Announcement of the 2023 Ab Rees Fast Track Grants

researcher working with test tubes in a lab

The Alpha-1 Foundation is proud to announce the inaugural recipients of the 2023 Ab Rees Fast Track Grants. Congratulations to Igor Barjaktarevic, MD, PhD, Monica Goldklang, MD, Karina Serban, MD and J. Michael Wells, MD, MSPH as they were awarded in April with these meritorious peer-reviewed grants.

The “Ab Rees Fast Track Awards” provided four $50,000 grants to fund the preliminary work needed to apply for ancillary funding from the NIH or the Alpha-1 Foundation for the A1BC study. The grants have been awarded based on the quality of the applications received and serve as ancillary grant funding to evaluate which biomarkers best predict alpha-1 antitrypsin (Alpha-1) disease progression and treatment effectiveness.

2023 Ab Rees Fast Track Grant Awardees

Igor Barjaktarevic, MD, PhD- UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine

“Exploring the role of Nasal Transcriptome in Bioprofiling A1AT Deficiency”

Monica Goldklang, MD- Columbia University

“Alterations in inflammation and proteases during acute exacerbations of COPD in AATD”

Karina Serban, MD- National Jewish Health, Denver

“Longitudinal biomarker study of disease- upper airway and plasma metabolomics”

Michael Wells, MD, MSPH- University of Alabama at Birmingham

“Molecular Profiling AATD Respiratory Specimens: A Pilot”

In honor of the late Ab Rees’ extraordinary contributions to the Alpha-1 community, AlphaNet donated $200,000 to the Alpha-1 Foundation to support the Alpha-1 Biomarkers Consortium (A1BC) study and establish the “Ab Rees Fast Track Awards.” The A1BC grant, funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), was created to identify and characterize biomarkers in Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency that are needed to advance a cure for this disease. The A1BC is a research initiative of the Alpha-1 Foundation designed to form a prospective cohort of Alpha-1 individuals via the Alpha-1 Research Registry, and subsequently enroll PiZZ participants to identify Alpha-1 biomarkers. The identification of important biomarkers in Alpha-1 will advance treatments and a cure for Alpha-1. The Registry was established to facilitate research initiatives, such as the A1BC, and promote the development of improved treatments and a cure for Alpha-1. The A1BC grant is now enrolling 270 PiZZ Alphas at eleven medical centers to perform chest CT, blood, sputum, and genetic studies with the goal of validating biomarkers that correlate with lung or liver disease progression. Those interested in enrollment can read more here: .