When good health is no longer good enough.

Imagine your children and grandchildren living in a world in which chronic disease and traumatic injuries can be fully cured, a world in which their susceptibility to degenerative conditions like Alzheimer’s and heart disease will have been removed before they are even born.

Imagine your own degenerative conditions being routinely cured, leaving you — in your seventies, eighties, nineties, and beyond — skiing and mountain-biking with your spouse, your children, and your grandchildren.

Sounds like science fiction, but it’s science fact that we can:

  • Regenerate organs and other body parts damaged by disease or injury.
  • Cure existing conditions and prevent future conditions, by correcting genetic mistakes.
  • Make drugs that will work for you and you alone.
  • End the distressing use of animals in medical, drug, and cosmetics research.
  • Slow the aging process.

With your help, and the revolutionary work of the scientists at our affiliated biomedical institutions at Wayne State University, the Detroit Medical Center, and Henry Ford Health System, this promising future can be here sooner than you think — for you, your children, and your grandchildren.

DIREF provides programs in research, surgical education, and the future of healthcare.


  • Seed grants to nourish a promising idea.
  • Bridge grants over the “valley of death” between public sector financing and private sector funding of technologies with commercial promise.

Projects you could help advance with your gift include:

  • Rapid Influenza Detection System to provide portable, accurate diagnosis of flue (and strain-type) in less than 30 minutes.
  • Helmet-Integrated Sensor to measure force of blows to the brain and the state of hydration of the wearer; and a blood test to identify mild traumatic brain injury in sports players.
  • Retinal and Cortical Chip Implants to restore sight to the blind.
  • Cardiac Pump that uses a unique geometry and pumping mechanism to assist patients with congestive heart failure and other cardiac abnormalities, without causing thrombosis.
  • Shadow Hand that attaches to a surgeon’s fingertips to give a sense of touch during robotic surgery.
  • Device to regulate blood flow to a transplanted liver lobe, allowing the use of living donor small lobe transplant instead of deceased donor livers, which are in short supply.


DIREF fosters international research into surgical oncology through:

  • A Detroit Fellowship that provides stipends to five Indian physicians to undertake advanced studies in oncology at the Karmanos Cancer Institute.
  • Participation in international conferences in India, the Middle East, and Brazil.

The Future of Healthcare: A HealthQuake

DIREF hosts an annual by-invitation-only Summit of 30 delegates from around the nation to review the current and future state of healthcare in the context of the convergence of medicine and technology

We need you to be bolder and dream bigger than the corporations and government agencies that have traditionally funded biomedical research.

Help us turn health into superhealth. Invest in a better future for you, your children, and generations to come.

We welcome gifts of any size, either to cover general operating and capital expenses, or to support a specific program or research project, or both. DIREF is an independent 501(c)(3) non-profit institution, therefore your gift will be tax deductible.

Please contact:

David Ellis, DIREF Executive Director


DIREF Case Statement