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The Marfan Foundation Awards $750,000 in Research Grants

The Marfan Foundation is awarding $750,000 for its 2018 research grants on Marfan syndrome and related conditions. The Foundation announced that it is supporting two fellowship awards, three faculty grants, and two grants for clinical research.

The funded projects are seeking better understanding and treatments for several aspect of Marfan syndrome (sleep apnea, pregnancy, eye issues, cardiovascular issues), as well as vascular Ehlers Danlos, a condition that is related to Marfan. In addition, a study on neonatal Marfan syndrome is being funded.

“We are pleased by the variety of grants we were able to fund this year as they address many different aspects of Marfan and related conditions,” said Dr. Josephine Grima, chief science officer, The Marfan Foundation. “We are also gratified to fund four proposals from first-time applicants and award grants to researchers ranging from early investigators to seasoned experts. This bodes well for the future of scientific exploration in genetic aortic conditions.”

This brings the Foundation’s 2018 research funding to $1.5 million. In addition to the newly awarded research grants, the Foundation provided another $750,000 this year in research support for the Aortic Valve Sparing Operative Outcomes Study, the establishment of the Marfan and Related Conditions International Patient Registry with Backpack Health, as well as funding for 15 researchers who were awarded multi-year grants in the past two years.

Here are the studies that were awarded 2018 research grants from The Marfan Foundation.

2018 Faculty Grants

Steven Bassnett, PhD, Washington University, $100,000 2-year grant. Modeling Ocular Aspects of Marfan Syndrome in Mice Hal Dietz, MD, Johns Hopkins University, $100,000 2-year grant.Identification of Major Genetic Modifiers of Aortic Dissection in Vascular Ehlers Danlos J. Geoffrey Pickering, MD, PhD, Robarts Research Institute, $100,000 2-year grant.Assessment of Aortic Wall Vulnerability in Syndromic Thoracic Aortic Disease by Innovative Magnetic Resonance Imaging 

2018 Victor McKusick FellowshipsMudiaga Sowho, MD, MPH, Johns Hopkins University, $150,000 2-year Victor McKusick FellowshipHemodynamic Response to Upper Airway Obstruction in Marfan Syndrome Yue Xuan, PhD, University of California, San Francisco: Elaine Tseng, MD, Mentor – $100,000 2-year Victor McKusick FellowshipImproved Rupture Risk Assessment of Ascending Thoracic Aortic Aneurysms: Influence of Marfan Syndrome on Aneurysm Biomechanics 

2018 Clinical Grants

Dianna Milewicz, MD, PhD, UTHealth McGovern Medical School, $100,000 2-year Clinical Grant. Asprosin’s Role in the Appetite and Progeroid Appearance of Marfan Lipodystrophy Syndrome and Neonatal Marfan Syndrome Patients

Melissa Russo, MD, Women & Infants Hospital of Rhode Island, $100,000 2-year Clinical Grant. Pregnancy and other Reproductive Outcomes in Women with Genetic-Predisposition for Aortic Dissection

For more details on these projects, please visit our website.

To support research and progress on Marfan and related conditions, please donate here

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The Marfan Foundation is a nonprofit organization that saves lives and improves the quality of life of individuals with genetic aortic and vascular conditions including Marfan, Loeys-Dietz, and Vascular Ehlers-Danlos syndromes. Our vision is a world in which everyone with genetic aortic and vascular conditions can live their best life.

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