Great opportunities exist where great need meets great ability. When Al Thrasher endowed the gift that became the Thrasher Research Fund, he did so with the hope that it would connect innovative minds with the resources they needed to find solutions to children’s health problems. Al himself was an inventor, whose own experience taught him that “you never know where the next great idea is going to come from.” He wanted the Fund to resist the temptation to become too narrow; true to this vision, we remain open to good ideas from many disciplines that can improve children’s health.
It is an inescapable fact that each baby born into this world will face some health problems as they go through childhood. For the lucky ones, these will be transitory and mild. Far too many others will face severe problems that are chronic, debilitating or fatal. Yet we see children facing these challenges with an optimism and courage that inspires us to do our very best to find and implement solutions to the health problems facing our planet’s most precious and vulnerable population.
I am encouraged to see the tremendous progress the world has made in reducing the burden of childhood illness. This effort has involved contributions from countless segments of society. Members of the Thrasher Research Fund community are proud to be part of this exciting progress, yet we remain humbled by the great challenges that still need solutions.
Al's vision of a healthier world for all children is made possible by the dedicated work of many Committee members, scientists, reviewers, mentors and tireless research staff throughout the world. We express our appreciation to the Thrasher family for their continued support, and together look forward to accelerated progress towards a healthier world for children.
R. Justin Brown, MPH