Funding Cycles XXV and XXVI – Letters of Intent Submission in October 2010 and
April 2011

In 2011, the Roche Organ Transplantation Research Foundation (ROTRF) had the pleasure of awarding 3.8 million Swiss francs to 17 investigators. The focus in these cycles, as in the previous two since the announcement of the new 5-year plan, was on clinical research, and all grants awarded support clinically orientated research projects.

For Cycle XXV, the ROTRF received 103 eligible Letters of Intent (LOIs) up to the submission deadline (1st October 2010) from prospective applicants around the world. North American teams submitted 51.5% of all LOIs (USA 45.6%, and Canada 5.8%). European proposals accounted for 36.9%: mostly from UK, Switzerland and the Netherlands (6.8% each) and French and German researches accounted for 3.9% each. 9.7% of the total applications received were submitted from investigators from Australasia. One LOI was received from Africa (Egypt) and one from South America (Argentina) (<1% each).

In Cycle XXVI applications were accepted until up the 1st April 2011 LOI deadline. The ROTRF received 147 eligible Letters of Intent (LOIs). Most of the applications were received from North America (59.2%): USA (53.1%) and Canada (6.1%). European research teams accounted for 32.6% of applications; for the most part from the UK (8.2%), The Netherlands and France (4.8% each), and Italy (4.1%). Germany, Switzerland and Belgium each submitted 2.7% of LOIs. Of the remaining applications received, Australasia accounted for 4.8%, Asia for 2.0% and Africa 1.4%.

Based on the Scientific Advisory Committee review, the Board of Trustees invited 21 applicants in Cycle XXV and 24 applicants in Cycle XXVI to submit Full Paper Applications (FPAs), of which 8, respectively 9 received the award.

The research funded in Cycle XXV focuses on clinical issues affecting organ transplantation patients, including the role cytokines in graft rejection; identification of lung allografts at risk of rejection; viral kinetics after transplantation; specificity and mechanism of B cell graft rejection; predictors of EB virus -associated PTLD, novel hepatitis C virus therapy, and cardiovascular risk in children and young adults after renal transplantation. Applicants awarded a grant in Cycle XXVI will address questions such as recurrence of malignancies after liver transplantation and molecular assessments of transplanted livers, novel reperfusion methods in lung transplantation, clinical outcome of HIV-positive patients transplanted with kidneys from HIV-positive donors, immune response against viruses and effects of immunosuppressive regimens on allo- and viral-specific immunity in transplant patients, role of memory T cells in immune rejection, and cross-reactivity of allogeneic T cells.