In alignment with the June 29 commemoration of World Scleroderma Day, the Scleroderma Foundation announced it has increased its peer-reviewed scientific research funding to $2.723m USD each year. In addition, the group is increasing the amount of its individual awards to $200,000.
The changes are effective for the upcoming 2022 grant funding cycle, with a proposal submission deadline extended from September 15 to September 30. The increase includes specific requests for proposals covering two key areas
- scleroderma-related lung disease research
- pediatric scleroderma
According to the foundation, a specific, donor-funded grant of $200,000 is expected to be awarded to an established investigator conducting scleroderma-related lung disease research. Pediatric-scleroderma research is earmarked for up to $500,000 in awards and is open to submissions from new and established investigators.
Robert Riggs, CEO of the Scleroderma Foundation, said the group’s efforts to fund research, even in the face of economic hardship, is essential to pursue treatment of the rare disease.
“The need to accelerate the pace of discovery in scleroderma research is urgent," Riggs commented. “We are proud of our leadership role in advancing scientific discovery and doing so with the integrity of the peer-review process."
The group’s Peer-Review Research Committee is made up of medical and research experts from across the US. According to the Scleroderma Foundation, the committee utilizes the same merit-based scoring system as the one used by the National Institutes of Health.
Scleroderma is a rare disease that impacts the human body’s connective tissue as well as the vascular system. Typically considered an autoimmune rheumatic disease, the disease causes an overproduction of collagen, or fibrosis, that hardens tissue and damages organs. Commonly affecting the skin, scleroderma also affects internal organs; to date, researchers do not know the cause, and currently there are no approved treatments or cures.