Funding Cycle XII of the Roche Organ Transplantation Research Foundation (ROTRF) started with the submission of the Letters of Intent up to 1 April 2004. In this cycle, ten new investigators have been awarded a grant, and the ROTRF wishes them success in pursuing their research objectives.

The funding provided by the ROTRF continues to support the research of scientists working in the area of organ transplantation in many parts of the world. The reports included in this and previous Biannual Reports, the high-quality papers published in peer-reviewed journals, and the presentations of the scientists at international meetings are the proof of the excellent work carried out by the investigators.

With the launch at the end of 2004 of a new initiative to fund more clinical research projects in transplantation, the ROTRF awards now two types of grants: conventional research grants and clinical research grants. This new clinical initiative aims to support research projects using human clinical material and patients, addressing new issues in organ preservation, human transplant pathology and other human transplant problems, and which promise to have a significant impact in the clinical setting in the near future. The response of investigators to this initiative has been particularly positive, with about 40% of the total number of Letters of Intent submitted in Cycle XIII being applications for clinical research grants.

For the first time, the ROTRF will be present at the American Transplant Congress in Seattle not only with its traditional booth but also with a Mini-Symposium on 24 May 2005. The Symposium, chaired by ROTRF Trustees Prof. Andrew Bradley and Prof. Allan Kirk, will give the opportunity to four ROTRF grantees to present the results achieved during their ROTRF-funded research.

We would like to thank F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd for its uninterrupted support of the Foundation. In addition, the ROTRF activities would never have taken place without the competent and enthusiastic commitment and input of the ROTRF Board of Trustees, the ROTRF Scientific Advisory Committee, and the very talented ROTRF grantees.

On behalf of the Board of Trustees

Philip F. Halloran, MD, PhD