Rare Disease Research

2019 Young Investigator Draft
2018 Young Investigator Draft recipients
2019 Young Investigator Draft

Uplifting Athletes will host its 2nd Annual Young Investigator Draft on Saturday, March 9th at Lincoln Financial Field, home of the Philadelphia Eagles. For the second year in a row, global biotechnology leader CSL Behring will return as the title sponsor. CSL Behring is the fifth largest biotechnology company in the world.

What: 2019 Young Investigator Draft

Where: Lincoln Financial Field, 1 Lincoln Financial Way Philadelphia, Pa. 19148

When: Saturday, March 9th 6:00-10:00 p.m.

Why: The Young Investigator Draft is the result of Uplifting Athletes’ ongoing commitment to cultivate resources that accelerate scientific advancements for rare disease treatments and potential cures while facilitating the next generation of rare disease researchers.

Similar to the NFL Draft where teams select the top young prospects they feel can make the most impact on their future, at the Young Investigator Draft, Uplifting Athletes will reveal our 2019 draft class in five different rare disease categories to help impact their futures.

The five Young Investigator categories are: rare cancers, rare autoimmune and immunological disorders, rare blood disorders, rare genetic disorders and rare muscular and neurological disorders.

Young Investigator Draft grants are intended to inspire collaborative and translational research that will benefit the entire rare disease community. The Young Investigator Draft stage will provide a platform for these scientists to educate and inspire the audience by sharing their research along with its impact on the Rare Disease Community.

The event will include heavy hors d’oeuvres and beer and wine prior to the program for the evening.

The challenges faced by the Rare Disease Community are bigger than any one individual, team or organization can tackle alone. At Uplifting Athletes, we take pride in providing opportunity for college football student-athletes and NFL players to use the platform they are afforded to shine a spotlight on rare diseases and to support the cause.

Founded in 2007, Uplifting Athletes leads college football student-athlete led chapters nationwide in FBS and FCS programs including nearly half the schools in the Big Ten and ACC conferences. Since its inception, Uplifting Athletes has raised more than $4.5 million in support of the Rare Disease Community with a third of that, $1.5 million, given to fund rare disease research.

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2018 Young Investigator Draft recipients

 

Researcher: Dr. David C. Fajgenbaum

Category: Rare Autoimmune and Immunological Disorders

About: Dr. Fajgenbaum leads the Castleman Research Program at Penn as primary investigator of 18 translational research studies, including an international history study and the first-ever NIH R01 grant. His published research has changed the way idiopathic multicentric Castleman disease is researched and treated. Learn More

 

Researcher: Emily Rhodes Lowry

Category: Rare Muscular and Neurological Disorders

About: Rhodes Lowry received her BA from Barnard College in neuroscience and behavior then went to Rockefeller University for graduate school and earned her PhD in neurobiology and genetics. Since graduating from Rockefeller in 2012, she has been working in the research laboratory of Hynek Wichterle, PhD at Columbia University. The focus of the work she does is to screen for drugs that can potentially treat ALS. Learn More

 

Researcher: Dr. Alessia Stornetta

Category: Rare Blood Disorders

About: Dr. Stornetta grew up in Ticino, the Italian-speaking region of southern Switzerland. She received her bachelor and master degrees in food science and in 2016 obtained her PhD all from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich. In 2017, Dr. Stornetta joined the research laboratory of Dr. Silvia Balbo as a postdoctoral associate at the University of Minnesota with her research focusing on studying exposures in the oral cavity of people with the rare blood disorder Fanconi Anemia. Learn More

 

Researcher: Dr. Angela Waanders

Category: Rare Cancers

About: Dr. Waanders, a native of South Korea, began her research in 2007 as a pediatric hematology oncology fellow with a research project using SNP-array technology to profile childhood brain tumors. Since that time she has been directly involved in the genomic discovery and molecular characterization of brain tumors. Learn More

 

Researcher: Dr. Aimee Layton

Category: Rare Genetic Disorders

About: Dr. Layton's research focuses on lung disease and how exercise can be used to improve patient outcomes and predict how a person with a lung disease will respond to certain interventions, such as a lung transplant. She also researched how the mechanics of breathing can be impacted by disease and how the environment (pollution for example) impacts how our lungs work. Learn More

 

2018 Young Investigator Draft grant recipients

 

News

Posted on Tuesday February 12, 2019
Uplifting Athletes is excited to host the 2nd Annual Young Investigator Draft on Saturday, March 9th at Lincoln Financial Field, home of the NFL’s Philadelphia Eagles. The Young Investigator Draft is the result of Uplifting Athletes’ ongoing commitment to cultivate resources that accelerate scientific advancements for rare disease treatments and potential cures while facilitating the […] Continue Reading »
Posted on Wednesday January 16, 2019
Brett Brackett moves into General Manager role to complete leadership team Uplifting Athletes is excited to officially announce the promotions of Rob Long to Executive Director and Brett Brackett to General Manager. The duo will comprise a new executive team formed in the final quarter of 2018. Uplifting Athletes former Executive Director Scott Shirley, who […] Continue Reading »
Posted on Thursday January 10, 2019
Uplifting Athletes is pleased to announce global biotechnology leader CSL Behring will return as the title sponsor in 2019 for the second annual Young Investigator Draft on March 9th at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia. The Young Investigator Draft, tying the theme of the NFL Draft and Rare Disease Research together, is the result of […] Continue Reading »
Posted on Wednesday December 12, 2018
May your days be filled with Peace, Hope and Joy this Holiday Season! On behalf of the 30 million Americans that comprise the Rare Disease Community, our staff and team of college football student-athletes thank you for your loyalty and support in 2018!  It has been a memorable year and we thank you for helping […] Continue Reading »
Posted on Friday August 31, 2018
This story was written by ESPN Staff Writer Michael Rothstein and published on August 29, 2018. We are sharing this story as it was printed. To see the original link on ESPN.com click here. ALLEN PARK, Mich. — He finished his workout, got in his car and drove 1.8 miles from the Detroit Lions‘ practice facility […] Continue Reading »
Posted on Friday August 17, 2018
Uplifting Athletes is set to host its inaugural Young Investigator Draft presented by CSL Behring this Saturday, August 18, from 6-9 p.m. at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia. The Young Investigator Draft, tying the theme of the NFL Draft and Rare Disease Research together, is the result of Uplifting Athletes’ ongoing commitment to cultivate resources […] Continue Reading »
Posted on Friday August 10, 2018
The Young Investigator Draft is the result of Uplifting Athletes’ ongoing commitment to cultivate resources that accelerate scientific advancements for rare disease treatments and potential cures while facilitating the next generation of rare disease researchers. These Young Investigators will pursue rare disease research in one of five different areas: rare cancers, rare autoimmune and immunological […] Continue Reading »
Posted on Wednesday August 08, 2018
The Young Investigator Draft is the result of Uplifting Athletes’ ongoing commitment to cultivate resources that accelerate scientific advancements for rare disease treatments and potential cures while facilitating the next generation of rare disease researchers. These Young Investigators will pursue rare disease research in one of five different areas: rare cancers, rare autoimmune and immunological […] Continue Reading »
Posted on Tuesday August 07, 2018
  The Young Investigator Draft is the result of Uplifting Athletes’ ongoing commitment to cultivate resources that accelerate scientific advancements for rare disease treatments and potential cures while facilitating the next generation of rare disease researchers. These Young Investigators will pursue rare disease research in one of five different areas: rare cancers, rare autoimmune and […] Continue Reading »
Posted on Monday August 06, 2018
The Young Investigator Draft is the result of Uplifting Athletes’ ongoing commitment to cultivate resources that accelerate scientific advancements for rare disease treatments and potential cures while facilitating the next generation of rare disease researchers. These Young Investigators will pursue rare disease research in one of five different areas: rare cancers, rare autoimmune and immunological […] Continue Reading »