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Research Grant Funding


Jackie McSpadden Post-Doctoral Fellowship Award

The MGFA requests SUBMISSION OF PROPOSALS to support a postdoctoral investigator conducting translational research related to myasthenia gravis (MG). The fellowship grants are offered to promising recipients of MD, PhD or MD/PhD degrees when it appears that the program of training to be supported by the grant will enhance the likelihood that the trainee will perform meaningful and independent research relevant to MG in the future and obtain a suitable position that will enable them to do so.

The MGFA has EXTENDED our submission deadline. Applicants are asked to apply by Monday, October 17, 2022 by 5:00 p.m. Eastern. Applications should be sent to mgfa@myasthenia.org.

Awards are not made to applicants seeking continuing support for the completion of an on-going research project or to those currently in training programs leading to a degree. The fellowship is for salary support only. The proposed postdoctoral fellowship should emphasize opportunities for new research training and broadening the scientific competence of the applicant. This award is named for Jackie McSpadden as a posthumous memorial to her fighting spirit in the face of her myasthenia gravis diagnosis.

AWARD DETAIL: The MGFA will fund one postdoctoral fellowship at $75,000 a year, for a period of 3 years.  Annual progress reports must be submitted and reviewed to disperse Y2 and Y3 funding.


Eligibility Criteria:

  • Applicants with 0-36 months of previous postdoctoral training at the time of the application submission deadline may apply for this award.
  • Applicants must hold, or be candidates for, an MD, PhD or MD/PhD or equivalent degree.
  • U.S. citizenship is not required for applicants who desire training in institutions in the United States. However, applicants who plan training in other countries must be U.S. citizens.


To learn more details about this exciting new research funding announcement, use the button below to access the fellowship award letter that describes criteria and research agenda and includes links to all materials required for submission.

Fellowship Application Forms

2022 MGFA Research Grant Recipients - Congratulations to Our Researchers

Clinician and scientist investigators are engaged in groundbreaking myasthenia research all over the world. The MGFA funds promising research studies and clinical trials to discover potential new treatments and methods of living a better quality of life with MG. Here are some of the latest research funding grant recipients.

Inaugural Nancy Law Impact Award - 2022

The Nancy Law Impact Award is an MG research funding opportunity named after former MGFA Board Chair and CEO, Nancy Law, who was a caring, close friend to so many people across the myasthenia community. The proposals for this grant award are focused on innovative patient outcome measurements, optimization of clinical research approaches/practices, and the application of translational biomarkers that will aid in further refining the current treatment paradigm.


Preclinical models and biomarkers for predicting MuSK-CAART clinical outcomes ($300,000 over 3-year period)

Dr. Aimee Payne, M.D.

University of Pennsylvania

Research Summary: MuSK MG is caused by MuSK autoantibodies that lead to life-threatening muscle weakness, so the ideal therapy would be to eliminate autoantibody-producing B-cells while preserving healthy B-cells. CART cells in the body are currently being re-programmed to eradicate B-cell cancers, prompting researchers to explore whether this precision medicine can be used for other diseases like myasthenia gravis. The project researchers are testing a novel autoantibody receptor T-cell therapy designed to re-program MG patient T-cells to selectively kill anti-MuSK B-cells that cause MuSK MG. The research is designed to test the working hypothesis in hopes of leading to a safe and lasting disease response and develop protocols for the detection and characterization of MuSK-CAART to validate novel biomarkers. Dr. Payne presented her ongoing work in this area during the 2022 AANEM MGFA Scientic Session in September.


MGFA High-Impact Pilot Project Award Recipient for 2022

The MGFA High-Impact Pilot Project Awards are pilot studies typically leading to new federal, pharmaceutical, or private foundation supported investigations. These grants are awarded annually. Congratulations to Dr. Lindsey De Lott from the University of Michigan! 


Advancing patient-centered care and research for ocular myasthenia gravis: Validation of a novel patient reported outcome measure ($100,000 award over 2 years)

Dr. Lindsey De Lott, M.D. 

University of Michigan

Research Summary: The ocular symptoms of Myasthenia Gravis (MG) are disabling and affect quality of life - the impact of double vision and droopy eyelids can be profound. We need to fully understand the extent of how ocular symptoms impact daily function. Patient-reported outcome measures (PROMS) are valuable tools for measuring the aspects of MG, such as double vision, that matter most to patients while enhancing patient-physician communication and support. However, there are no PROMs focused on the impact of the ocular symptoms of MG or OMG nor sufficient scales to measure OMG.

Dr. De Lott aims to conduct a multicenter validation of the patient questionnaire as a standalone PROM for OMG so it can be deployed within future clinical research and support patient-centered care.

MGFA Research Grant Agenda and Funding Areas

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.

Funding areas include:

  • 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

View Past MGFA Research Grant Recipients here. 

A World Without MG