Connective Issues Winter 2019

reSeArCH & progreSS

2018 Research Grants Seven grants awarded totaling $750,000 The Marfan Foundation awarded $750,000 for its 2018 research grants on Marfan syndrome and related conditions. This included two fellowship awards, three faculty grants, and two grants for clinical research. The funded projects are seeking better understanding and treatments for several aspects of Marfan syndrome (sleep apnea, pregnancy, eye issues, cardiovascular issues), as well as vascular ehlers danlos, a condition that is related to Marfan. in addition, a study on neonatal Marfan syndrome is being funded. “we are pleased by the variety of grants we were able to fund this year as they address many different aspects of Marfan and related conditions,” said dr. Josephine grima, chief science officer, The Marfan Foundation. “we are also gratified to fund four proposals from first-time applicants and award grants to researchers ranging from fellows to seasoned experts. This bodes well for the future of scientific exploration in genetic aortic conditions.” in addition to the newly awarded research grants, the Foundation provided another $750,000 this year in research support for the Aortic Valve Sparing operative outcomes Study, the establishment of the Marfan and related disorders international patient registry with backpack Health, as well as funding for 15 researchers who were awarded multi-year grants in the past two years. This brings the Foundation’s 2018 research funding to $1.5 million.

2018 Faculty Grants • Steven bassnett, phd washington university $100,000 2-year grant Modeling ocular Aspects of Marfan syndrome in Mice • Hal dietz, Md Johns Hopkins university $100,000 2-year grant identification of Major Genetic Modifiers of Aortic Dissection in vascular ehlers Danlos • J. geoffrey pickering, Md, phd robarts research institute $100,000 2-year grant Assessment of Aortic Wall vulnerability in syndromic thoracic Aortic Disease by innovative Magnetic Resonance imaging Johns Hopkins university $150,000 2-year fellowship Hemodynamic Response to upper Airway obstruction in Marfan syndrome • yue xuan, phd university of California, San Francisco $100,000 2-year fellowship improved Rupture Risk Assessment of Ascending thoracic Aortic Aneurysms: influence of Marfan syndrome on Aneurysm Biomechanics 2018 Victor McKusick Fellowships • Mudiaga Sowho, Md, MpH

2018 Clinical Grants • dianna Milewicz, Md, phd uTHealth Mcgovern Medical School $100,000 2-year grant

Asprosin’s Role in the Appetite and Progeroid Appearance of Marfan Lipodystrophy syndrome and neonatal Marfan syndrome Patients • Melissa russo, Md women & infants Hospital of rhode island $100,000 2-year grant Pregnancy and other Reproductive outcomes in Women with Genetic Predisposition for Aortic Dissection

geoFFrey piCKering, Md, phd

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