When you peruse the medicine aisle or picking up your prescription, have you considered how it got there? The countless hours of research and the trial and error of finding a cure or relief from symptoms? If you said no, you are not alone. Without laboratories, we would not have the medical breakthroughs we have had over the last 50 years. Here is more information on how those labs come to be and create those breakthroughs!
The Birth of a Lab
Before a lab can begin testing medicines out for male cancer patients, they have to begin with a business plan. Business plans often include:
- An executive summary – where your lab is, how you want it to grow, and why it will be successful
- A company description – provides the nature of your business and what need you will fulfill. You will also mention who your target market is
- A market analysis – illustrates your industry and market knowledge as well as research findings
- Organization & Management – explains the organizational structure, describes ownership, profiles of the management team, and the qualifications of your board of directors
- A service or product line – description of product or service with the benefits of potential and current customers
- A funding request – includes your current funding request, the funding request for the next 5 years, how funds will be used, and any future financial strategic plans.
Once the business structure is formed and funding received, we move into the stage of buying space for the lab and conducting research. But it’s still not that simple, there is more to do!
Funding the Lab
The business plan makes it sound easy, make the request and someone will fund you. But who funds the labs? Often it is through government grants, granting agencies, private foundations, and universities. Depending on what it is you are researching will depend on who will support your lab. If you are researching cures for glaucoma, you will more likely do well with a university or private foundation to get the funding. But if you are doing research on the effects of chemical warfare, the government will be the backbone of your lab.
Collaborating is Where it’s At
University researchers collaborating with a major laboratory is a huge benefit to all involved. Government funding requires the use of all the money as allocated, if the laboratory has not needed to use some of that funding then a university researcher can solve that problem. Meanwhile, the university researcher may not have the access to such equipment within the university. Thus, it allows for everyone to benefit and broaden the chance for success.
Additionally, laboratory staff have the pleasure of watching university researchers work for the sheer curiosity rather than being mission-driven. Sometimes having the ability to collaborate helps the laboratory staff be more motivated rather than mission-driven. Which ends up being a win-win for so many of us!
Laboratories just don’t appear out of the sky. The next time you grab a bottle of acetaminophen or a cough syrup, remember that it took years of research and testing to get you that product to relieve you of your symptoms. Without it, you would have to suffer through a headache or cough through the night. Just imagine what laboratories will discover now and in the future!