|Rob Nicholls puts his pedals where his heart is! After months and months of grueling training for what will be the most challenging and gratifying ride of his life – The Rob Nicholls Ride for Research began four days ago!
Scientists and researchers throughout the country struggle as they face rejections of grant proposals or decreased funding for their critical work. Many US scientists are dependent on government funding. Sequestration, the across-the-board US federal budget cuts resulting from Congress failing to agree on deficit-reduction legislation, became official on March 1, 2013 and is exacerbating an already difficult research-funding situation. The National Institute of Health (NIH) faces a US$1.5-billion budget cut over fiscal year (FY) 2012–13, which it says will result in the funding of some 700 fewer competitive research projects. The US Department of Defense and the US National Science Foundation (NSF) each expects to offer 1,000 fewer grants, and the US Geological Survey has slashed its competitive-grants program as well.
As many professionals think about what their future and the future of their research looks like, Scientist Rob Nicholls has decided to take action. Having had a long relationship with the Prader-Willi Syndrome Association (USA), Rob reached out to the organization and requested a joint demonstration of their commitment to funding and supporting research. From this collaboration came the “Rob Nicholls Ride for Research.” Dr. Nicholls is riding his bicycle from the west coast of the United States to the east coast. He began on October 10th in San Diego, California and will end the ride at the 2013 PWSA (USA) National Conference in Orlando, Florida on November 6. The goal of the Ride is to raise funds for and increase awareness of PWS and obesity research in the USA. Monies raised will go to PWSA (USA) and be used to fund PWS and obesity research.
Robert D. Nicholls, D.Phil., is a scientist who is internationally known for his genetic studies of birth defects, especially Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS). This is his 27th year of PWS research. He started in 1987 and has been a member of the PWSA (USA) Scientific Advisory Board since 1992. Dr. Nicholls is the Director of the Birth Defects Laboratories in the Division of Genetics in the Department of Pediatrics at the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC and the University of Pittsburgh. The current research in Dr. Nicholls’ laboratory focuses primarily on PWS, with a major goal of understanding the biomedical basis of PWS and developing therapeutic approaches for the hyperphagia (extreme unsatisfied drive to consume food) and other major clinical issues in PWS.
Rob will be in Orlando, Florida November 5-7th. To find out more about his ride visit his website at www.robsrideforresearch.com
What is Prader-Willi Syndrome?
Prader-Willi syndrome is a complex genetic disorder that typically causes low muscle tone, short stature, incomplete sexual development, cognitive disabilities, problem behaviors, and a chronic feeling of hunger that can lead to excessive eating and life-threatening obesity.
It is estimated that one in 12,000 to 15,000 people is born with PWS. Although considered a “rare” disorder, PWS is one of the most common conditions seen in genetics clinics and is the most common genetic cause of obesity that has been identified. PWS is found in people of both sexes and all races.
What is the Prader-Willi Syndrome Association?
The Prader-Willi Syndrome Association (USA) is an organization of families and professionals working together to raise awareness, offer support, provide education and advocacy, and promote and fund research to enhance the quality of life of those affected by Prader-Willi syndrome. PWSA (USA) is the largest support, research, and advocacy organization for people and families living with PWS in the United States.
For information about Prader-Willi syndrome or how to get involved, please call 1-800-926-4797