Our Research Program

The SRF is America’s largest nonprofit investor in scleroderma research and devotes a greater percentage of its annual budget to scleroderma research than any other nonprofit organization.

Finding and Funding Innovative Research

Led by a Scientific Advisory Board comprised of some of the most highly regarded scientists in the nation, the SRF’s research program actively seeks out and recruits experts from the fields of rheumatology, immunology, genetics, and fibrosis, as well as, experts in cutting-edge technologies to join the scleroderma research community. With an intense focus on identifying projects and investigators likely to move scleroderma research forward, the SRF funds a diverse portfolio of projects led by top-tier investigators.

Leading Large-Scale Research Projects

In the past few years, in addition to its core research program, the SRF has led the formation of two large-scale projects aimed at accelerating scleroderma research.  The first is the CONQUER Registry, the first nationwide longitudinal registry for scleroderma patients in the U.S. The second is the GRASP Project, a collaboration among the National Human Genome Research Institute at the NIH and 23 U.S. scleroderma centers and clinics aimed at discovering genetic variations that may underlie the more common and often more severe scleroderma found in the African-American population.  Both of these extensive efforts will enhance researchers’ overall understanding of scleroderma and elucidate potential ways to intervene.

Sustaining Centers of Excellence

As another core feature of its research program, the SRF continues to provide funding to establish and support Scleroderma Centers where clinical research can be advanced. At these Centers, clinical research can be accelerated, the standard of care can be advanced and new scleroderma doctors and specialists can be trained.

Next Generation of Investigators

Knowing that future discovery will come from the next generation of scientists, the SRF provides grants to young investigators. Postdoctoral fellowship grants allow researchers to enter the field of scleroderma research and work alongside established investigators. Early Career Grants provide the resources for scleroderma clinicians, at early stages of their careers, to devote time to substantial research endeavors. As an indicator of success, several SRF-funded fellows and recipients of an Early Career Grant are now dedicating themselves to the field of scleroderma research.

A Focus on Collaborative Research

The SRF brings together research investigators from across the nation and unites them in a research community.

Each year, the SRF hosts its Scientific Workshop where SRF-funded researchers, Scientific Advisors and leaders from academia and industry meet to present, critique and discuss their ongoing research and ideas for new projects. Discussion is spirited and collaborative and new insights are shared even before they are published. Novel joint research endeavors often emerge from the meeting.

The SRF also hosts and supports a number of other meetings during the year, such as the GRASP Project annual meeting, the CONQUER meeting, and the biannual International Scleroderma Workshop. Collectively, these programs promote the sharing of ideas and new discoveries that further progress toward a cure.