ASN Partners to Fund Research for Rare Nephrotic Syndrome Disease

The American Society of Nephrology (ASN) has partnered with The Halpin Foundation since 2007, sponsoring an annual research grant for new investigators focusing on membranous nephropathy (MN). “When we began our collaboration, there was very little funding in membranous research,” says Joan Halpin, founder and president of The Halpin Foundation. “The partnership with ASN highlighted the disease and encouraged young investigators to pursue MN research.”

The Halpin Foundation strongly supports collaboration in research in autoimmune, kidney, and genetic disorders. It was one of the primary sponsors of this year’s Membranous Nephropathy International Conference in Bergamo, Italy, at the Mario Negri Institute (having also sponsored the conference in 2006). Mrs. Halpin also represents the foundation on the steering committee of the Nephrotic Syndrome Study Network (Neptune).

The Halpin Foundation-ASN Research Grant has sponsored a number of exciting projects, including, most recently, “Direction of anti-phospholipase A2 receptor autoantibodies in idiopathic membranous nephropathy,” by Laurence H. Beck, Jr., MD, PhD. Along with David M. Salant, MD, Dr. Beck contributed to the breakthrough discovery that the soluble phospholipase A2 receptor is the elusive antigen responsible for the majority of immune-mediated membranous disease.

In 2012, ASN will begin a new partnership with The NephCure Foundation. The NephCure Foundation-ASN Research Grant, also for new investigators, will fund research focusing on focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS) or nephrotic syndrome. “NephCure is pleased to partner with ASN and strongly supports the goals of its Career Development Grants for New Investigators Program,” says NephCure Research and Education Manager Marilyn Hailperin.

“With this partnership, we increase focus and funding on glomerular disease and hopefully will attract more young researchers to this area of investigation,” Ms. Hailperin adds. The NephCure Foundation is the only organization committed exclusively to supporting research seeking the cause of FSGS and nephrotic syndrome, improving treatment, and finding a cure.

ASN provides more than $3 million each year for research grants. In addition to The Halpin Foundation-ASN Research Grant and The NephCure Foundation-Research Grant, the Society offers research grants for new investigators, bridge funding for established investigators, research fellowships, and stipends for medical student research. “ASN is committed to providing a robust research grants program to ensure the success of the next generation of nephrologists and kidney researchers,” asserts ASN President Ronald J. Falk, MD, FASN.

The deadline to apply for The Halpin Foundation-ASN Research Grant and The NephCure Foundation-ASN Research Grant is Friday, January 27, 2012. For more information on the ASN grants program, please visit www.asn-online.org/grants_and_funding/.