MIGRAINE RESEARCH FOUNDATION LAUNCHES WITH ANNOUNCEMENT OF FIRST ANNUAL RESEARCH GRANTS
FOUNDATION FUNDING RESEARCH TO END DEBILITATING PAIN OF MIGRAINE SUFFERED BY MILLIONS
New York, NY – More than 30 million Americans suffer from migraine, yet research into the causes of migraine is both severely underfunded and neglected. Today, the Migraine Research Foundation officially launched its efforts to address the lack of research in this field by announcing the first annual research grants awarded by the Foundation. The Foundation is awarding nearly $200,000 in grants for 2007 and plans to more than double the grant amounts to at least $500,000 in 2008.
Founded by Stephen Semlitz and Cathy Glaser, whose family has struggled with the devastating effects of migraine for many years, the Migraine Research Foundation is dedicated to funding research that will end the debilitating pain of migraine that afflicts millions of men, women and children.
“Our family was surprised to find out that research efforts into migraine were enormously lacking,” said Ms. Glaser. “After talking with many doctors and migraine sufferers, it became clear that my husband and I could make a real difference in the lives of millions of people by supporting scientific research into the causes of migraine. That is why we founded the Migraine Research Foundation, which we foresee growing into the largest private funder of migraine research in the United States.”
Every 10 seconds, someone in the United States goes to the emergency room with a headache or migraine. American employers lose more than $13 billion each year as a result of 113 million lost work days due to headache or migraine. The lack of research into migraine is astonishing considering the widespread impact and consequences that this devastating condition has on American families and businesses. Over 10% of all Americans, including children, suffer from migraine, and nearly one in four households includes someone with migraine.
Guiding the efforts of the Migraine Research Foundation is a medical advisory board that includes leading neurologists from across the country and is chaired by Dr. Joel Saper of the Michigan Headache & Neurological Institute in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
“Migraine is underresearched by the scientific community, undertreated by physicians, and underappreciated by society,” said Dr. Saper. “There is no condition of such magnitude – yet so shrouded in myth, misinformation, and mistreatment – as migraine. The Migraine Research Foundation is about more than just the research that it will fund directly – it is about stimulating others to join us in addressing a critical gap in medical research.”
In addition to Dr. Saper, the medical advisory board of the Migraine Research Foundation includes Dr. Rami Burstein (Harvard University), Dr. F. Michael Cutrer (Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN), Dr. David W. Dodick (Mayo Clinic, Scottsdale, AZ), Dr. Peter J. Goadsby (University of California – San Francisco), Dr. Richard Lipton (Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, NY), and Dr. Stephen D. Silberstein (Jefferson University Hospital, Philadelphia, PA).
The Foundation’s first round of annual research grants, totaling nearly $200,000, has been awarded to four researchers whose work holds the promise of groundbreaking advances in the search for the causes of migraine. The recipients and the research they will be pursuing include:
• Richard Lipton, MD Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, NY Towards a Migraine Genetics Population Laboratory: Building on the American Migraine Prevalence and Prevention Study
• Michael Oshinsky, Ph.D., Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA Glial Activation and the Chronification of Headache
• Frank Porreca, Ph.D., University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ Behavioral Model of Medication Overuse Headache
• Ann Scher, Ph.D., Uniformed Services University, Bethesda, MD Migraine in Middle Age and Late Life: A Longitudinal Analysis of Factors Related to Migraine Prognosis in a Large Population-Based Cohort
“Today marks the start of a new commitment to supporting scientific research that we hope will lead to understanding the underlying causes of migraine and finding effective treatments for migraine sufferers,” remarked Samuel Yates, Chief Operating Officer of the Migraine Research Foundation. “We eagerly anticipate the results of the work these grants will support, and are optimistic that the research funded by the Foundation will ultimately help improve the quality of life for millions of people.”
The Migraine Research Foundation has already committed to more than doubling the funds available for research grants in 2008 to $500,000, with funding coming from the support of an expanding network of individual donors, foundations, and corporations. The Foundation also plans annual increases to the total amount of grant awards in subsequent years. Information on applying for 2008 grants is online at www.migraineresearchfoundation.org/forresearchers.asp.
“Migraine research has lacked for funding and support for far too long. The Migraine Research Foundation is committed to helping research scientists discover the root causes of migraine and determine how to treat them,” said Stephen Semlitz, co-founder of the Foundation and Chairman of the Board. “Millions of families like mine live with the debilitating pain of migraine on a daily basis. Our hope is that eventually, due in part to the efforts we have already begun, everyone who suffers from migraine will have an effective treatment that they can count on to allow them to live a healthy, happy, and productive life.”
About the Migraine Research Foundation
The Migraine Research Foundation (formerly The Migraine and Pain Fund) is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to ending debilitating pain through funding scientific research into the causes and better treatment of migraine. More information about the Foundation and how to contribute to its efforts can be found at http://www.migraineresearchfoundation.org.