Innovation attracts new research funding

02/10/04

Roche Organ Transplantation Research Foundation awards 11 new grants to support transplant research

11th February 2004, Basel, Switzerland – Roche Organ Transplantation Research Foundation (ROTRF) today announced eleven new grants to help fund research in solid organ transplantation at centres around the world. Of these eleven grants, seven have been allocated to research projects in Canada/the USA, three in EU countries and one in Australia. Grants awarded by ROTRF are allocated to research projects, which aim to improve the outcome of people receiving organ transplants.

Grant award winner Dr Dengler , Medical University Clinic of Heidelberg, Germany, says: "Organisations such as ROTRF make a major difference to the transplant research community. I am delighted that my peers and I have obtained a grant to expand transplant research into new unexplored areas. All of the projects receiving a grant serve a common goal –to save and improve the lives of transplant patients."

The latest grants awarded by ROTRF total 2 million Swiss francs [€ 1.28 million]. This will largely be funding research relating to the understanding of the body's 'rejection response' , including the role of white blood cells and inflammation. These latest research grants follow previous award-winning projects where research focused on the need to further understand the processes underlying chronic and acute organ rejection and to improve long-term organ survival.

Max Bucher, Head of Hospital Specialty Products, Roche, says: "Roche is committed to the innovative research directed by the ROTRF. Our support of the Foundation aims to advance the knowledge within the transplant community which will ultimately help more people with solid organ transplants live a longer and healthier life."

Transplantation is today a lifesaving option for many people facing organ failure. Worldwide, around 50,000 organs are transplanted each year with kidney or kidney/pancreas transplants representing 50-60% of all procedures. Advances in transplant surgery have developed hand-in-hand with the evolution of immunosuppressive regimens, which are increasingly able to prevent organ rejection. Thanks to therapeutic advances, today, the risk of acute organ rejection following transplantation can be as low as 10%.

About ROTRF

Roche Organ Transplantation Research Foundation is a registered medical research charity whose mission is to advance the science of organ transplantation by supporting research programmes through operating grants directly allocated to research projects. Those eligible for operating grants are established members of academic staff in universities, transplant centres and research institutes.

The funding of the foundation consists of donations from Roche , with an initial sum of 25 million Swiss Francs over the first five years and renewal donations of 15 and 10 million Swiss Francs for the following five years (a total of 50 million Swiss Francs over 10 years). The funds are distributed as grants of up to 300,000 Swiss Francs over three years.

The next deadline for research grant submission is 1st April 2004. For further information about ROTRF and additional details about grant submissions, please visit http://www.ROTRF.org

Winners of the latest ROTRF grants

For its latest grant review, which was conducted between April and December 2003, ROTRF received 82 applications from scientists around the world. Almost half of the applications came from Europe (45%), the major countries being UK (17%), Germany (10%), France (3%), while 50% came from the United States (43%) and Canada (7%). Australia, New Zealand and South Africa accounted for the remaining 5% of the applications. Dr. Thomas J. Dengler, Medizinische Universitätsklinik, Heidelberg, Germany
Dr. Geoffrey R. Hill, The Queensland Institute of Medical Research, Herston, Australia
Dr. Sheri M. Krams, Stanford University, Stanford, USA
Dr. Fadi G. Lakkis, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, USA
Dr. Alain Le Moine, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Brussels, Belgium
Dr. Andrew D. Luster, Institution Massachusetts General Hospital, Charlestown, USA
Dr. Anette Melk, University of Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany
Prof. Jacques-P. Tremblay, CHUL Research Center, Sainte-Foy, Canada
Dr. Jiangping Wu, Notre-Dame Hospital, University of Montreal, Montreal, Canada
Dr. Yong-Guang Yang, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, USA
Dr. Nicholas Zavazava, University of Iowa Health Care, Iowa City, USA

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