2019 UMDF Research Grant Awards Presented at Mitchondrial Medicine: 2019
The United Mitochondrial Disease Foundation (UMDF) awarded two new research grants totaling $300,000 to three projects that will impact the diagnosis, treatment and clinical care of mitochondrial disease patients. The projects and their prize winners will be awarded at the UMDF’s Mitochondrial Medicine 2019 Symposium.
The UMDF Research Grant Program was established in 1996 at a time when no other organization existed to fund mitochondrial disease research. Today, UMDF is the largest, non-governmental funder of basic and translational research designed to bring the best science from the bench to bedside. All submitted research projects are peer reviewed by the top global scientific and medical experts in the mitochondrial research field. In conjunction with the UMDF Scientific and Medical Advisory Board and select external experts, awards are made.
UMDF’s 2019 Research Grant Awards
2019 Experienced Principal Investigator Prize – $200,000
Matthew Whiteman, Ph.D.
Professor of Experimental Therapeutics
University of Exeter
Dr. Whiteman was awarded the UMDF’s 2019 Experienced Principal Investigator Prize for his research project entitled “Can novel mitochondria-targeted hydrogen sulfide delivery molecules restore cellular bioenergetics in primary mitochondrial disease.” Dr. Whiteman extends his work over the past 5 years in other disease areas to primary mitochondrial disease using a well-established worm model of mitochondrial disease. This is a new approach in studying mitochondrial health and may lead to novel therapeutic opportunities to normalize, restore, and rescue loss of mitochondrial function and cellular energy.
2019 Early Stage Principal Investigator Prize – $100,000
Zarazuela Zolkipli Cunningham, MBChB, MRCP
Division of Human Genetics, Mitochondrial Medicine Frontier Program
Center for Mitochondrial and Epigenomic Medicine
Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP)
Dr. Cunningham’s award winning project is entitled ‘Defining the Natural History of Mitochondrial Myopathy’. Her project focuses on further exploring how the symptoms of individuals with skeletal muscle issues change over time and how best to measure those changes. Dr. Cunningham’s research will capture the severity of patient symptoms, disease progression, and treatment response, with the ultimate goal of identifying clinically-meaningful interventions.
The accelerators program funds innovative projects that move our community fast toward diagnosis, treatments and cures. From the submitted projects, 3 to 5 finalists will be selected by the UMDF Grant Review Committee. Those selected will present their projects, with accompanying slides, at ‘The Big Pitch’. The pitch will occur on during the opening session of the UMDF Symposium in Phoenix, Arizona in June 2020. Donors who are accelerators will have the opportunity to cast their vote for the project they feel the most passionate about, and ultimately see the difference their contribution makes. See more about the accelerators program here.
2020 Cycle of the UMDF Research Grant Program
Check back soon for details on dates for application
- Submission Process
- Applicants will be invited to directly submit a Full Proposal- there will not be a Letter of Intent round
- Applicants have 8 weeks to respond to the RFP
Peer Review, the hallmark of UMDF’s Research Grant Program for the past twenty years, will remain a critical component of the process. The UMDF Scientific and Medical Advisory Board in conjunction with select external experts will assist the Foundation in making award selections. In addition, a new post-peer review accelerators Program has been developed to involve the UMDF donor community in selecting the Postdoctoral Fellowship award (see below).
As per in previous cycles, all proposals will be created and submitted via our online portal. The RFP is immediately available on the FluidReview link and is attached here.
Roadmap Project focused on Leigh’s Syndrome
Listen to Beth Whitehouse, UMDF’s Director of Development, as she introduces exciting information on our multi-year, international collaboration focused on Leigh’s syndrome. Beth is joined by UMDF’s Science and Alliance Officer, Philip Yeske, PhD and Dr. Bruce Cohen, Leigh’s Syndrome Project Chair who will provide updates on the International Steering Committee and plans for funding mechanisms and projects focused on improved diagnosis, therapeutic development and optimized patient care.