Funding Cycles XXIII and XXIV – Letters of Intent Submission in October 2009 and April 2010

Since the last annual report, the Roche Organ Transplantation Research Foundation (ROTRF) has had the pleasure of awarding over 2.7 million Swiss francs research funding to 17 Investigators. In keeping with the ROTRF’s decision to shift the emphasis of the Foundation towards clinical research in organ transplantation, all awards in Cycles XXIII and XXIV support clinically orientated research projects.

Letters of Intent (LOIs) were received from 114 and 83 prospective applicants for funding in the two 2010 review cycles, XXIII and XXIV, respectively. Applications for Cycle XXIII were received from all over the world up until the 1st October 2009 deadline. North American teams submitted 42.1% of all LOIs (USA 36.0%, and Canada 6.1%). European proposals accounted for 45.6%: mostly from UK (8.8%), German (7.9%), Italian and French research groups (4.4% each). Australasian research teams accounted for 11.4% of Cycle XXIII applications and South American groups 0.9%.

The geographical distribution of ROTRF Cycle XXIV submissions, received up until the 1st April 2010 LOI deadline, was similar. Most of the applications were received from North America (50.6%): USA (43.4%) and Canada (7.2%). European research teams accounted for 42.2% of applications; for the most part from the UK (12.1%) and Switzerland (7.2%). Italy, The Netherlands and France each submitted 4.8% of LOIs, and Germany 3.6%. Of the remaining applications received, Australasia accounted for 4.8%, and Asia and Africa 1.2% each.

Based on the Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC) review, the Board of Trustees invited 24 applicants to submit Full Paper Applications (FPAs) in Cycle XXIII and 20 in Cycle XXIV; of these, 8 applications were awarded grants in Cycle XXIII (April 2010) and 9 during Cycle XXIV (October 2010).

The research funded in these two cycles of ROTRF awards focuses on clinical aspects of organ transplantation, including organ preservation, assessment and repair, e.g. evaluation of long-term function of kidney allografts, lipid analysis for donor-liver evaluation; post-transplant lymphoproliferative disease; identification of rejection biomarkers; factors influencing allograft survival and post-transplant morbidities, e.g. BK viral infection or HCV recurrence post-transplantation. Abstracts of all funded projects are available on the ROTRF homepage.