Scleroderma Research Foundation Science Workshop
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About Our Research Program
GRASP Research Project
CONQUEST: Patient Impact
Launching a Platform Clinical Trial
In August 2023, the SRF announced the launch of CONQUEST, a highly innovative platform clinical trial designed to rapidly advance promising treatments for scleroderma. In its initial iteration, CONQUEST will focus on Interstitial Lung Disease secondary to Scleroderma (SSc-ILD). In the future, the CONQUEST platform will be expanded to address other manifestations of scleroderma.
Based on a model first created over a decade ago to accelerate oncology drug development, CONQUEST is an international, multicenter, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, phase 2 platform clinical trial, and is the first of its kind in rare autoimmune diseases.
Conceived and led by the SRF, this groundbreaking effort aims to enroll patients across more than 130 centers in 22 countries.
Leading Large-scale Research Projects
In the past few years, in addition to its core research program, the Scleroderma Research Foundation 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.
Next Generation of Investigators
Knowing that future discovery will come from the next generation of scientists, the Scleroderma Research Foundation 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 Scleroderma Research Foundation brings together research investigators from across the nation and unites them in a research community.
Each year, the SRF hosts its Science 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.