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The Marfan Foundation Announces Updated Research Grant Program to Facilitate Transformational Science

The Marfan Foundation, which has funded 158 in research grants and initiatives since 1989, is proud to announce it has updated its research grant program to have a more significant impact on scientific advances to improve the lives of people with Marfan, Loeys-Dietz, VEDS, and other genetic aortic and vascular conditions. The new grants are designed to encourage and support transformational science.

“Research funding from the Foundation has provided critical seed money to established scientists and has successfully enhanced the pipeline of young researchers who are interested in genetic aortic and vascular conditions,” said Craig Basson, MD, Chair of the Foundation’s Scientific Advisory Board. “We are now at a crucial juncture where we can more strategically focus on transformational science and aim for cures for these conditions. The new research grants are designed to promote longer, multi-disciplinary, multi-institutional collaborative grants that will help us reach these goals.”

New Award is the Foundation’s Largest

The highlight of the Foundation’s new Research Grant Program is the establishment of the Everest Award,  a single grant of $200,000 per year for four years (a total of $800,000), based on a yearly milestone review. This large, multi-institutional transformational grant is designed to “reach the summit” on a critical path to a breakthrough in basic or translational science that has direct relevance to human health. It must include an institutionally funded graduate student or fellow. The Foundation also encourages the engagement of multi-disciplinary investigators or a pharmaceutical company. 

The renamed faculty award, a two-year $100,000 grant ($50,000 per year) is now known as the Innovators Award. It is intended for faculty members to explore an innovative concept in translational science that has applicability to improving human health. Examples include fundamental research, diagnostic tests, biomarkers, biomedical engineering advances, and imaging advances. The Foundation is especially interested in the collection of data for improved evidenced based medical guidance.

The Foundation continues to give opportunities to early investigators through its Career Development Award, a two-year $100,000 grant ($50,000 per year). This grant is designed to support investigators early in their career to derive preliminary data in a key concept area that has high potential to lead to extended funding from the National Institutes of Health, European Union, or other large research funding sources.

The Victor McKusick Fellowship, established in 2006, remains as a $150,000 award for an MD and $100,000 for a PhD over two years. It is designed to support postdoctoral fellows embarking on a scientific career in biomedical research related to Marfan syndrome or any of the genetic aortic or vascular conditions that are within the Foundation’s scope of interest. This award has the expectation of an institutional match, with half of the funding coming from the Foundation and half from the sponsoring institution.

About the Foundation’s Research Grant Program

The Marfan Foundation’s Research Grant Program is designed to provide financial support for investigators studying any or all disciplines involved in Marfan syndrome, VEDS, EDS, LDS, and other genetic aortic and vascular conditions. Grant awards are based on proposal evaluation by The Marfan Foundation Scientific Advisory Board with the approval of the Board of Directors.

More details on the new program and to learn more about past research recipients are available on our website. Inquiries from researchers should be directed to Josephine Grima, PhD, Chief Science Officer, The Marfan Foundation.

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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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