Scleroderma Foundation More Than Doubles Research Funding to $2.7M

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by Mary Chapman |

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Scleroderma Foundation

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The Scleroderma Foundation is announcing that it has more than doubled its annual research funding, to $2.7 million, and increased the amount of its grant awards by $50,000, to $200,000.

To accommodate the change in funding opportunities — effective for the 2022 grant-funding cycle — the nonprofit organization has extended its grant proposal submission deadline from Sept. 15 to Sept. 30 this year.

All scientific research must be peer-reviewed, the foundation noted.

The funding hike includes specific proposal requests in the areas of pediatric scleroderma and scleroderma-related lung disease research. To aid children with the chronic connective tissue disease, some $500,000 in awards will go to new as well as established investigators. A $200,000 grant will be awarded to an established scientist who is conducting lung investigations.

Other suggested scleroderma research areas include vascular complications, animal model studies, therapeutic modalities, organ damage mechanisms, and immunologic studies. Researchers also can receive grants for tackling questions involving the biology of endothelial cells, which are those lining blood vessels, and fibroblasts — cells that make collagen, the main component of scar tissue. Models and markers of sex and genetic factors, cell signaling, epidemiology studies, and stem cell biology all are other research areas in which grants may be awarded.

In the area of health services research, grants also will be given for studies into factors that affect life quality and healthcare delivery.

“The visionary leadership of the Foundation’s National Board of Directors and the steadfast commitment of our donors makes this increase in funding possible, even in challenging economic times,” Robert J. Riggs, the organization’s CEO, said in a press release.

“The need to accelerate the pace of discovery in scleroderma research is urgent, and we are proud of our leadership role in advancing scientific discovery and doing so with the integrity of the peer review process,” Riggs said.

Grants for new investigators will likely be for three years, with two-year awards for established scientists. Researchers may only submit one application per grant review, and those who have received past foundation funding must wait a year after their grant’s end to reapply.

Go here for more information on application guidelines and details on the foundation’s research program.

All proposals will be reviewed by the foundation’s peer-review research committee, made up of medical and research experts from across the United States. Funding decisions will be based on scientific merit, the proposed area’s importance to scleroderma research, and fund availability.

The foundation’s announcement was timed to World Scleroderma Day, observed each June 29 to bring attention to scleroderma.

The Scleroderma Foundation provides emotional support and disease education while funding innovative scleroderma research.