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2018 ASPIRE Rheumatology & Inflammatory Bowel Disease Research Awards

This ASPIRE program is part of Pfizer's commitment to supporting research in autoimmune diseases within rheumatology and inflammatory bowel disease.


The mission of the ASPIRE program is to fund high quality basic science, translational and clinical research through a competitive grants program that advances medical knowledge in the epidemiology, pathogenesis and treatment of selected diseases.


Scientific research continues to advance our knowledge and understanding of autoimmune diseases within rheumatology and inflammatory bowel disease. The 2018 ASPIRE Rheumatology and Inflammatory Bowel Disease Research Awards will fund meritorious research proposals that have the potential to improve patient care.

Areas of Focus

Research areas of interest in rheumatologic disorders and diseases and inflammatory bowel disease are described below:


  • Approaches to improving communication among patients and healthcare providers (e.g., enduring materials, technological advancements, or web-based teaching programs)
  • Health economic and outcomes research related to selected autoimmune diseases
  • Basic research in the etiology of selected autoimmune and inflammatory diseases in rheumatology or gastroenterology.

Rheumatologic Disorders and Diseases
Conditions of interest include, but are not limited to: RA, PsA, SLE, ILD

  • Use of biomarkers in assessment and management
  • Use of ultrasound and magnetic resonance imaging in assessment and management
  • Comorbid conditions, such as diabetes, cardiovascular, pulmonary, or ophthalmologic, and increased risks with concomitant therapies used to treat these comorbidities (including, but not limited to, epidemiology, overlapping pathogenesis, assessment, and management of these conditions)
  • Approaches to improving adherence to therapy
  • Approaches to improving management such as: treating to a specific goal or target by monitoring response and adjusting therapy; evidence-based treatment algorithms; factors predictive of response to therapy
  • Signaling pathways implicated in pathogenesis
  • Kinase inhibitors and other small molecules that are not being studied currently by a company competing with Pfizer Inc

Inflammatory bowel disease

  • Approaches to improving disease management (e.g. evaluation of sequencing of therapy, treating to a specific goal or target)
  • Use of biomarkers (of any type) to predict response to treatment, disease course, or to differentiate between Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis
  • Evaluation of the increased risk of cardiovascular disease in patients with IBD
  • Exploration of the role of JAK/STAT pathways in pathogenesis of IBD

Available Awards

ASPIRE Rheumatology and Inflammatory Bowel Disease research awards are up to a maximum of $150,000 each. Larger grants may be considered depending on scope and merit of proposal. Research projects are expected to complete within 2 years of study start.