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Vanderbilt University Medical Center investigators have demonstrated that dopamine produced in the kidneys is important for renal function, blood pressure regulation and life span. The kidney-specific dopamine system may be a therapeutic target for treating hypertension and kidney diseases such as diabetic nephropathy. Visit Journal of Clinical Investigation >

Grant Opportunities

The Halpin Foundation supports the study of kidney and autoimmune disease research. The organization is a vocal advocate trying to garner attention in the scientific community. For those professionals who can break new ground in translational research and contribute to the development of personalized medication, the Foundation is eager to fund your efforts. Rigorous review processes with leading scientists identify the most promising opportunities.

The Halpin family funded research projects in the US and abroad in the years before the formation of the Foundation.  The IRS recognized the Foundation in 2003 and in 2004/5 began a partnership with the American Society of Nephrology (ASN) in a grant for the study of membranous. Learn more about our partnership with ASN here and ASN co-grants here.

Since our son's diagnosis in 1989, I have read medical journals not only in nephrology, but also in genetics and numerous other fields looking for not only an understanding, but also a basic awareness of who is doing the most promising research. Many times diseases share a common biological pathway; therefore this has led us outside the field of nephrology.

In addition, patient activism is now at a new level. Foundations are not merely established to inform the public about diseases. They are established to fund actual research. Our Foundation is part of a movement that offers new hope for the more than 25 million people with so-called "orphan diseases" that are either rare or difficult to cure. We want the general public to have an understanding of these "orphan diseases" and provide links to forums and other organizations to aid in that educational process.

We are driven to find answers and cures.


Joan R. Halpin, President

Download Application (PDF)

Previous Recipients:

Dr. Sujit Basu, MD, PhD and
Chandrani Sarkar, PhD
Ohio State University Medical Center
On dopamine angiogenesis,
bone marrow and cancer.

Ariela Begnini, PhD, et al
Mario Negri Institute on MN.

Normal Siegel, MD,
Department of Pediatric Nephrology
Yale University, CT, USA,
A career development award

Vivette D. D'Agati, MD,
Columbia University,

Pierre Ronco, MD, PhD,
Tenon Hospital, INSERM,
Paris, France


Pierre Ronco, MD, PhD,
Tenon Hospital, INSERM,
Paris, France

Detlef Bockenhauer, MD, PhD,
Great Ormond Street Children's Hospital,
London, UK
On famial MN X linked genetic susceptibility

Susan L. Hogan, MD, MPH,
UNC Kidney Center at
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill;
causal factors for onset MN case control study

Laurence H. Beck, Jr., MD, PhD,
Boston University School of Medicine,
Development of an ELISA for the detection of
auto antibodies in MN.

Download PDF on Membranous Nephropathy and Malignancy