Planting Seeds for Future Developments: EHEF Research Grant Grows

The EHE Foundation invests in novel EHE research yearly through its EHE Research Grants Program. The program officially began in 2021, with only a few applicants interested in EHE research. Today, 10 applicants have submitted proposals in our 2024 grants cycle. 

Along the way, we have had the good fortune to meet and collaborate with renowned researchers and fund amazing opportunities to advance EHE science. 

In 2022, The EHE Foundation received a grant application from Dr. Ajay Pobbati to repurpose an FDA-approved drug for EHE treatment. We awarded a modest $65,000 grant for research that stretched into mid-2023. The money for that grant came largely from our community, raised during our annual Fun Run & Walk and Giving Tuesday campaigns. Then, in 2023, Dr. Pobbati submitted a second grant application leveraging the data generated from our 2022 award, identifying cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitors (CDKIs) as a class of drugs that could be effective in treating aggressive EHE. This was a win – our small investment was turning into something real. At the time, we didn’t realize what a transformative investment we had made.

Dr. Pobbati told us, “A drug that directly affects TAZ-CAMTA1 activity has not yet been identified. Here, we identified a CDKi that can destabilize TAZ-CAMTA1 by promoting its proteasome-mediated degradation. The NIH grant would not have been possible without earlier seed funds from The EHE Foundation’s research grants, made possible by the EHE community. This was an investment by the EHE Foundation, and it is paying off.”

Ajaybabu Pobbati, PhD and Brian Rubin, MD, PhD

Along the way, Dr. Brian Rubin and Dr. Pobbati also applied to the NIH for funds to take their research to the next level, leveraging the data generated from the grants provided by The EHE Foundation. The project entitled Forging a new path with cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitors to treat epithelioid hemangioendothelioma was awarded a two-year $225,000 grant by the NIH in January 2024, significantly expanding our investments to fund their research to investigate a potential treatment for EHE. Game changer!

EHEF $65,000 (2022) + EHEF  $30,000 (2023) + NIH (2024) $225,000 = $320,000

To Help Find a Treatment for EHE

Drs. Rubin and Pobbati are world-renowned scientists and pioneers in EHE research, literally forging new paths for EHE. You know them from their engagement in our community – generously giving their time to educate us on their science and the disease. We are grateful to have the opportunity to support their research, and YOU continue to make that possible. The spirit of giving and generosity demonstrated by our community is remarkable. You made this funding success story a reality. Together we seeded a project that has grown into a promising opportunity to find a treatment for EHE. We are profoundly grateful that you continue to help us fund impactful research. Together, we will forge new paths and see our seeds grow.

Read about their NIH grant award.