CurePSP: Grants for Diseases

OVERVIEW: CurePSP supports researchers investigating progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP) and other prime of life neurodegenerative diseases.

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

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

Prime of life neurodegenerative diseases are a group of brain diseases that afflict people in middle age, their 50s and 60s. These diseases have no cure, limited treatment options, and lead to early death.

CurePSP backs researchers studying many prime of life neurodegenerative diseases, however, its main interests are 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 to projects seeking to identify the cause and development of prime of life brain disease, develop practical diagnostics, and find 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. 

CurePSP's Venture Grants program offers seed funding for investigators in the proof-of-concept stage of 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, see 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 summer student fellowship. This $3,000-maximum award supports students conducting PSP research projects during the summer months.

To get the big picture of funding plans for the near future, explore the CurePSP Research Road Map. It offers details of the foundation's investment goals for research, as well as specific areas of research it plans to focus on to 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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