Research

For Researchers: Alpha-1 Foundation Research Programs

The Alpha-1 Foundation has invested more than $50 million to support Alpha-1 Antitrypsin (AAT) research and programs. Research projects have been conducted at 97 institutions in North America, Europe, the Middle East, and Australia. The level of research activity in AAT is at an all-time high and holds much hope for the future for individuals diagnosed with AAT Deficiency.

We offer two distinct kinds of financial support.

 1. Peer reviewed grants program

Our traditional peer reviewed grants program funds both basic science and clinical research. The aim of the Alpha-1 Foundation’s peer reviewed grants program is to promote research that will eventually result in the improved health of individuals with AAT, with a focus on the lung and liver disease of AAT Deficiency. The program supports basic science and clinical research, improved understanding of the pathogenesis of the clinical manifestations of AAT, the development and testing of treatments for the disease, bioethics and social research, and the promotion of education of members of the medical community regarding AAT.

See below, Alpha-1 Foundation funding mechanisms for traditional peer reviewed research.

 2. Investment funding for translational research through The Alpha-1 Project

Investment funding is available through our venture philanthropy subsidiary, The Alpha-1 Project, Inc.

The Alpha-1 Project (TAP) is a wholly-owned for profit subsidiary of the Alpha-1 Foundation singularly focused on providing critical funding and advice to speed the commercialization of therapies for the elimination of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and liver disease caused by Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency.

TAP will focus funding into highly promising drug therapies or devices in the translational research or clinical trial stage of development to speed the commercialization of these therapies.

Grant or Investment funding?

 Generally, if you are in academia, apply for a grant. See our Research Grant Opportunities.

A biotechnology or pharmaceutical company, or any entity hoping to commercialize a product, should apply through The Alpha-1 Project.

If you are unsure, contact David Fernandez, Manager of Research Administration, at dfernandez@alpha-1foundation.org or at (877) 228-7321 ext. 242.

Alpha-1 Foundation funding mechanisms for traditional peer reviewed research:

In-cycle Investigator Initiated Grants

The Alpha-1 Foundation offers grant awards in the following grant categories: Bridge, Ethical, Legal and Social Issues Relating to AAT Deficiency, Pilot and Feasibility, Postdoctoral Research Fellowship, Research, Scientific Meeting Sponsorship and Travel Grants. The Foundation operates on one in-cycle review per year. The first step in submitting a grant application is to submit a letter of intent (LOI). The LOI must be received by the Foundation by September 20, 2013, 5pm EDT. For information about the current in-cycle grants program, click Research Opportunities. For additional information about the next in-cycle investigator initiated grants program, please contact David Fernandez, Manager of Research Administration, at dfernandez@alpha-1foundation.org or at (877) 228-7321 ext. 242.

Out-of-cycle Grants

The purpose of this program is to support large, typically clinical grants that do not fit into the in-cycle grant program. Out-of-cycle grants can be Foundation-initiated RFA or Investigator-initiated applications. The investigator should contact the Foundation before considering applying for an out-of-cycle application. For more information, contact David Fernandez, Manager of Research Administration, at dfernandez@alphaone.org or at (877) 228-7321 ext. 242.

Matching Grants

The Alpha-1 Foundation collaborates with various organizations and offers funding opportunities through matching grant opportunities with the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases, the American Thoracic Society and the CHEST Foundation. Applications must be directed and submitted to these organizations

Research Agenda

The Alpha-1 Foundation has established research priorities that are important to its mission of proceeding as rapidly as possible toward a cure for AAT. The research priorities are broad categories that are of immediate and long-term interest to the Alpha-1 Foundation. The in-cycle investigator-initiated grants program is the main element in the Alpha-1 Foundation’s research portfolio and the Alpha-1 Foundation invites new ideas from the research community. To view the Alpha-1 Foundation’s current research agenda, click here: Research Agenda

Research Portfolio

The Alpha-1 Foundation’s Research Portfolio lists all awarded peer-reviewed research grants from 1999 to the present. The Alpha-1 Foundation’s broad range of investigators represents the ongoing expansion of the AAT research network and the heightened interest among a wide range of scientific disciplines to investigate aspects of AAT.

Alpha-1 Research Registry

The Alpha-1 Research Registry is a confidential database of individuals diagnosed with Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency (Alpha-1) or identified as Alpha-1 carriers. It serves as a resource for investigators seeking individuals with Alpha-1 to participate in clinical trials, surveys and other scientific and medical data collection. The Registry is also a vital component to other Alpha-1 research endeavors such as the Alpha-1 Coded Testing (ACT) Study. For more information about the Registry Program and the ACT Study, visit  www.alphaoneregistry.org, email alphaone@musc.edu or call toll free,  (877) 886-2383.

Alpha-1 DNA and Tissue Bank

The Alpha-1 Foundation DNA and Tissue Bank at the University of Florida was established in 2002 and has more than 2,300 members enrolled. It is available for researchers to request medical information (the names of donors are not revealed) and samples for research projects. No further enrollment is anticipated at this time, and no new samples are being accepted. Mark Brantly, MD, is the Principle Investigator of the DNA and Tissue Bank. Researchers needing information on how to obtain samples of DNA and tissues should contact David Fernandez, Manager of Research Administration, dfernandez@alpha-1foundation.org or (877) 228-7321 ext. 242.

Other Biobanks

Other sources of Alpha-1 lung tissue, plasma, DNA and phenotypic data include the Lung Tissue Research Consortium (LTRC) of the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) and the Alpha-1 Biomaterials Exchange. The LTRC is a resource program of the NHLBI that provides human lung tissues to qualified investigators for use in their research. The Alpha-1 Biomaterial Exchange is an open resource to both academia and industry that works by matching one investigator (in need of biomaterial) with another investigator (supplier of biomaterial).

Other Research Programs

The Foundation supports other research programs such as the ACT Study and Detection Program at the University of Florida, and Clinical Resources Centers throughout the country. For more information, see Other Research Programs.

Scientific Meetings and Conferences

For a list of scientific meetings and conferences sponsored or attended by the Alpha-1 Foundation, see Scientific Meetings and Conferences.

The Alpha One International Registry (AIR)

The Alpha One International Registry (AIR) is a multinational research organization, representing a combined research effort of nearly 20 countries.

AIR members are actively studying ways to improve detection, ways to follow the course of the lung disease, and ways to improve treatment. See Alpha-1 International Registry