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Research Funding Available for Preeclampsia Disorders

Last Updated on Thursday, February 09, 2012

Preeclampsia Foundation’s research investment catalyzes new approaches to age-old life-threatening complication of pregnancy

Dallas, Texas – February 9, 2012 – The Preeclampsia Foundation announced today from The Pregnancy Meeting™ in Dallas that new funding is available for preeclampsia research and applications are now being accepted for its 2012 Vision Grant program. Up to two medical research grants will be awarded, up to $25,000 each. Vision Grants are intended to provide initial funding for innovative ideas focused on the pathophysiology, diagnosis or treatment of preeclampsia, HELLP syndrome and other hypertensive disorders of pregnancy that might otherwise not be pursued due to lack of funding. All novel, well-considered research topics are encouraged. International applicants will be accepted, but applications must be in English.

The application deadline is May 18, 2012, with awards announced August 17, 2012.  More information and application instructions can be found at http://www.preeclampsia.org/research/research-funding.

Since its inception, the Foundation’s Vision Grant program has invested $450,000, including this newly announced funding, in novel research ranging from molecular biology and immunology, to potential therapies, to the relationship of sleep-disordered breathing to preeclampsia.

Each year, dozens of applications are received from around the world, from as far as India and Australia to nearby Canada and the United States. Research initiated by the Vision Grant program has resulted in promising findings, warranting additional funding from the National Institutes of Health, presentations at scientific conferences, and inspiring young investigators to commit their efforts to a medical conundrum that has baffled the medical community for over 2,000 years.

“I’m impressed by the breadth and quality of applications we receive,” remarked Dr. Thomas Easterling, director of the Preeclampsia Foundation’s Medical Advisory Board. “It just goes to show how important this issue is and how scarce traditional sources of research funding are.”

About the Vision Grant Award Program: According to the World Health Organization, preeclampsia is one of the least funded areas of research, especially when considered against Disability Adjusted Life Years (DALYs). The Preeclampsia Foundation’s Vision Grants fund medical research pertaining to the pathophysiology, diagnosis, and treatment of hypertensive disorders of pregnancy.

About Preeclampsia: Preeclampsia is a disorder that occurs during pregnancy and the immediate postpartum period, and affects both the mother and the fetus. It is a rapidly progressive condition characterized by elevated blood pressure and protein in the urine; other symptoms may include swelling in the hands and face, headaches, and visual disturbances. Preeclampsia affects the mother's kidneys, liver and other vital organs and, if undetected or untreated, can lead to seizures (eclampsia), cerebral hemorrhage, failure in vital organs and death. The cause of preeclampsia is still not fully understood, and the only cure for the condition begins with delivery. Approximately five to eight percent of pregnancies are affected by preeclampsia, which, in the United States, translates to approximately 300,000 pregnancies. It is a leading cause of preterm birth, and is responsible for approximately 76,000 maternal deaths and half a million infant deaths worldwide annually. There are several types of preeclampsia, including HELLP syndrome, a particularly dangerous variant.

About the Preeclampsia Foundation: The Preeclampsia Foundation is a U.S.-based 501(c)(3) non-profit organization established in 2000. It is dedicated to providing patient support and education, raising public awareness, catalyzing research and improving health care practices, envisioning a world where preeclampsia and related hypertensive disorders of pregnancy no longer threaten the lives of mothers and babies. For more information, visit www.preeclampsia.org.


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