More than a dozen institutions are currently researching the development of a non-surgical sterilant for companion animals in effort to curb pet overpopulation.
Found Animals Foundation, a privately funded Los Angeles-based non-profit group, in 2008 launched the Michelson Prize and Grants. A $25 million incentive will be awarded to the first person to successfully develop a non-surgical method for sterilizing cats and dogs. The Michelson Grants in Reproductive Biology offers up to a total of $50 million in funding for research offering non-surgical sterilization technology.
Since the announcement, Found Animals has received more than 150 letters of intent for the Michelson Grants, and has invited more than 50 investigators to submit full grant proposals. To date, 15 of those grants have been approved totaling more than $6 million in research funding.
“We are thrilled with the high level of interest we’ve seen from qualified applicants to date and we are confident that we’ll see many more proposals of equal excellence in the future,” said Aimee Gilbreath, executive director of Found Animals. “What’s even more exciting is that we’re seeing proposals based on new technologies such as nanocontainers and gene silencing, meaning that researchers are applying cutting edge science to this problem – which was our hope when launching the program.”
Regular meetings are scheduled with the Found Animals’ scientific advisory board to review proposals.
“Through the interest we’ve seen so far, we’re confident this innovative program is moving in the right direction and we’re excited about what’s in store with this group of elite researchers,” said Shirley Johnston, DVM., PhD., director of scientific research for Found Animals and oversees the prize and grants program.
The application for the $25 million Michelson Prize is available by clicking here.