CurePSP: Grants for Brain Research and Treatment

OVERVIEW: CurePSP supports researcher projects investigating progressive supranuclear palsy and other prime of life neurodegenerative diseases.

IP TAKE: The funding policies of CurePSP aren’t incredibly clear. Investigators with novel projects will have to reach out to the foundation’s staff and scientists to get their feet in the funding door here.

PROFILE: The Society for PSP was very quietly established in 1990 when David Saks contacted the National Organization of Rear Disorders (NORD) to get a list of people whose lives had been impacted by progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP), a prime of life neurodegenerative disease.

Prime of life neurodegenerative diseases can most easily be described as a group of brain diseases that affect people who are in middle age or in their 50s and 60s. These diseases have no cure, often limited treatment options, and lead to early death.

CurePSP awards grants to researchers studying many prime of life neurodegenerative diseases, however, its main focus of funding attentions are on PSP, corticobasal degeneration (CBD), multiple system atrophy (MSA), frontotemporal dementia (FTD), chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

The foundation dedicates a good deal of funding toward projects identifying the cause and development of prime of life brain disease, developing practical diagnostics, and developing treatment that will “prevent, slow, halt or even reverse the progression of the diseases.” The ultimate goal of course, is to discover cures to this spectrum of debilitating diseases.  

Its Venture Grants program offers seed funding for investigators who are in the proof of concept stage of their research. $100,000 grants are awarded for one- to two-year studies. To get a broader sense of the kind of research projects supported by CurePSP, look over a listing of its current Venture Grants.

Another grant program offered by the foundation is its Enterprise Grants. This program works in partnership with Penn Medicine, awarding grants to senior investigators at major medical and academic institutions across the U.S.

The foundation also offers a small grant for summer student fellowships. This $3,000 maximum award supports students who are conducting PSP research projects during the summer months.

To get a big-picture idea of where CurePSP plans on sinking its funding dollars in the near future, explore its CurePSP Research Road Map. The Research Road Map offers in-depth details regarding how much the foundation plans to invest in research and specific areas of research in which it plans to focus in order to reach the goals of identify new drug targets, screen potential drugs, develop diagnostics, and “implement both small and large scale testing in human patients.”

The process to apply for a CurePSP grant is a bit opaque. It looks like projects are evaluated by a Scientific Advisory Board, which collaborates with the foundation’s vice president of scientific affairs, and the Board of Directors Research Committee to decide on which projects to fund.


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