Alport Syndrome Foundation and Partners Call for Research Proposals

Margarida Azevedo, MSc avatar

by Margarida Azevedo, MSc |

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Alport research grants

The Alport Syndrome Foundation, Pedersen Family and Kidney Foundation of Canada are calling for research proposals for 2018.

Their funding program is for studies with the potential to improve patients’ kidney failure and hearing loss. Priority will be given to projects that target pathways in the disease’s progression or  that explore the use of drugs already approved for other conditions to treat AS.

Two projects will be eligible for up to $100,000 for one or two years. Winners will be notified in June.

Applications can come from any country. Applicants must first describe their project in a letter. Scientists whose projects are deemed to have the most merit will be asked to submit a full proposal of 10-15 pages for further assessment.

You can find an application schedule and guidelines here. The deadline for submitting a letter is Feb. 9, 2018.

Last year, the partners awarded $100,000 to Alessia Fornoni and Constantinos Deltas.

Fornoni’s grant enabled her to continue working on a 15-month project dealing with Alport’s injury pathway. The goal was to see if the cholesterol drug ezetimibe could prevent the progression of kidney disease by preventing kidney cells form absorbing cholesterol and fatty acid. Her project was titled “Targeting podocyte lipotoxicity in Alport syndrome.”

Deltas’ grant helped him continue working on an 18-month study of a mutation that leads to abnormal folding of the type IV collagen protein associated with Alport syndrome.

It also allowed him to continue evaluating whether two chaperone medicines can help the collagen protein reach the kidney basement membrane intact, improving long-term kidney function. Chaperone drugs help misfolded proteins fold correctly. Deltas’ project was titled “Repurposing of FDA approved chemical chaperones to the rescue of a mouse model of Alport syndrome.”

“Our vision is to conquer Alport syndrome by preventing kidney failure and hearing loss in all patients,” Sharon Lagas, the president of the Alport Syndrome Foundation board, said in a 2017 press release when Fornoni and Deltas were named winners.

The partners have awarded more than $2 million to researchers at such various institutions as Washington University in St. Louis, Australia’s University of Melbourne, and Germany’s University Medical Centre Göttingen. The funding program has also supported the University of Minnesota’s ASTOR patient registry.


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