What we fund in neurofibromatosis research

Research funding without roadblocks

NTAP funds work based on scientific rationale, quality, promise, and clear relevance to understanding and treating cutaneous and plexiform neurofibromas.

No idea is too novel for us to consider. We support academic and industry scientists, small biotechs, big Pharma and allied care professionals. Our portfolio of funded research and partnerships spans basic, translational and clinical research.

Funding strategy

NTAP initiates programs and assesses funding applications through the lens of therapeutic acceleration, scientific rigor, collaboration, and transparency. Funding priorities include proposals that meet the criteria below.

Exclusive focus on cutaneous and plexiform neurofibromas
The variability of NF1 tells us there is much to discover about this disease. But the vast majority of NF1 problems will be solved once we understand cutaneous and plexiform neurofibromas. So while our portfolio of research investment ranges from novel discovery to target optimization to clinical profiling, the common thread among our funding selections is a focus on cutaneous and plexiform neurofibromas.

Focus on translation of biology to patient-relevant therapies
The NTAP research portfolio includes significant investment in all aspects of therapeutic development. Our funding strategy incorporates direct support for individual projects with potential to accelerate therapies, as well as investment in a broad range of data, tools, and methodologies that are applicable across the field.

Active pursuit of partnerships across the field of NF1
We are open to funding partnerships with any and all investigators and investors, and welcome inquiries and innovative conversations with biopharmaceutical leaders, researchers, and clinicians across the field of NF1.

Commitment to radically transparent, collaborative, innovative research
Robust, collaborative, replicable research leads to faster progress. NTAP works to build an open and collaborative research environment through strategic investment in:

  • Free, transparent and accessible research tools
  • Open, real-time sharing of biosamples, data and new findings
  • Open communication and collaboration among multidisciplinary researchers and experts
  • Productive and rigorous dialogue between patients and researchers

How we solicit and develop funded programs

NTAP funds research and partnerships through several mechanisms.

Open proposals: Investigators and inventors from all scientific and clinical backgrounds, around the world, are encouraged to submit proposals that advance meaningful therapeutic discovery for neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) - associated tumors. Selection of open proposals is informed by the outcomes of the 2022 cNF Symposium: the Biology and Therapeutic Development for Cutaneous Neurofibromas Initiative, which identified five areas of priority for cNF research. Learn more about open proposal opportunities.

Solicited Proposals: Solicited proposals target key gaps in the understanding of pNFs and CNFs and accelerate the development of therapies against these tumors. New requests for proposals (RFPs) are announced several time per year on the solicited proposals page of this website and through announcements in the NF1 Research Acceleration newsletter. View available RFPs.

Francis S. Collins Scholars Program: This highly selective program fully funds the work of early and mid-career clinician scientists who are ready to dedicate up to three years of their professional lives to work on plexiform and cutaneous neurofibromas. Known for its outstanding cohort of scientists, the Francis Collins Scholars program is creating the next generation of leading NF1 researchers. Apply to this career-defining opportunity in NF1 research.

NTAP Initiatives: NTAP sponsors and/or coordinates several research initiatives that support the mission of accelerating the understanding of and development of therapies for NF1. These include the cNF Symposium and Research Initiative, the NF1 Cell Culture Models Initiative and the Patient Reported Outcomes Initiative, and the Neurofibromatosis Therapeutic Consortium.

Supplemental Funding: We may issue add-on funding if a project shows significant progress and continued potential.

Investigators around the world are discovering better ways to treat plexiform neurofibromas (pNFs) and cutaneous neurofibromas (cNFs) with NTAP’s dedicated funding, resources, experts advisors, and strategic focus.

More than money

Grants from NTAP come with more than money. Successful applicants get access to a network of scientific and clinical advisors, NTAP staff, and our many external partners. You may be invited to join a consortium and/or attend virtual and in-person meetings with others working in the same research area who may enrich or even partner on your project.