For over fifteen years, the Roche Organ Transplantation Research Foundation (ROTRF) has supported research in organ transplantation. During these years, the ROTRF has changed its funding priorities from primarily basic laboratory science to areas more centred on clinical issues. At the same time, the ROTRF has played an educational role and has pushed forward a number of initiatives that have helped shape today‘s organ transplantation research into a science that is more responsive to the real challenges of the clinic.

Over 270 investigators have received ROTRF support totalling more than 53 million Swiss francs (over 57 million US dollars) across the 15 years. Many studies have increased our knowledge and understanding of biological issues intrinsic to transplantation, from which patients are benefitting. These investigations have led to numerous articles published in peer-reviewed journals and to ROTRF grantees receiving important awards.

In 2013, the ROTRF selected ten projects* to receive ROTRF operating grants. The ROTRF has always distinguished itself by supporting novel ideas and innovative approaches, characterised by scientific excellence and relevance to important issues in transplantation, and by potential impact on clinical practice. The projects selected in this review cycle aim at identifying noninvasive biomarkers to evaluate graft function and monitor graft senescence after transplantation as a means to detect early rejection events and impaired organ function, and to prevent graft loss. Other investigations will attempt to identify molecular markers to assess organ quality at procurement to reduce risks of unsuccessful transplantation and increase organ utilisation. Further topics addressed include mechanisms of betalacept-resistant rejection in renal and liver transplantation, the effects of ischaemia-reperfusion damages and the risk of rejection in intestinal transplantation, and the factors influencing graft outcome in HCV/HIV-co-infected liver transplant patients. Finally, genetic factors and mechanisms leading to metabolic syndrome and weight gain after transplantation are also the subject of investigation.

None of this would have been possible without the generous gift from F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd, the unconditional commitment of the Trustees, the exceptional support of the Scientific Advisory Committee, ad hoc reviewers, and the grantees to which we wish to express our most sincere gratitude.

We also wish the newly awarded grantees of Cycles XXVIII every success in their investigations and are looking forward to hearing about the outcomes of their projects!

On behalf of the Board of Trustees

Philip F. Halloran, MD, PhD, OC
Chairman, ROTRF Board of Trustees

* At the time of updating this homepage, one grant award was still pending due to administrative reasons and is therfore not listed.