Today, ASH announced the names of eight investigators who have each been awarded $150,000 through the ASH Bridge Grant Program. Designed to support promising hematology research, ASH Bridge Grants will ensure that innovative research continues at institutions across the country.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is the world's top provider of medical research grants. Though congressional leaders recognize the importance of funding NIH, the regular threat of continuing resolutions and government shutdowns in recent years has led to an unpredictable, unstable environment in which appropriations are delayed and investigators are unsure of when their grants might be funded. Without reliable funding, some spend valuable research time attempting to identify alternative funding sources, and others stop their important studies altogether.
To sustain promising research amid the uncertainty, the ASH Bridge Grants are designed to serve as a one-year bridge for researchers facing such gaps in multi-year funding, giving them financial support to continue their studies and strengthen their grant applications without the need to pare down laboratory staff or to pause or end their work.
Since April 2013, ASH has awarded over $15 million in Bridge Grant support to 115 investigators. More than 70 percent of these recipients have gone on to receive R01 funding from NIH within three years.
"Limitations in the federal research budget continue to impact investigators who are submitting proposals for research studies that are deemed meritorious yet are not funded.," said ASH President Alexis A. Thompson, MD, MPH, of the Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago. "The ASH Bridge Grants are critical to advancing this important research while maintaining America's biomedical workforce and our competitive edge in biopharmaceutical technology."
Encompassing a host of basic, translational, and clinical hematology research, projects funded in this 11th round of the ASH Bridge Grant Program include work that will increase the safety of bone marrow transplants and advance our understanding of why some leukemia patients relapse after treatment.