Department of Defense Announces 13 New Lupus Research Program Awardees
UPDATE: On June 1, the Department of Defense released funding opportunities for fiscal year 2020 through their Lupus Research Program.
Earlier today, the Department of Defense (DOD) announced the awarding of nearly $5 million to 13 innovative research projects through its Lupus Research Program.
The latest round of awardees represents the third round of grants the DOD has offered through their Lupus Research Program, which was established in 2017 in response to advocacy efforts led by the Lupus Foundation of America and its advocates.
The Department of Defense has committed more than $46 million to lupus research, including $25 million through the Lupus Research Program.
The research funded by the DOD is advancing the field and will lead to breakthroughs in identifying the causes of lupus, accelerating diagnosis, and developing new medicines to prevent and treat the disease.
Newly Funded Research Programs
In 2019, the Lupus Research Program offered two funding award mechanisms – Concept Awards and Impact Awards. Concept Awards support the exploration of highly innovative new concepts or untested theories that address important issues in lupus. Impact Awards encourage applications that support the full spectrum of research projects or ideas that specifically focus on scientific and clinical lupus issues, which, if successfully addressed, have the potential to make a major impact in lupus research.
As in 2017 and 2018, the response to the DOD’s call for applications for the Lupus Research Program was overwhelming. After releasing a call for applications in April of 2019, DOD received 115 high-quality applications that were then subjected to a multi-layer peer-review process.
In total, 13 applications will receive funding – 7 Concept Awards and 6 Impact Awards.
|Dorin-Bogdan Borza||Meharry Medical College, Nashville||Concept Award|
|Victoria Werth||Philadelphia Research and Education Foundation||Concept Award|
|Chongmin Huan||State University of New York, Downstate Medical||Concept Award|
|Maureen McMahon||University of California, Los Angeles||Concept Award|
|John Bowden||University of Florida||Concept Award|
|Jillian Richmond||University of Massachusetts Medical School||Concept Award|
|Jeffrey Hodgin||University of Michigan||Concept Award|
|Betty Diamond||Feinstein Institute for Medical Research||Impact Award|
|Alessandra Pernis||Hospital for Special Surgery||Impact Award|
|Rosalind Ramsey-Goldman||Northwestern University||Impact Award|
|Andrea Knight||The Hospital for Sick Children||Impact Award|
|Jonathan Himmelfarb||University of Washington||Impact Award|
|Carl Langefeld||Wake Forest University Health Sciences||Impact Award|
In addition to advocating for funding, the Lupus Foundation of America is represented on the Lupus Research Program’s programmatic panel, which sets the direction for the Program and helps to make funding decisions. In addition, several people living with lupus, nominated by the Foundation, serve as consumer reviewers for the Lupus Research Program, bringing their vital perspectives to the review of the research applications.
The Future of the Lupus Research Program
With the latest round of awardees, the Lupus Research Program at the Department of Defense has now funded 38 innovative lupus research programs, and that number is expected to grow significantly in coming years thanks to the strength, passion, and dedication of lupus advocates.
Year after year, lupus advocates tell the lupus story to their members of Congress and urge them to support lupus research and education programs, including the Lupus Research Program.
Last year, lupus advocates successfully urged Congress to double funding for the Lupus Research Program to $10 million, which will be awarded in early 2021.
The increased funding has enabled the DOD to restructure their award mechanisms for fiscal year 2020, offering larger grants through the Impact Award and replacing the Concept Award with the Idea Award, focusing on innovative research “that could lead to a critical discovery or major advancement.” Most excitingly, DOD has adding the Transformative Vision Award, which will provide up to $2.5 million to projects supporting research “that will have near-term impacts on the health-related quality of life of patients of all ages and those with disproportionate health burdens.”
Without the passion, commitment, and determination of lupus advocates, none of this would have been possible. To be a part of the next success story, sign up as an advocate.