New Grant Program to Award ‘Young Investigators’ of ATTR Amyloidosis

Marisa Wexler, MS avatar

by Marisa Wexler, MS |

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Ionis Pharmaceuticals has launched a new grant program to fund novice researchers investigating transthyretin (ATTR) amyloidosis, a group of conditions that includes familial amyloid polyneuropathy (FAP), also known as hereditary ATTR.

“We are proud to establish the Janice Wiesman Young Investigator Grant program, an important initiative to help increase our understanding of transthyretin amyloidosis and, ultimately, to better serve patients and families living with this devastating rare disease,” Brett Monia, PhD, CEO of Ionis, said in a press release.

The program will help fund research that advances the biological understanding of ATTR amyloidosis, helps facilitate its diagnosis, or improves its management. Eligible researchers with doctoral degrees must have not more than three years of postdoctoral research experience, and must currently be training in the field of translational, clinical, or applied research.

Applicants may include residents, fellows, or junior faculty members at academic or nonprofit institutions. Individuals with tenure-track research positions or senior faculty appointments are not eligible. Mentors may submit proposals on behalf of an investigator, if the investigator has not yet been identified.

The deadline for applications is April 2. Two award winners will be notified by April 30.

A committee of experts will review the applications and make a decision based on the scientific merit of the proposed research, as well as on the academic qualifications of the applicant. The awardees will each receive $50,000 in funding for one year, which may be extended for a second year, provided they have made progress towards their research goals.

The program is named after Janice Wiesman, MD, an expert on the neurological impact of amyloidosis, who died last year. Ionis decided to commemorate Wiesman’s professional and personal commitment to advancing this field by naming the program in her honor.

“We are also honored to commemorate the life and work of Dr. Wiesman, who I had the pleasure of working with and who over the years demonstrated a remarkable commitment to advancement of the field. Her contributions to the amyloid community have left an indelible impact,” said Monia.

In the words of her husband, John Mannion, Wiesman was “thrilled by the new and effective treatments developed through the brilliant work of scientists and clinicians like the ones to be supported by the Young Investigator Grant.”

“I know that she would be as pleased as her daughter Hannah and I, and would feel truly honored that [this grant program] is named for her,” he said.