in his or her goal to advance medical research and bring high-impact changes to all humanity.

Toffler Scholar Spotlight

Enabling AI Diagnosis

Dr. Zhang Zhe is studying the production and degradation of dipeptide repeat proteins (DPRs), whose accumulation is known to be toxic to neurons. More specifically, she is working to better understand the basic mechanisms of repeat RNA metabolism, which she hopes will provide important insight on potential biomarker and therapeutic strategy development. Through her work, Dr. Zhe hopes to establish a platform that scientists can use to find genetic modifiers that can improve cell survival. Once these genetic modifiers are identified and validated, they could become potential therapeutic targets. Scientists might be able to manipulate those genes to prevent cell death, slowing the progression of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) and other neurodegenerative diseases.

"It is better to err on the side of daring than the side of caution."

- Alvin Toffler, Future Shock

Toffler Grant Program

Through strategic annual grants, the Toffler Grant program supports medical research organizations that have demonstrated high-impact potential and a need for financial and network support. For those who challenge conventional thinking in the effort to create a healthier future, the Toffler Grant program is a path to the next stage of research, discovery, and impact.

Toffler Grant Spotlight

Transforming the Treatment of Superbugs

Antibiotics have revolutionized healthcare, saving lives for nearly a century. Unfortunately, superbugs that are resistant to most or all strains of antibiotics are becoming more common.

One new treatment option is bacteriophage (“phage”) therapy. Phage are viruses that have evolved to hunt down and kill specific bacteria without harming the patient. In addition to leading clinical trials of phage therapy, IPATH is safely using phage therapy to treat people with life-threatening, multi-drug resistant bacterial infections through the FDA’s compassionate use program. We are bringing this innovative therapy – at no cost – to those with serious multi-drug resistant bacterial infections associated with cystic fibrosis, complicated urinary tract infections, organ transplantation and implantable hardware.

Our Funding Moves Projects Forward

Our Toffler Scholars and Grant recipients have made important advances and breakthroughs that promise a better future for humanity. Learn more about what our funding has supported over the years

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.