Basic Medical Research


Our Basic Medical Research Program supports the fundamental laboratory and translational science that is essential to advancing society’s ability to understand and combat disease, treat traumatic injury and improve human health. Advances in areas such as genomics and stem cells have brought us to the precipice of major medical breakthroughs. Unfortunately, government and private funding that has traditionally financed such critical work is shrinking, making it even more challenging for innovative therapeutic discoveries to make the leap from the lab to the patients who need them most. Our program seeks to help fill that void by supporting scientists in their formative efforts to identify pathways and modes of disease and devise novel and effective approaches to the search for treatments and cures.

***Please note that the Basic Medical Research Program is actively winding down and we are no longer accepting proposals for new grants in this field.***


We support preeminent U.S. scientific institutions in innovative basic research projects that present a discernible path to translation in areas that can materially improve human health. Our grantees push the frontiers of decoding disease across a broad array of scientific disciplines, from molecular biology to genomics to stem cells to microbial research, among numerous other fields. The projects we fund seek to solve highly complex biomedical challenges and, as such, we often structure grants to create multidisciplinary collaborations across labs within and between research institutions.

Our Basic Medical Research Program has made a number of sizeable grants, reflecting our belief that transformative breakthroughs require substantial investment. And while we recognize that fundamental research is inherently a high-risk process, we work closely with our grantees to set meaningful targets and benchmarks, and together we ensure that the results produced can be shared and leveraged across the scientific community.  

Through this program, Helmsley also funds a range of other novel research initiatives and medical institutions in projects that range from the development of low-cost, plant-based vaccines, and pharmaceuticals to diagnostic tests for patients and innovative treatments for traumatic spinal cord injuries.