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Questions About Rosacea Research Grants

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This is an open question to the RRDi MAC members about grant writing since we hope someday that the RRDi will be sponsoring our own grants and would like to know more about the process of grant writing and how it works. We hope the MAC members will give us some insight into what kinds of grants we should sponsor and thoughts on the following questions:

There are now two non profit organizations taking the lead in sponsoring rosacea research grants:

National Rosacea Society

American Acne & Rosacea Society

The NRS has the lead in sponsoring rosacea research by spending over the past 12 years a reported $962,696 on 45 reported grants. The AARS has spent $30,000 on three grants.

My questions are the following:

Of the total of 45 grants sponsored by the NRS only nine have been published. The three grants by the AARS haven't been published yet. Shouldn't the sponsors of grants look for awarding grants to those who get published, or does this matter?

Secondly, of the nine grants that were published (or for that matter all the grants sponsored), shouldn't the results of new treatments be one of the criteria for judging whether or not to continue sponsoring further research on a subject? I haven't heard of any new treatments as the result of any of the grants sponsored by the NRS or the AARS. Are there any new treatments resulting from any of the sponsored research so far?

Here is a breakdown of the published results of completed NRS sponsored research:

(1) The role of vascular endothelial growth factor in rosacea

Dr. Mina Yaar, professor of Dermatology, Boston University School of Medicine.

Publication of results: Kosmadaki MG, Yaar M, Arble BL, Gilchrest BA. UV induces VEGF through a TNF-alpha independent pathway. Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology Journal 2003;17:446-448.

(2) Influence of skin temperature on bacteria in rosacea

Dr. Mark V. Dahl, chairman of Dermatology, Mayo Clinic Scottsdale, and Dr. Patrick M. Schlievert, professor of Microbiology, University of Minnesota Medical School.

Publication of results: Dahl MV, Ross AJ, Schlievert PM. Temperature regulates bacterial protein production: possible role in rosacea. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology 2004;50:266-272.

(3) Immune system may trigger onset of rosacea symptoms

Dr. Richard Gallo, associate professor of dermatology and pediatrics at the University of California - San Diego and Dr. Masamoto Murakami, postdoctoral scientist, Veterans Medical Research Center.

Publication of results: Yamasaki K, Barden A, Taylor K, Wong C, Ohtake T, Murakami M, Gallo RL. Expression and potential pathological role of cathelicidin expression in rosacea [abstract]. The Journal of Investigative Dermatology 2004;122:A51. Abstract 301.

(4) The role of bacterial antigen(s) in the etiology and persistence of papulopustular bacteria.

Dr. Kevin Kavanagh, Department of Biology, National University of Ireland - Maynooth, and Dr. Frank Powell, consultant dermatologist, Mater Misericordiae Hospital, Dublin.

Publication of results: Lacey N, Delaney S, Kavanagh K, Powell FC. Mite-related bacterial antigens stimulate inflammatory cells in rosacea. British Journal of Dermatology 2007;157:474-481.

(5) Perceptions of self in persons with rosacea.

Karol Burkhart Lindow, RN, C, CNS, assistant professor of nursing; Deb Shelestak, RN, MSN; Joan Lappin, RN, MSN, Kent State University.

Publication of results: Lindow KB, Shelestak D, Lappin J. Perceptions of self in persons with rosacea. Dermatology Nursing 2005;17(4):249-254,3

(6) Glycomics analyses of tear fluid for the diagnostic detection of ocular rosacea.

Dr. Mark J. Mannis, Department of Ophthalmology, University of California - Davis.

Publication of results: An HJ, Ninonuevo M, Aguilan J, Liu H, Lebrilla CB, Alvarenga LS, Mannis MJ. Glycomics analyses of tear fluid for the diagnostic detection of ocular rosacea. Journal of Proteomic Research 2005 Nov-Dec;4(6):1981-7.

(7) Allergy-like reaction may trigger inflammation in rosacea

Dr. Richard L. Gallo, associate professor of dermatology and pediatrics at the University of California - San Diego, and Dr. Kenshi Yamasaki, Veterans Medical Research Center

Publication of results: Yamasaki K, DiNardo A, Bardan A, et al. Increased serine protease activity and cathelicidins promotes skin inflammation in rosacea. Nature Medicine 2007;13:975-980.

(8) Cell biologic effects of ATP on endothelial cells

Dr. Richard Granstein, chairman, Department of Dermatology, Cornell University.

Publication of results: Seiffert K, Ding W, Wagner JA, Granstein RD. ATPγS enhances the production of inflammatory mediators by a human dermal endothelial cell line via purinergic receptor signaling. Journal of Investigative Dermatology 2006;126:1017-1027

(9) Mite-related bacteria may induce rosacea inflammation

Dr. Kevin Kavanagh, Department of biology, National University of Ireland, Maynooth, and Dr. Frank Powell, Consultant Dermatologist, Mater Misericordiae Hospital, Dublin.

Publication of results: Lacey N, Delaney S, Kavanagh K, Powell FC. Mite-related bacterial antigens stimulate inflammatory cells in rosacea. British Journal of Dermatology 2007;157:474-481.

Source of the above published results

________________________________

Do you have any comments on any of the sponsored published rosacea research that would enlighten us on what the RRDi should be looking at to sponsor?

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Some of the RRDi MAC Members have replied to my question by email and here is the list:

From: Latkany, MD Robert

Subject: RE: Question for RRDi MAC Members

Date: December 24, 2009 12:52:11 AM HST

To: Barrows Brady

Not all grant recipients publish their results but the majority should. A submission of a paper should be required but not all papers are guaranteed acceptance. But if you are given money a paper should be submitted. The results should not influence additional funding as this introduces conflict of interest.

Robert Latkany, MD

___________________________________________________________________________________________

From: Robert Brodell

Subject: Re: Question for RRDi MAC Members

Date: December 24, 2009 2:38:30 AM HST

To: Barrows Brady

Picking a winner is as difficult in funding research as it is in horse racing. Several approaches can be taken. The most common approach is to have a committee of experts review grant applications and choose grantees that 1) have a proven track record in previous research in the area; 2) Have a solid plan that is feasible; 3) will provide important basic science information that can, hopefully, be translated into clinical treatments. However, this is by no means the only approach to funding research. The American Cancer Society saw a problem with research funding 50 years ago. Young researchers could not get their first grant to get started because it would be impossible for them to have a track record. Therefore, they began funding young researchers for their first grant...only requiring that they perform research applicable to the cancer problem. This approach has led to the initial funding of 43 investigators who have won the Nobel Prize in Science! My conclusion, develop a thoughtful system utilizing stakeholders with rosacea and noted clinicians and scientists. Stick to your guns and don’t put pressure on anyone to do anything BUT, make an effort to publish their research. Recognize that research that does not pan out is harder to get into the literature than research that identifies positive findings. Therefore, it is not the fault of the investigator if their reseach does not get published...they must, however, make a good faith effort.

Robert Brodell, MD

__________________________________________________________________________________________

From: raymond peat

Subject: Re: Question for RRDi MAC Members

Date: December 31, 2009 7:14:51 PM HST

To: Barrows Brady

It's good to be able to consult experts when judging the applications, but I think it's important to have some judges who aren't dermatologists. The existence of a large group of interested people communicating through the website could itself make a considerable contribution to productive research.

Raymond Peat, Ph.D.

______________________________________________________________________________

From: Peter Drummond

Subject: RE: update on the Journal of the RRDi

Date: January 2, 2010 4:36:47 PM HST

To: Barrows Brady

I have thought a little bit about the questions you posted on the forum about supporting rosacea research. I agree that one of the primary criteria for supporting research grant applications should be the track record of the applicants (whether publications have arisin from previous support, number of PhD students supervised, presentations at conferences etc). Of course the ultimate aim is to advance treatments for rosacea, but as progress has to depend on insights into pathophysiology it would be important to support fundamental as well as applied research.

Regards,

Peter Drummond, Ph.D.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

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Foundations often try to have their small grants serve as "seed" money, the idea being that they fund a small project which can serve as preliminary data for a larger (often NIH) grant. This in theory can turn a $25k foundation grant into a $250k NIH infusion into research in that disease. So, the foundation medical/scientific advisory committees are not necessarily looking for grants which will result in a publication or a new treatment - they're looking for grant applications which will result in a larger grant application. NIH tends to fund things which have a very high probability of resulting in an incremental increase in basic science knowledge in a field, so that's what the foundations often seek to fund too - not new treatments, not "breakthroughs".

David Jones, MD, PhD

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Foundations often try to have their small grants serve as "seed" money, the idea being that they fund a small project which can serve as preliminary data for a larger (often NIH) grant. This in theory can turn a $25k foundation grant into a $250k NIH infusion into research in that disease. So, the foundation medical/scientific advisory committees are not necessarily looking for grants which will result in a publication or a new treatment - they're looking for grant applications which will result in a larger grant application. NIH tends to fund things which have a very high probability of resulting in an incremental increase in basic science knowledge in a field, so that's what the foundations often seek to fund too - not new treatments, not "breakthroughs".

David Jones, MD, PhD

Thanks Dr. Jones. From what I have been learning from the MAC members is that what the public thinks about rosacea research grants is quite different from what the medical or scientific community thinks. Do you have any comments on the current published or non published rosacea research being sponsored by the NRS or the AARS?

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