By Erik Lontok
Earlier this year, informed by the unmet needs and key research efforts identified by our 2016 Lipedema Scientific Retreat, the Foundation issued a formal request for grant applications aimed at advancing lipedema research and exploring the genetic basis of the disease. We’ve recently concluded our 2017 funding cycle, and are pleased to announce our awarded proposals here.
Given that this was the Foundation’s first formal grant cycle, we were impressed by the volume and caliber of submissions received. A total of 37 research applicants, representing a broad range of scientific disciplines and institutions worldwide, submitted Letters of Intent (LOI). After carefully reviewing each LOI and conducting follow-up interviews, we extended 20 invitations to submit a Full Application, of which 13 were ultimately awarded milestone-driven research grants ranging from 1-3 years.
A clear trend amongst the awarded projects was the active engagement of individuals with lipedema, whether through the development of diagnostic and imaging tools or the utilization of patient samples. Our hope is that by fostering more patient-centered research, we can accelerate the pace of discovery and improve diagnosis and treatment options for lipedema patients.
Overall, we are heartened by the number and quality of the submitted LOIs and full applications, as it reflects our community’s growing demand for better treatments and indicates increasing scientific interest in lipedema. We are excited to partner and support the research of our 2017 grantees, and to continue our engagement with the patient community, as we believe it will take a village to successfully understand and address lipedema.