ASH Awards $750k to Preserve Promising Biomedical Research
Published on: April 06, 2017
(WASHINGTON, April 6, 2017) — In 2012, the American
Society of Hematology (ASH) committed to preserving blood disease research
threatened by federal budget cuts to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) by
establishing the ASH Bridge Grant Program. Today, ASH
announced the names of five investigators whose research has been awarded
$150,000 as part of the eighth round of ASH Bridge Grants.
Designed to sustain promising hematologic research proposals
that score well but cannot be funded by NIH due to stagnant and uncertain funding,
the spring 2017 ASH Bridge Grants will preserve programs at five institutions
across the United States.
NIH is the world’s top provider of medical research
grants. While NIH received a welcome infusion of funding in 2016, the agency is
still reeling from more than a decade of flat funding and spending reductions that
have drastically reduced its ability to fund innovative research. As
policymakers in Washington prepare to discuss the budgets for both the
remainder of 2017 and the entirety of 2018, additional cuts to NIH funding remain
“Now, more than ever, the ASH Bridge Grants are
vital,” said ASH President Kenneth C. Anderson, MD, of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.
“This program allows scientific momentum to continue while encouraging the
retention of promising researchers, especially in this time of uncertain NIH
These grants will serve as a one-year bridge for
researchers facing gaps in multi-year funding, allowing their focus to remain
on bolstering findings and improving their NIH grant application rather than
shuttering a project while applying for alternate funding. ASH expects the need
for this type of support to grow as the NIH budget remains uncertain.
As one of the few medical societies to provide bridge
funding, ASH has seen great success with the Bridge Grant program, with over 65
percent of recipients going on to receive an NIH research project grant (R01)
or a large private grant. Additionally, over 70 percent of ASH Bridge Grant recipients
surveyed report successfully publishing their findings.
“We are fortunate to be living in an era of rapid
scientific advancement, and these awards help us ensure that brilliant
researchers continue to contribute to our greater scientific understanding.
When funding is unavailable today, tomorrow’s cures cannot be discovered, and
we all lose as a result,” Dr. Anderson noted.
The latest round of projects to be supported by the
ASH Bridge Grant program encompasses a host of basic and translational
hematologic research. Projects funded include improving therapy for pediatric
leukemia, advancing immunotherapy techniques, and regulating hematopoietic stem
cell function. Since April 2013, ASH has awarded $10.45 million in Bridge Grant
support to 87 investigators across 53 institutions.
American Society of Hematology (ASH) (www.hematology.org) is the world’s largest
professional society of hematologists dedicated to furthering the
understanding, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disorders affecting the
blood. For more than 50 years, the Society has led the development of
hematology as a discipline by promoting research, patient care, education,
training, and advocacy in hematology. ASH publishes Blood (www.bloodjournal.org), the most cited peer-reviewed
publication in the field, which is available weekly in print and online. In
2016, ASH launched Blood Advances (www.bloodadvances.org), an online, peer-reviewed
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Stephen Fitzmaurice American Society of Hematology