2013: A Year in Review for the Michelson Prize & Grants

As 2013 draws to a close, we at the Michelson Prize & Grants in Reproductive Biology would like to share with you the exciting accomplishments of our program and our grantees over the past year in our shared quest to develop a nonsurgical sterilant for cats and dogs.

Since January we have received a grand total of 75 letters of intent and 22 grant proposals from investigators at academic research institutions and biotechnology firms around the world. Nine proposals totaling nearly $4 million were approved for funding which means that, to date, we have committed just over $14 million to a total of 32 projects worldwide. Read more about current Michelson Grantees on our Current Grantee Profiles page.

Michelson Grant funded projects from R. John Aitken, ScD, FRSE at the University of Newcastle, Larry Chamley, PhD at the University of Auckland, William Ja, PhD at Scripps Research Institute, Megan Lloyd, PhD at the University of Western Australia, and Ralph Meyer, PhD at Utah State University completed in 2013. Visit our Research Findings page to learn more about the important discoveries that these and other Michelson Grantees have made in their efforts to develop a nonsurgical method for spaying and neutering companion animals.

In October we held a meeting of a subset of Michelson Grantees to discuss kisspeptin and its potential role in the development of a nonsurgical sterilant for cats and dogs. Dr. Robert Steiner, a kisspeptin expert at the University of Washington, gave an informative keynote address to attendees, who included Dr. Gary Michelson, 9 investigators working on 5 Michelson Grant funded projects, members of our Scientific Advisory Board, and Found Animals and Michelson Prize & Grants staff. Grantees in attendance shared their research approaches and findings and engaged in an exciting group discussion on how to take us closer to our goal of a Michelson Prize-worthy product.

This year we welcomed 5 new members to our Scientific Advisory Board: Janet Baer, DVM, Gary Richwald, MD, MPH, Josep Rutllant, DVM, PhD, William Swanson, DVM, PhD, and Joanne Zahorsky-Reeves, DVM, PhD. We are excited about the expertise and insight that each of these new advisors brings to our program and are looking forward to working with them in the new year.

Michelson Prize & Grants program staff participated in 11 conferences in 2013 including annual meetings of the Endocrine Society, the Society for the Study of Reproduction, and the Society for Neuroscience. Sponsorship of exhibit booths at scientific meetings enables us to meet face to face with potential grant applicants and allows us to spread the word about our international research grants and prize philanthropy model to a large group of researchers involved in relevant work.

We are constantly encouraged by and thankful for the exciting progress that is made every day by our grantees, and are looking forward to another busy year of participating in scientific meetings, hosting our second meeting of all Michelson grantees in May, and launching our new website in February.

We wish you all a happy, healthy, and productive 2014!