Hilton Foundation Awards Nearly $4 Million for MS Research

Hilton Foundation Awards Nearly $4 Million for MS Research

The Conrad N. Hilton Foundation in Agoura Hills, California, has announced the recipients of the 2017 Marilyn Hilton Award for Innovation in Multiple Sclerosis Research.

Awards in two categories — the Bridging Award for Physician-Scientists and the Pilot Innovator Award — are intended to stimulate innovative research on progressive MS that may otherwise go unfunded. In this round, seventeen physician-scientists will receive grants totaling nearly $4 million over a five-year period, with recipients expected to use the funding to explore topics ranging from the mechanisms behind myelination and demyelination to the use of advanced imaging techniques and the processes behind inflammation.

Four of the researchers will receive the Bridging Award for Physician-Scientists, which supports the work of postdoctoral fellows as they transition into faculty positions with grants ranging from $395,000 to $620,000. In addition, the thirteen Pilot Innovator Award recipients will each receive $120,000 in funding.

"Physician-scientists often find themselves at a disadvantage as they seek tenure-track faculty research positions because they have had less time over the course of their careers to pursue research interests," said Elizabeth Cheung, senior program officer at the Hilton Foundation. "As these MDs/PhDs enter into their first faculty positions, they find themselves in hybrid roles, where they spend much of their time seeing patients...rather than in the lab conducting research. The Bridging Award for Physician-Scientists will follow the researcher over a five-year time period and will provide incentive to institutions not only to hire these physician-scientists for research purposes, but also to provide adequate resources so they may start their own independent labs."

For a complete list of award recipients, see the Hilton Foundation website.