Applying for LAM Research Funding - 2014 Grant Cycle is Closed

The LAM Foundation is the largest funder of LAM research, outside of the National Institutes of Health.  The Foundation has committed over $10 million to LAM research, the majority of which has supported 102 peer-reviewed grants and translational projects.  LAM Foundation-funded scientists reported several major discoveries, including evidence that LAM is genetic, the identification of a LAM gene, and a molecular explanation for abnormal smooth muscle cell growth in LAM.  This data led to the identification of a therapy for LAM called sirolimus, or rapamycin, with clinical trial results published in the April 2011 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM).  Several additional molecular targets have been identified, many of which are addressable with drugs that are FDA-approved for other indications.

LAM Foundation research awards include Post-Doctoral Fellowships, Established Investigator Awards, and Pilot Project Awards.  The Foundation also considers proposals for clinical trials, bridge funding, and special projects.  Proposals are peer-reviewed, ranked by the Foundation’s Scientific Advisory Board and voted on by the Board of Directors.  A primary objective of the Foundation’s Research Program is to elevate LAM science to levels that are competitive for more substantial funding from federal sources.

Examples of competitive LAM proposals include those that focus on the genetic regulation of smooth muscle growth or the development of a smooth muscle cell line that is representative of the LAM lesion. Mechanistic, hypotheses-driven approaches of all types are welcomed. Formalin-fixed LAM tissues, dispersed LAM lung cells, genetic probes and other reagents are available.

Investigators are cautioned that putative LAM cell and animal models that are used in LAM Foundation proposals must be carefully validated. Cell lines derived from human tissues must be clonally isolated and genotyped to demonstrate the presence of mutations in both alleles of TSC1 or TSC2, both at the birth of the cell line and in the hands of the applicant. Dr. David Kwiatkowski at Brigham & Women’s Hospital will perform the genotyping analysis without charge. Use of colonal cell lines from rodents, such as ELT3 and ERC15 cells, to confirm results is encouraged. Proposals that include poorly characterized cell lines or animal models will be returned without review.

LAM Post Doctoral Fellowship Awards

These awards provide a maximum of $50,000 per year, renewable for up to two additional years. More than 50 percent of the funds must be used for fellow salary support, and the maximum fellow salaries allowed are based on NIH guidelines for postdoctoral fellows. The balance of the funds may be used for fringe benefits, supplies or animal costs. No overhead or indirect costs are provided. Funds not spent are to be returned to The LAM Foundation at the end of each funding year.

LAM Established Investigator Awards

Investigator awards provide a maximum of $50,000 per year, renewable for up to two additional years. The structure and terms of this award are identical to the LAM Fellowship Award except that with the LAM Established Award, faculty level investigators are eligible to receive funding for technician support and supplies. 

LAM Pilot Project Awards

Pilot awards of up to $25,000, are also available for the initiation of innovative research projects. Candidates must have at least two years of experience, an M.D., Ph.D. or equivalent degree, and perform the work in a laboratory with established expertise in smooth muscle biology or the genetics of tuberous sclerosis. 

Candidates for LAM Foundation awards must have at least two years of research experience, an MD, PhD or equivalent degree, and perform their work in a laboratory with established expertise in smooth muscle biology, genetics of tuberous sclerosis, or other LAM-related areas.  Investigators of all nationalities are eligible, but candidates must possess visas that allow for completion of the proposed project in the original laboratory.

Scientists who wish to apply for LAM Foundation funding must submit a Letter of Intent (LOI).  Our current grant cycle is closed for 2014.

PUBLICATIONS: Publications based on any study or research done during the period of support should acknowledge the support of The LAM Foundation, and a reprint should be sent to The LAM Foundation office. Periodic progress reports are required and must be completed to assist the Foundation in shaping future policies with respect to its award program.

FORMAT
1.  The Proposed Research section of the online grant application for all LAM awards is limited to 10 pages, including references and figures.
2.  Proposals should follow the format listed below.

a.Hypotheses and specific aims
b.Literature review, preliminary data
c.Research plan; experimental methods
d.Significance, importance

CHANGE OF STATUS
Transfer between institutions or departments, or shifts of budgetary funds requires prior approval by The LAM Foundation.

FACTORS CONSIDERED IN EVALUATION OF APPLICATIONS
Applications are reviewed by The LAM Foundation Scientific Board. Factors considered when selecting awardees are:
1. merit of the research proposal;
2. relevance of the project to LAM;
3. the applicant's experience, publications, letters of recommendation, and potential for making a significant contribution to LAM research;
4. the research environment, and the commitment of the applicant and/or the fellowship sponsor to LAM research;
5. the likelihood that successful completion of the project will lead to a sustainable LAM research
program.

To learn more about LAM Foundation research awards contact:

Judy Sheridan at 513.777.6889 or jsheridan@thelamfoundation.org.

Other ways to get involved:

Raise awareness of LAM in the scientific community
Encourage other scientists to go to our website to learn more about how to apply for research funding
Write your congressman to promote increased federal funding for research, treatment and educational programming for LAM