Connective Issues - Winter 2020

2019 RESEARCH GRANTS In October, the Foundation’s annual research grants were announced. The Foundation awarded $775,000 to eight physicians/scientists, bringing the total amount of currently funded projects to $1.5 million. Among the 2019 grants are two fellowship grants, one early investigator grant, two clinical research grants, and three faculty grants.

The projects being funded this year address issues that affect people with Marfan syndrome, thoracic aneurysm syndrome, and hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos syndrome. They are in the areas of exercise, lung function, gastrointestinal issues, and cardiovascular disease. “The grants we funded this year reflect the Foundation’s commitment to advancing the understanding of issues that affect the quality of life of people with not only Marfan, but also related conditions. This is a continuing trend from last year, when we funded a study on Vascular Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, as well as one on neonatal Marfan syndrome,” said Josephine Grima, PhD, the Foundation’s chief science officer. “The high quality of proposals we received from early investigators to seasoned veterans gives us great hope for the future of scientific discovery that will inform the diagnosis and treatment of genetic aortic conditions. We are gratified that our research grant program is having this impact.” 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 Marfan and Related Conditions International Patient Registry with Backpack Health, as well as funding for 13 researchers who were awarded multi-year grants in the past two years. For more details about this year's grants, visit: .

2019 RESEARCH GRANTS 2019 Victor McKusick Fellowship Grants

• Aline Verstraeten, PhD – University of Antwerp, $100,000 2-year grant • Abhijnan Chattopadhyay, PhD – University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, $100,000 2-year grant

Early Investigator Grant • Benjamin Landis, MD – Indiana University, $75,000 2-year grant

q Health fair eye exam at the 2019 Annual Conference.

Faculty Grants • Enid Neptune, MD – Johns Hopkins University, $100,000 2-year grant • Dieter Reinhardt, PhD – McGill University, $100,000 2-year grant • Irani Kaikobad, MD – University of Iowa, $100,000 2-year grant Clinical Research Grants • Joanne DiFrancisco-Donoghue, PhD, RCEP – New York Institute of Technology, $100,000 2-year grant • Shaine Morris, MD, MPH – Baylor

College of Medicine and Texas Children's Hospital, $100,000 2-year grant


Winter 2020

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