2023 Alpha-1 Grant Awards Reception

group of professionals smiling in a group posing for a photo beside an Alpha-1 Foundation podium

“One of my primary goals is to bring new, young investigators into the Alpha-1 research community to ensure that we continue to benefit from new ideas and high-quality research for years to come,” said Dr. Andrew Wilson, Alpha-1 Foundation Scientific Director.

The 2023 Alpha-1 Foundation Grant Awards Reception was held on Monday, May 22, 2023 during the ATS International Conference in Washington, D.C. The evening joined together over 140 guests including Alphas, pulmonologists, researchers and industry at the historic National Archives Museum to celebrate the recently funded research grants. Guests enjoyed a VIP tour of the Declaration of Independence, Constitution and Bill of Rights in the beautiful rotunda.

The Alpha-1 Foundation has invested over $90 million dollars towards research at 128 institutions around the world, being the largest funding source for Alpha-1. It was because of the brilliance of our researchers and physicians that we continue to move the needle towards a cure, a cure that will ultimately change lives. Earlier this month, the Grants Advisory Committee (GAC) awarded 10 in-cycle grants to well-deserving applicants totaling over $1.7 million. 40 % are focused on lung research, 40% on liver research and 20% in both areas of study, making a well- balanced research portfolio. Thank you to the GAC for their outstanding commitment and dedication.

“The Alpha-1 Foundation continues to invest boldly, funding the most promising science to accelerate treatments for the underlying causes of Alpha-1 and to find a cure for every person diagnosed with this condition. The force behind all of the success is the Alpha-1 community and the passion is what fuels our shared mission. We have no doubt that together we will move forward to achieve. Clinical trials in Alpha-1 are at an all-time high and your role is integral in the next steps of our success as we continue to build the Alpha-1 Biomarkers Consortium (A1BC) and the Therapeutic Disease Network (TDN),” stated Scott Santarella, President & CEO, Alpha-1 Foundation.

Dr. Andrew Wilson, Scientific Director of the Alpha-1 Foundation made remarks and introduced the recently awarded grantees. The following research grants were awarded in-cycle for basic and translational research and provide funds to encourage the development of new information that contributes to the understanding of Alpha-1. The Alpha-1 Foundation is proud to recognize the following recipients awarded In-Cycle Research Grants.

  • Adel El Boueiz, M.D. from Brigham and Women’s Hospital
  • Bibek Gooptu, M.D., Ph.D. from University of Leicester
  • James Irving Ph.D. from University College London
  • Lela Lackey, Ph.D. from Clemson University
  • Jungnam Lee, Ph.D. from University of Florida
  • Nunzia Pastore, Ph.D. from Fondazione Telethon ETS
  • Carmine Settembre, Ph.D. from Fondazione Telethon ETS
  • Richard Sifers, Ph.D. from Baylor College of Medicine

“One of my primary goals is to being new, young investigators into the Alpha-1 research community to ensure that we continue to benefit from new ideas and high-quality research for years to come,” said Dr. Wilson.

Congratulations Dr. Emer Reeves from the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland and Dr. Ariel Curiale from Brigham and Women’s Hospital for pilot and feasibility grants. The objective of the Pilot and Feasibility grants are to provide funds to encourage the development and testing of new hypothesis and/or new methods in research areas relevant to Alpha-1.

The Ab Rees Fast Track Grants were awarded for the first time to four awardees to fund the preliminary work needed to apply for ancillary funding from the NIH or the Alpha-1 Foundation for the A1BC Study. The Alpha-1 Biomarkers Consortium study, funded by the NIH, was created to identify and characterize biomarkers in Alpha-1 that are needed to advance a cure for this disease. Congratulations Dr. Igor Barjaktarevic from UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine, Dr. Monica Goldklang from Columbia University Irving School of Medicine, Dr. Mike Wells, from University of Alabama at Birmingham and Dr. Karina Serban from National Jewish Health, Denver.

Thank you again to the 2023 Grant Awards Reception sponsors AlphaNet, CSL Behring, Grifols and Takeda.

To learn more about our Grant Opportunities, please visit https://www.alpha1.org/investigators/grants/grant-opportunities/