NEW YORK, NY – January 12, 2012 – The Lupus Research Institute (LRI) launched today its new Distinguished Innovator Awards program inviting proposals for $1 million grants to conduct cutting-edge projects with the greatest promise for transforming the lives of people with lupus. The awards will be given to outstanding established scientists proposing innovative projects that pair unconventional creativity with sound science to discover the fundamental causes of lupus and unlock the potential for a cure.
The new initiative will run in parallel to the LRI’s well-established Novel Research Grant program, which has led to many of the decade’s pivotal discoveries in lupus. With the additional Distinguished Innovator Award, the LRI now offers researchers opportunities to delve deeply into the root causes of lupus as well as to open up a breadth of novel directions for further exploration. Together the two further elevate LRI’s unparalleled stature as the world’s leading private supporter of novel research in lupus today.
Calling for Distinguished Innovator Proposals with Groundbreaking Potential
For the first time the international scientific community will be challenged to do lupus research differently, to mount large-scale projects that exploit the growing knowledge base and advancing technology to break open the fundamental causes of this complex disease. To enlist fresh perspectives and foster synergy across diverse disciplines, the LRI encourages applications from researchers throughout the world who have demonstrated creativity and productivity in their field of immunology, genetics, and molecular-, cell- and systems biology – whether or not they have ever worked in lupus.
“The greatest scientific advances cannot be made without the willingness to venture into the unknown, and the Lupus Research Institute is unique in taking on high-risk projects that can bring high-reward results,” noted world-leading immunologist Dr. William Paul, LRI Scientific Advisory Board Chairman and member of the National Academy of Sciences. “As the name suggests, the Distinguished Innovator initiative seeks to attract exceptional researchers worldwide who can match scientific rigor with innovative vision in pursuing projects that can get to the root of lupus.”
“The Lupus Research Institute believes the global research community has the talent, foundational knowledge and technology to transform scientific thinking in the search for a cure,” said LRI President Margaret Dowd. “With a track record of funding many of the most significant discoveries in lupus, LRI is uniquely able to be the catalyst to bring about this quantum change.”