FSR’s Small Grant Program
The FSR Small Grant aims to support smaller scale or pilot research projects, which can be supported either singularly by FSR or through a partnership with additional funders. The goal of this program is to provide bridge funding for promising projects specific to sarcoidosis.
The most recent awardee of the FSR Small Grant is Umesh S. Deshmukh at Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation for his project, Humanized Mouse Model For Sarcoidosis.
The formation of granulomatous lesions in multiple organs is a hallmark of pathogenic processes in sarcoidosis. When and how these granulomas form and progress is an enigma and difficult to investigate in human subjects with established disease. To address these questions, we plan to develop a novel mouse model system. We will construct humanized mice by putting white blood cells from sarcoidosis patients into severely immunocompromised mice. This methodology will allow the human cells to grow and establish a human immune system in the mice. The FSR funded proposal will allow us to use cutting edge technologies like Laser-Capture-Microscopy and Spatial Transcriptomics, to understand how exposure to environmental factors like fungi and mold cause granuloma formation in the lungs. Our planned studies will define the mechanisms and pathways involved in the disease pathogenesis. We strongly believe that understanding these underlying mechanisms holds the keys to developing novel therapeutic strategies to treat sarcoidosis.