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Research Grants

We support research that will improve the lives of patients with myasthenia gravis and related neuromuscular junction disorders. The committee has identified five broad research priorities:

  • Biomarkers: facilitate early diagnosis, predict clinical outcomes and immunosuppressive therapy response and utilize in clinical trials
  • Disease Mechanisms: understand basic mechanisms and self-tolerance loss throughout course of disease
  • Targeted Therapies: develop new therapeutic targets, prevent widespread immunosuppression and off-target side effects, optimize treatment strategies with existing therapies 
  • Patient Outcomes: understand the full impact of disease on daily living and patient treatment priorities, understand collateral effects of disease; related medical conditions, side effects and financial impact
  • Pediatric Treatment: identify strategies, safety concerns, and long-term outcomes

The Research Agenda intends to guide researchers towards areas of importance to our Medical and Scientific Advisory Board. However, please do note that we will accept proposals outside of this scope to support promising science and innovation in the field of MG.

 

 

Grant Programs Summary

We support research that will improve the lives of patients with myasthenia gravis and related neuromuscular junction disorders. We have identified five broad research priorities: 1) Biomarkers; 2) Disease Mechanisms; 3) Targeted Therapies; 4) Patient Outcomes; and 5) Pediatric Treatment

 

To see our complete Research Agenda, please see here.

 

Grant Funding Areas

  • High-Impact Pilot Project Awards: pilot studies leading to new federal, pharmaceutical or private foundation supported investigations
  • Transformative Research Awards: focused, innovative investigations that are highly likely to produce fundamental alterations in understanding myasthenia gravis
  • Targeted Research and Special Projects Awards: further greater understanding of MG and its impact on quality of life
  • Awards to Engage and Support Young Investigators and Clinicians: recognize the importance of good clinical research and encourage young investigators’ involvement in clinical studies

 

The above priorities are intended to guide researchers towards areas of importance to our Medical and Scientific Advisory Board. However, please do note that we will accept proposals outside of this scope to support promising science and innovation in the field of MG.

 

Grant Opportunities & How to Apply

  • High-Impact Pilot Projects on Myasthenia Gravis and Related Neuromuscular Junction Disorders:We request submission of proposals to support pilot studies that are highly focused and innovative, with a clear plan that will lead to new federal, pharmaceutical or private foundation supported investigations.

    Letters of Intent (LOI) for this funding opportunity were due April 19, 2019. If you have been invited to submit a full proposal, full proposals are due by July 15, 2019.  For 2019 RFA details, please click here.

 

  • Transformative Research Awards for Myasthenia Gravis and Related Neuromuscular Junction Disorders: We request submission of proposals to support investigations that are focused, innovative and highly likely to produce fundamental alterations in the understanding of myasthenia gravis and related disorders.

    The application process for this grant is currently closed. When funding is available, information will be announced on our website.

 

  • Nursing Research Grant: Multiple grants are awarded annually to nursing students interested in studying problems encountered by patients with MG or related neuromuscular disorders.

    We are no longer accepting applications for the 2019 funding year. To learn more about the 2018 funding, see here.

 

  • Clinician-Scientist Development Award: MGFA and the American Academy of Neurology Foundation provide a three-year award to support a clinician-scientist’s research related to myasthenia gravis. This award aims to recognize the importance of good clinical research and encourage young investigators in clinical studies. This three-year award provides an annual salary of $75,000 plus an annual $5,000 for educational expenses. Only direct costs are funded by this award

    The application process for this grant is currently closed.

 

  • Dr. John Newsom-Davis Memorial Award for Neurology Residents-in-Training: To commemorate Dr. John Newsom-Davis’ life and his dedication to improving treatment of patients with myasthenia gravis, we are honored to continue the spirit of his work with this award.  Awards are provided to registrars, residents or fellows who wish to present their MG related research at a recognized professional event or gathering, such as MGFA’s Scientific Session, the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) or American Neurological Association (ANA) meetings, or other scientific gatherings. Funding considerations may also include travel and lodging for a resident to attend a meeting that might significantly further his or her understanding of MG and related autoimmune diseases.

    To request support, please contact:
    MGFA@myasthenia.org
    (800) 541-5454

    Donations to the Dr. John Newson-Davis fund can be made here.

 

If your proposal does not fit into the above-listed categories, researchers and scientists can approach us with promising ideas. We maintain a “Research Opportunity Fund” to support projects that can further greater understanding of MG and its impact on quality of life.  Examples of projects funded include:  the development of MG treatment guidelines; a study on the effectiveness of thymectomy in MG; and a study on the effectiveness of current MG treatments (PROMISE-MG).

 

Current and Recent Grantees
 

We wish to congratulate and honor our recent grantees from 2018 and 2017:
 

  • 2018 High Impact Pilot Project Grant Award: Andrew Engel, M.D., Mayo Clinic, "Genetic Basis of Unsolved Congenital Myasthenic Syndromes and the Role of the AChR-CYS Loop Length in AChR Activation" $50,000
  • 2017 High Impact Pilot Project Grant Award: Jon Lindstrom, Ph.D. and Jie Luo, Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania, "Determining the Best Adjuvant Usable in Humans for Specific Immunosuppressive Therapy in MG" $50,000
  • 2017 High Impact Pilot Project Grant Award: David P. Richman, M.D., University of California, Davis, "Targeted Therapy of Myasthenia Gravis with Chimeric Autoantibody Receptor T Cells" $50,000
  • 2016-2019 Clinician-Scientist Development Award: Post-doctoral fellowship to Michael Hehir, M.D., University of Vermont Medical Center, "Immunosuppressive Cost Unit: A Novel Method to Assess the Value and Cost of Immunosuppressant Side Effects" $160,000
  • 2016-2018 Transformative Research Award for Myasthenia Gravis and Related Neuromuscular Junction Disorders: Jeffrey Guptill, M.D., Duke University, "Role of CD4 T cell Subsets as Drivers of MG Disease" $275,000
  • 2016-2018 Research Opportunity Fund Award: University of Alabama at Birmingham, "MG Patient Registry" $312,952
  • 2016 Extension Research Opportunity Grant Award: Jeffrey Guptill, M.D., Duke University, "B10 Cells in MG/ Generate pilot polychromatic flow cytometry data on the role of B10 cells in a broad population of MG patients" $50,000
  • 2016 Extension Research Opportunity Grant Award: Linda L. Kusner, Ph.D., George Washington University, "GWU/Anti-apoptotic Mechanisms in Persistence of Autoimmune Myasthenia Gravis" $50,000
  • 2015 Continuation Research Opportunity Grant Award: Ricardo Maselli, M.D., University of California Davis, "Stem-cell treatment of congenital myasthenia associated with endplate acetylcholinesterase deficiency" $50,000
  • 2015 Continuation Research Opportunity Grant Award: Ruksana Huda, Ph.D., University of Texas Medical Branch, "Novel cell specific therapy for autoimmune myasthenia" $50,000

A World Without MG