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2024 Young Investigator Awards Applications Open Soon

Uplifting Athletes awards annual grants for rare disease research and they’re looking for a new class of applicants.

Uplifting Athletes Young Investigator Grant applications opening soon

Before Uplifting Athletes opens its grant application process, they’re open to questions from prospective researchers – and rare disease patient advocacy groups – about how to score the annual $20,000 awards.

Sponsored in recent years by global biotech CSL Behring, the Young Investigators Draft in February awarded 10 $20,000 grants to scientists at a pro-level event at Lincoln Financial Field attended by researchers and patient advocacy organizations. Applications will open for the 2024 grants in August, and in the meantime, the nonprofit organization is making a representative available for meetings with potential applicants.

Schedule a meeting with Rare Disease Impact Manager Aimei Lund

Uplifting Athletes created the draft – and modeled it on the annual NFL football draft – to inspire early-career scientists to take the path less traveled by focusing on rare diseases. Thousands of rare diseases have been identified but only a small percentage have approved, effective treatments.

While the NFL draft selects the next generation of athletic superstars, this draft selects the next wave rare disease champions like Dr. Alberto Japp, who in 2019 sought to understand the hyperimmune response in Castleman disease patients. Or like Dr. Ukpong Eyo, who in 2021 began laying the groundwork for using microglia cells as a therapeutic target for a rare neurological condition called SLC6A1.

“What we're doing through the Young Investigator Draft is planting seeds in the rare disease community that we know will blossom at some point, whether it's five, 10 or 15 years from now, leading to opportunities for patients that currently don't have treatments or therapies,” said Rob Long, Executive Director of Uplifting Athletes.

Visit Uplifting Athlete’s website to learn more.