WFH NETWORK

Clinical Research Grant supports new clinical investigations

Lize van Vulpen knows that without the assistance of the World Federation of Hemophilia (WFH) Clinical Research Grant she might never have been able to undertake her research into joint distraction in the treatment of ankle arthropathy in people with hemophilia.

“Besides the financial support, the grant also was an acknowledgement by the WFH that our research was important and worthwhile investigating. This helped me convince all the people I needed to collaborate with to make this project possible,” said van Vulpen.

Van Vulpen, recipient of a 2014 grant along with principal investigator Roger Schutgens from the University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht, the Netherlands, wanted to look into the value of joint distraction from a patient oriented point of view with the primary objective being symptoms and functionality.

“The grant requires a direct clinical objective. This fitted perfectly with the proposal,” said van Vulpen.

The direct clinical objective provides a means for researchers to directly influence the treatment of people with inherited bleeding disorders and potentially provide the groundwork to improve the lives of patients.

“By designing my research I try at first to formulate what the problem is for the patient. From that point of view I try to formulate a research question that in the end adds to an improvement of the life of the patients. Sometimes this link is difficult to see, as I am also performing basic research. But for instance the research focusing on the identification of biomarkers of joint damage, I’m convinced that this ultimately leads to better and more sensitive trials investigating the impact of our interventions on joint outcome.”

A total of $363,770 has been distributed.  Please note that part of this will be distributed at the beginning of 2016 as the second year of funding for the 2015 winners.