The project itself is fairly obvious and Fikes describes it as the "low hanging fruit" of stem cell therapies: generate dopamine producing cells from a patient's own induced pluripotent stem cells and reintroduce them to the patient. The fundraising hopes to get around one big obstacle:
In essence, they're eliminating the granting agency and acting more like a private foundation, except here the foundation is being run by and for the founders and is pitching a very unique opportunity. They've identified a worthy line of research, they've assembled a team capable of delivering on the project, and they've lined up a cohort of willing research participants to top it all off. Recruiting participants can be an entire standalone part of the project, and they've already done it.Because the technology is so new, getting government grants hasn’t been possible, say scientists on the project. So the eight patients and their supporters are raising the money to finance the research themselves, under the name of Summit4StemCell, operating under the nonprofit aegis of the Parkinson’s Association of San Diego.
Now all they need is money to grease the wheels and get moving.