Funding Cycle XIII – Letters of Intent Submission in October 2004

The Roche Organ Transplantation Research Foundation (ROTRF) is very pleased to announce that grants have been awarded to conventional and clinical research applications for the first time in funding cycle XIII.

Two million Swiss francs (CHF) were allocated to ten research projects, seven to conventional research and three to clinical research applications. The Board of Trustees and the Scientific Advisory Committee of the ROTRF were once again very pleased with the high quality and innovation demonstrated in the applications received.

The awarded grants will support research that aims to advance the science of solid organ transplantation, thereby improving the care of thousands of patients undergoing transplantation every year. The results of the funded research projects will contribute to the understanding of clinical and scientific aspects of transplantation, such as processes involved in chronic rejection, immune suppression and tolerance induction. The research supported by the ROTRF will also focus on the identification and validation of early molecular prognostic markers for the onset of chronic allograft nephropathy, aspects related to xenotransplantation, characterisation of islets with the final goal being to overcome organ shortage, and protection of islets from rejection.

The ROTRF received 108 letters of intent in funding cycle XIII up to the submission deadline (October 2004), from scientists around the world. Of the applications, 41.7% were received from Europe, the major countries being Germany (10.2%), UK (8.3%), and France (4.6%), and the same number of applications was received from North America, United States (38%) and Canada (3.7%). Australia/New Zealand (7.4%), South America (4.6%), Asia (3.7%) and Africa (<1%) accounted for the remaining 16.6% of the applications. Based on the reviews of the Scientific Advisory Committee, the Board of Trustees invited the 22 top-ranked applicants to prepare full paper applications. After thorough review of the full paper applications, grants were awarded to 10 projects.

The abstracts of these newly awarded grants are published in the first pages of this Biannual Report and on the ROTRF homepage. The funded projects focus on the induction of tolerance, mechanisms of long-term graft survival, organ rejection, and identification of donor organ characteristics required for optimal organ function and survival after transplantation.