Grant program offers more than $3M to support sarcoidosis research
Ann Theodore Foundation, Milken Institute given $5.8M through program so far
“Varied perspectives and expertise are key to achieving progress in sarcoidosis research, which will then lead to better treatment,” Lisa Spalding, senior partner at The Philanthropic Initiative, speaking on behalf of the Ann Theodore Foundation, said in a press release. “We hope that by strengthening the research landscape with regular funding, we can attract and sustain the talent needed to make that progress.”
The grant program, called Ann Theodore Foundation Breakthrough Sarcoidosis Initiative (ATF-BSI), is expected to provide two years of funding for four to six research projects proposed by doctorate-level investigators at qualifying institutions around the world.
Grants to fund projects that could boost understanding of sarcoidosis
Sarcoidosis is a rare disorder that’s characterized by clumps of immune cells called granulomas, which can form in various organs of the body but usually affect the lungs in particular. These immune clumps cause inflammation and damage that can lead to symptoms like shortness of breath, fatigue, and problems with the eyes and nervous system.
Exactly what causes granulomas to form and what drives these clumps to inflict problematic organ damage remains poorly understood, but this grant program hopes to provide better insight.
According to the ATF-BSI’s request for proposals, the grants are intended to fund projects that seek to better understand the biological mechanisms driving sarcoidosis and its complications, clarify why sarcoidosis varies from person to person, and create new laboratory models and tools to study and monitor the disease.
Projects focused on organ systems outside the lungs and heart will be prioritized.
The grants are open to researchers from any relevant background, and applicants with no prior experience studying sarcoidosis are not required to have a sarcoidosis expert on their application to be considered.
Individual researchers are eligible for up to $460,000 in funding for two years, while interdisciplinary teams are eligible for up to $575,000 over two years. Some applicants may also be eligible for a third year of funding.
Application deadline Oct. 25
Applications will be accepted through Oct. 25, and winners will be notified in April.
An informal information session about the grant program is scheduled for next Wednesday, Oct. 4, at 3 p.m. ET, hosted on Zoom. Registration is required.
The ATF-BSI, launched in 2021 by the Ann Theodore Foundation in partnership with Milken Institute Philanthropy, is now in its third year, following successful funding of six projects in last year’s grant cycle. All told, this grant program has provided $5.8 million to support sarcoidosis research.
“Sarcoidosis is a small yet rapidly advancing field,” said Cara Altimus, PhD, senior director of Milken Institute Philanthropy. “With a dedicated, steady infusion of philanthropic capital, we have seen a community of researchers grow and collaborate in ways never seen before.”