Life Sciences: Rare Diseases, New Approaches
2009 – 2014
The research programme «Rare Diseases – New Approaches» started in 2009 and invests CHF 2 mio. p.a. There is a yearly call open to researchers at Swiss universities, university hospitals, federal institutes of technology, research institutions affiliated with Swiss universities and universities of applied sciences. Calls are launched in early spring, application deadline is in summer, decisions are taken in autumn.
The 2014 call is the sixth and last call of the programme.
Objectives of the Programme
The goal of the current initiative «Rare Diseases – New Approaches» is to improve the diagnosis and treatment of rare genetic diseases.
The programme is aimed at bridging the worlds of basic and clinical research: projects with new approaches or technologies will be supported that focus on a clinical or diagnostic application. The project results should lead to a better understanding of the genetic, molecular and biochemical processes underlying these diseases and pave the way towards new diagnostics and new forms of treatment. The ideal project scenario would show concrete compounds and diagnostic tests from which patients suffering from a rare disease could benefit.
The focus must be on innovation, feasibility and effectiveness, while attaining high scientific and technological standards. The call is directed at researchers developing and implementing innovative approaches or technologies to address currently unresolved needs.
- The grants are awarded to projects that develop and/or implement novel approaches or technologies for the diagnosis, characterisation and/or treatment of rare genetic diseases.
- To qualify for support, the project must be rooted at a Swiss university, university hospital, federal institute of technology, at research institutions affiliated with Swiss universites or at a university of applied sciences.
- Support is not restricted to already existing research groups but also to new groups.
- The programme finances the costs of salaries, consumables and equipment; infrastructure costs must be covered by the host institution.
- Preference is given to clearly defined projects with a maximum budget of CHF 500’000 for a period not exceeding three years.
- The project may be concurrently supported from other sources (e.g. Swiss Confederation, cantons, foundations, industry); however, the programme is not going to support gap financing.
- Projects must comply with the regulations commonly in force in the research sector and have the necessary authorizations.
Project Evaluation and Monitoring
- The projects are evaluated by the programme Advisory Board.
- The Foundation’s decision is communicated in early November.
- Managers of the successful projects are invited to negotiate contracts with Gebert Rüf Stiftung, which will define the deliverables and reporting requirements.
- All copyrights, patent rights and rights of use remain with the project management.
- Prof. Dr. Rudolf Marty, Gebert Rüf Stiftung, Chairman of the Board of Trustees
- Prof. Dr. Susan Gasser, Friedrich Miescher Institute, Gebert Rüf Stiftung, Member of the Board of Trustees
- Prof. Dr. Josef Jiricny, University of Zurich
- Prof. Dr. Denis Monard, Swiss Academy of Sciences
- Prof. Dr. Marc Schapira, University of Geneva
- Prof. Dr. Jürg Schifferli, University of Basel, Gebert Rüf Stiftung, Member of the Board of Trustees
- Prof. Dr. Mehdi Tafti, University of Lausanne
- Gebert Rüf Stiftung
Dr. Pascale Vonmont, CEO/Director, Bäumleingasse 22/4, 4051 Basel
pascale., Tel +41 61 270 88 24 vonmont@grstiftung. ch
The winners of the calls 2009 – 2014
Call 2014: 5 finalists out of 67 submissions
- Towards Small Molecule Intervention in Cockayne Syndrome, Dr. Nicolas Thomä, Friedrich Miescher Institute for Biomedical Research, CHF 480'000
- Immune-metabolism of Antibody Deficiency, Prof. Dr. Christoph Hess, University Hospital Basel, CHF 400'000
- Intracellular nucleic acid sensing in Aicardi-Goutières Syndrome, Prof. Dr. Andrea Ablasser, Ecole Polytéchnique Fédérale de Lausanne, CHF 470'000
- Treating Myotonic Dystrophy, Prof. Dr. Vincent Dion, University of Lausanne, CHF 420'000
- Next Generation Sequencing and Functional Platform, Fabio Candotti, Lausanne University Hospital (CHUV), CHF 250'000
Call 2013: 5 finalists out of 73 submissions
- Treating dominant optic atrophy, Dr. Albert Neutzner, University Hospital Basel, CHF 300'000
- Neurodegeneration in Rasmussen Encephalitis, Prof. Dr. Doron Merkler, University of Geneva Medical School, CHF 490'000
- Treatment for Cutaneous Lupus Erythematosus, Prof. Dr. Jean Pieters, University of Basel, CHF 450'000
- New drug targets to treat polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD), Prof. Dr. Daniel Constam, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale Lausanne, CHF 480'000
- Nrf2 and Netherton Syndrome, Dr. Matthias Schäfer, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich, CHF 380'000
Call 2012: 5 finalists out of 54 submissions
- Molecular Basis of Pseudomonas Aeruginosa Persistence during Chronic Infections of Cystic Fibrosis Airways, Prof. Dr. Urs Jenal, University of Basel, CHF 370’000
- Transient Neonatal Diabetes and ZFP57 as a Paradigm for the Exporation of Imprinting Disorders, Prof. Dr. Didier Trono, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, CHF 400’000
- Inducing Immunological Tolerance to Galsulface as an Example in Enzyme Replacement Therapies, Prof. Dr. Jeffrey A. Hubbell, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, CHF 300’000
- Uromodulin-associated Kidney Diseases, Prof. Dr. Olivier Devuyst, University of Zurich and UniversitätsSpital Zurich, CHF 490’000
- Optogenic Vision Restoration and Neuroprotection in Retinitis Pigmentiosa, Dr. Botond Roska, Friedrich Miescher Institute for Biomedical Research, CHF 500’000
Call 2011: 6 finalists out of 32 submissions
- Prodrug Platform for Rare Colonic Diseases, Prof. Dr. Jean-Christophe Leroux, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich, CHF 300’000
- Treatment for Dysferlinopathies, Prof. Dr. Michael Sinnreich, University Hospital Basel, CHF 480’000
- Vaccination for the Prevention and Cure of Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Prof. Dr. Anne Müller, University of Zurich, CHF 190’000
- Host- and Pathogen-Derived Factors in Chronic Mucocutaneous Candidadiasis, Prof. Dr. Salomé Leibundgut-Landmann, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich, CHF 500’000
- Rational Targeting of FOXC2 Haploinsufficiency, Ass. Prof. Dr. Tatiana Petrova, Lausanne University Hospital (CHUV), CHF 500’000
- Role of snoRNAs in the Development of Prader Willi Syndrome, Dr. Shivendra Kishore, University of Basel, CHF 110’000
Call 2010: 5 finalists out of 48 submissions
- Towards a better mechanistic understanding of Friedreich's Ataxia, Ass. Prof. Dr. Marc Bühler, Friedrich Miescher Institute for Biomedical Research, Basel, CHF 498’000
- Role of macroautophagy in CGD and correction of the defect, PD Dr. Janine Reichenbach, University Children's Hospital Zurich, CHF 390’000
- Consanguinity and rare recessive disorders, Prof. Dr. Stylianos Antonarakis, University of Geneva, CHF 500’000
- Rescue of dysfunctional RNA processing in spinal muscular atrophy through PGC-1-alpha, Prof. Dr. Christoph Handschin, University of Basel, CHF 400’000
- Novel mechanisms causing Lafora disease, Dr. Oliver Kötting, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich, CHF 250’000
Call 2009: 5 finalists out of 58 submissions
- Towards Preventing Nodule Formation in Hyaline Fibromatosis Patients, Prof. Dr. Gisou van der Goot, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, CHF 450’000
- Genetic Screening for Disease-Causing Mutations in Familial Polycythemia Using Next Generation DNA Sequencing, Prof. Dr. Radek Skoda, University Hospital Basel, CHF 300’000
- Gene Hunting for Recessive Hereditary Peripheral Neurophaties by Recent and Highly-Paralell Technologies, Dr. Carlo Rivolta, University of Lausanne, CHF 440’000
- Hereditary Sensory Neuropathy Type 1 - Pathomechanism and Therapie, Dr. Thorsten Hornemann, University of Zurich, CHF 340’000
- Identification of New Factors Implicated in Genetic Gonadal Disorders, Dr. Serge Nef, University of Geneva, CHF 450’000