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Research Grants

Nancy Law Impact Award: High Impact Clinical Research and Scientific Projects on Myasthenia Gravis and Related Neuromuscular Junction Disorders

The Nancy Law Impact Award provides funding to support high impact clinical research and scientific studies that are focused and innovative. The purpose of this grant is to support research focused on:

  • Patient outcomes,
  • Innovative patient outcome measurements,
  • Optimization of clinical research approaches/practices or,
  • The application of translational biomarkers that will aid in further refining the current treatment paradigm.

Applications in all areas of MG research are accepted from U.S. and international applicants.

 

The MGFA will fund highly meritorious projects with a maximum direct grant of $100,000 per year, for a period of 3 years, inclusive of a maximum 10% indirect cost rate. The award will support personnel and/or research expenses and travel to attend the MGFA National Annual Conference. Special funding requests and/or changes to the award period must be approved prior to submission of proposal through the LOI.

 

Applicants are asked to submit a LETTER OF INTENT (LOI)  using the form provided in the button below by January 20th, 2022. LOIs should be sent to mgfa@myasthenia.org. You will be informed by January 28th, 2022 if you are invited to submit a full proposal.

 

For the full proposal, the applicant must provide a detailed budget in the format used for NIH budgets. See the list of forms and links at the end of the request for application. There are no specific budget restrictions, but all aspects of the budget must be clearly justified. If Principal Investigator salary support is requested, then a letter from a department chair or equivalent must accompany the application to assure that the PI is afforded protected research time for the project.

 

The application consists of a five to seven-page research section, which should include specific aims, background/preliminary data, innovation, and approach sections.

 

The research committee of the MGFA is committed to supporting research that will ultimately improve the lives of patients with myasthenia gravis and related neuromuscular junction disorders. The committee has identified 4 broad research priorities of unmet need in the field.

  • Biomarkers
  • Mechanisms of disease
  • Therapeutic strategies
  • Improving patient outcomes

The award recipient will be invited as a special guest to attend the MGFA National Conference, to be introduced and to share a few words, during the portion of the Conference when a keynote speaker, delivering the Nancy Law Lecture, will speak to the importance of funding new and innovative research, and the role of MGFA in cutting-edge research.

 

BEGIN THE APPLICATION PROCESS

 

MGFA Research Grant Agenda

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.

SCROLL DOWN TO VIEW 2021 MGFA Research Grant Recipients The Research Agenda intends to guide researchers towards areas of importance for our Medical Advisory Council. 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 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

2021 MGFA Research Grant Recipients - Congratulations to Our Researchers

 

The use of Survivin as a Diagnostic Marker for Myasthenia Gravis (Committed $55,000 per year for 2 years)
Dr. Linda Kusner M.D.
The George Washington University

Nine percent of patients with myasthenia gravis (MG) cannot have a clinical diagnosis confirmed by laboratory testing for detectable antibodies, designated seronegative MG (SNMG). We have found the expression of survivin in circulating lymphocytes to correlate with the diagnosis of acetylcholine receptor antibody-positive (AChR+) MG. We have also found survivin expressed in circulating lymphocytes from patients with muscle specific kinase antibody-positive (MuSK+) and rigorously defined SNMG patients, demonstrating the potential of survivin positivity as a diagnostic marker for MG. We propose to confirm positive survivin expression in circulating lymphocytes for the context of use as a diagnostic adjunct for MG.

 

Indoleamine-2, 3-dioxygenase 2 (IOD2) as a Novel Therapeutic Target for the Treatment of Myasthenia Gravis (Committed $55,000 per year for 2 years)
Dr. Laura Mandik-Nayak M.D.
Lankenau Institute for Medical Research

Myasthenia gravis (MG) is widely recognized as a B cell-mediated disease, with autoantibody production critical to its development and progression. While there has been intense interest in the development of therapies that deplete B cells or prevent B cell activation, these therapies are not effective in all patients and there is a continued need for new therapies. In this proposal, we will use a preclinical model of MG, together with a novel IDO2-targeting approach, to explore IDO2 inhibition as a novel therapeutic strategy to treat MG. In the short term, our studies will provide an initial step in the preclinical evaluation of IDO2 as a therapeutic target in the treatment of MG. If successful, the potential longterm impact of this project would move the concept of IDO2-directed therapy into development as a novel strategy to treat human MG.

 

Collaborative Grant Opportunities & How to Apply

 

 

Myasthenia Gravis Network (MGNet) Scholar Program

Research Funding Announcement

Objectives

There is a critical need for investigators to conduct clinical and translational research in myasthenia gravis (MG). The MGNet Scholar Program provides individualized training and mentorship in one of two tracks, Clinical Research or Biomarker Development Research. We strongly encourage potential applicants to contact the MGNet Scholar Program administrator to facilitate the application process (MGNet@gwu.edu).

Applicants must have a M.D. (or equivalent) or Ph.D. Clinical fellows, post-doctoral fellows, or junior faculty are eligible. Learn more at https://rdcrn.org/mgnet/scholar

 

Award Description

The MGNet Scholar Program provides mentored research training to prepare Scholars for an independent research career in the field of MG. The MGNet Scholar Program is 2 years in duration and selected Scholars receive up to $75,000 per year to support salary, research costs and didactics. The program will provide an additional $3,000 per year to travel to MGNet sites to learn specific skills and/or to scientific meeting(s) to present the results of their research. The second year of funding is contingent on demonstration of adequate progress on the research and career development plan. Indirect costs are not allowed.

 

How To Apply

Applicants must submit a completed application electronically as one document to https://rc.rarediseasesnetwork.org/surveys/?s=L9DPEEJ9H8 no later than close of business November 22, 2021:

 

Timeline

Announcement: July, 2021

Application Due: November 22, 2021 5 p.m. EST

Award notifications: January 2022

Funding commences: July 1, 2022

 

Clinical Research Funding Announcement Pilot Grant Program for Myasthenia Gravis

Objectives:

MGNet, a NIH-funded Rare Diseases Clinical Research Consortium (RDCRC) in partnership with the Myasthenia Gravis Foundation of America and Conquer MG, is seeking proposals for highly innovative investigations in early stages of development. For more information about this pilot grant, please visit https://rdcrn.org/mgnet/pilot. The priorities of the Pilot Grant Program are:

 

Identification treatment responsive biomarkers

  • Assess clinical measures and improve that enhance clinical trial readiness
  • Evaluation of therapeutic interventions for one or more of the five distinct sub-types of MG (additional information in the full proposal will be required for clinical trials).
  • Pilot studies must be designed to access the resources of MGNet and focused on clinical research, including fulfilling the definition of clinical research and exclusion of animal studies.

Funding

The MGNet expects to fund up to two grants, each at a level of $75,000 (IDCs will be limited to 10% and included in the $75,000). Projects will be funded for 12 months, with a start date of June 2022. Selection among the applications received will be based on the recommendations of a review committee. A grant may be renewed for an additional one year with approval by the same review process and availability of funds. Demonstration of fulfillment of initial aims and justification for additional funding will be required. The request will be required a minimum of three months prior to the initial funding period completion. The PI must hold an MD, PhD, MD/PhD, RN or more advanced, PharmD, DDS, DVM, or equivalent and be a faculty member at an academic institution.

 

Important dates

RFA release: August 1, 2021

Letter of intent due: December 17, 2021

Invitation to submit full application: January 14, 2022

Full proposal due: March 11, 2022.

Award funding will begin: June 1, 2022.

 

Proposals will need to be electronically submitted to https://rc.rarediseasesnetwork.org/surveys/?s=7REJ7XWJ3W and the Administrative Core personnel will assure all requirements for submission are fulfilled. Proposals will then undergo peer review by an NIH-style study section assembled by the MGNet. Standard review criteria for the parent announcement NIH R01 will be applied (PA-19-056, or if the application includes a clinical trial PA-19-055).

 

MGFA & American Brain Foundation Partner on New Clinical Research Award for MG

MGFA is partnering with the American Brain Foundation on a clinical research award for myasthenia gravis. The application opens on July 1 and runs through October 1. Here is the link with details: https://www.aan.com/education-and-research/research/aan-research-program/clinician-scientist-development-award-in-myasthenia-gravis/

 

This award aims to recognize the importance of good clinical research and to encourage young investigators in clinical studies related to myasthenia gravis. It will consist of a commitment of $75,000 per year for three years, plus a $5,000 per year stipend to support education and research-related costs for a total of $240,000. Supplementation of the award with other grants is permissible, but to be eligible to apply for this award, the other grant source(s) cannot exceed $80,000 annually.

Please only submit one application - applicants are not allowed to submit applications for more than one award. Your application will also be considered for all relevant clinician-scientist development awards.

IMPORTANT DATES

October 1, 2021: Application deadline: Note that this is the deadline for all documents, including those from the mentor and chair. Applications will be declined if this information is not submitted by October 1.

January 2022: Notification of recipients

July 1, 2022: Funding begins

 

To request support or more information concerning MGFA grant opportunities, please contact:
MGFA@myasthenia.org
(800) 541-5454

 

 

Previously Awarded MGFA Grant Receipients

 

2020:

 

  • 2020 High Impact Pilot Project Grant Award: Dr. Kevin O’Connor, pHD, Yale University, "Identification of biomarkers that leverage mechanisms of autoantibody pathology in AChR MG" ($55,000 - One Year Award).
  • 2020 High Impact Pilot Project Grant Award: Dr. Michael Hehir. M.D., University of Vermont, "Measuring adverse event burden in myasthenia gravis: Validation on adverse event unit" ($55,000 - One Year Award).
  • 2020 Seronegative Grants: Dr. Jeffrey Guptill, M.D. – Duke University, Dr. Kevin O’Connor, pHD – "Yale University, Defining the clinical phenotype and immunopathology of seronegative MG" ($150,000 - 2 Year Award)

2019:

  • 2019 High Impact Pilot Project Grant Award: Amanda C. Guidon, M.D., Massachusetts General Hospital, Neuromuscular Diagnostic Center, “Evaluation of automated techniques for decoding speech and movement abnormalities in myasthenia”  $55,000
  • 2019 High Impact Pilot Project Grant Award: Jeffrey T. Guptill, M.D., Duke University, “Metabolic Pathways of Pathogenic Th17 Cells in Myasthenia Gravis”  $55,000
  • 2019 High Impact Pilot Project Grant Award: Ricardo A. Maselli, M.D., University of California Davis, “CSF Delivery of AAV9-mediated gene therapy of congenital myasthenic syndrome due to CHAT mutations”  $55,000
  • 2020-2022 Research Contract: University of Alabama at Birmingham, "MG Patient Registry" $329,827

2018:

  • 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:

  • 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:

  • 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: Duke University, "PROMISE-MG Study meeting to expand research sites under Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) grant"  $30,270
  • 2016-2018 Research Contract: 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