Funding Cycles XVII and XVIII – Letters of Intent Submission in October 2006 and April 2007

The Roche Organ Transplantation Research Foundation (ROTRF) is very pleased to announce that in Cycles XVII and XVIII grants have been awarded to fifteen conventional and six clinical research applications, including three conventional grants and one clinical grant for the joint ROTRF/JDRF grant award competition. In Cycle XVII, 2.2 million Swiss francs (CHF) were allocated to ten research projects, whereas in Cycle XVIII, 2.24 million CHF were distributed to eleven projects. The quality of the applications received once more delighted the Board of Trustees and the Scientific Advisory Committee of the ROTRF.

The research funded in both cycles focuses on the understanding of clinical and scientific aspects of organ and islet transplantation, such as processes involved in the induction of tolerance, chronic rejection, aspects of viral infections relevant to transplant outcome, relationship between controlling the immune response and the development of skin cancer, analysis of Extended Criteria Donor (ECD) tissues, immune response to human pancreatic progenitor cells, and identification of markers predictive of graft survival.

The ROTRF received 88 Letters of Intent in Cycle XVII up to the submission deadline (1 October 2006) from scientists around the world. Of the applications, 37.5% were received from Europe, the major countries being UK (12.5%) and France (5.68%). Majority of the applications were received from North America (54.54%): United States (47.73%) and Canada (6.81%). Australia/New Zealand (3.41%), Asia (2.27%), South America and Africa (each > 1.13%) accounted for the remaining 7.96% of the applications. Based on the reviews of the Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC), the Board of Trustees invited 27 applicants to prepare Full Paper Applications. After a thorough review of the 26 Full Paper Applications received, grants were awarded to 10 research projects, including 2 from the ROTRF/JDRF Joint Initiative.

In Cycle XVIII, 158 Letters of Intent were received up to the submission deadline (1 April 2007). Applications from Europe accounted for 47.48% and those from North America for 39.87% of all applications received. The European submissions were received mainly from the UK (8.23%), Germany (8.23%) and Switzerland (7.58%). Applications from the US and Canada accounted for 34.81% and 5.06% of applications, respectively. The remaining applications were received from Australia/New Zealand (6.33%), Asia (5.06%) and South America (1.27%). Following review from the SAC, the Board of Trustees invited 22 applicants to prepare Full Paper Applications and grants were awarded to 11 research projects, including 2 from the ROTRF/JDRF Joint Initiative.

The abstracts of these newly awarded grants (Cycles XVII and XVIII) are published in the first pages of the Annual Report 2007 and on the ROTRF homepage.