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The Lipedema Foundation: $2.2M Awarded to Study Bad Fat
[February 25, 2016]

The Lipedema Foundation: $2.2M Awarded to Study Bad Fat


The Lipedema Foundation is pleased to announce sponsorship of multiple research projects in the US and EU to uncover secrets behind when fat is not obesity.

The TREAT (Treatment, Research and Education of Adipose Tissue) Program at the University of Arizona Health Sciences launched with $1.5M funding from the Lipedema Foundation. Under world-renowned fat disorders expert, Karen Herbst, MD, PhD, Chair of Adipose Tissue, the program has three aims: Treat people with fat disorders; perform cutting-edge Research including advanced imaging, phenotyping, basic and translational science; and create Educational material for healthcare workers. Read more

Supported by a £300,000 grant from the Lipedema Foundation, St George's, University of London, UK, will study Lipedema patients using the latest genetic sequencing and analysis assays. There is often a strong family history of patients with Lipedema, suggesting a genetic component. The project aims to identify genetic variants via analysis of familial cases by Next Generation Sequencing (NGS), and sporadic cases by microarray genotyping. St. George's will recruit phenotyped families to facilitate data collection and analysis. The program is led by Dr. Pia Ostergaard in conjunction with Drs. Kristiana Gordon and Peter Mortimer of St. George's University's Cardiovascular and Cell Sciences Institute. "We hope that by discovering the underlying genetic defect(s) causing Lipedema, we can use this new knowledge to better understand the mechanism of disease, which in turn will help us find a more specific treatment," said Dr. Pia Ostergaard. Read more

The Lipedema Foundation funded a 4th Lipedema Fellowship, adding to 3 funded via FDRS (read more). Awardees include: Zecchin under Carmeliet at University of Leuven, VIB; Crescenzi under Donahue at Vanderbilt; Jaldin-Fincati under Klip at The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto; and Bouta under Padera at Massachusetts General Hospital. The fellowships are a collaboration with LE&RN, administered by The Medical Foundation division of HRiA. Read more



LF is contributing to the Lipedema conference of Fat Disorders Research Society conference April 8-10, 2016 (read more), and the Gordon Research Conference Lymphatics March 20-25, 2016 (read more).

The Lipedema Foundation, in partnership with the Milken Institute's Center for Strategic Philanthropy, has launched a Giving Smarter Program for Lipedema. The effort will bring together relevant stakeholders to identify key research roadblocks and opportunities to help advance diagnostic and treatment options for people affected by Lipedema.


Lipedema is an underdiagnosed condition of abnormally accumulated fat on the lower body causing swelling and pain. It may affect up to 11% of post-adolescent women and may be misdiagnosed as, or coexist with, lymphedema, obesity, Dercum's, and venous disease.

About the Lipedema Foundation

Founded in 2015, the Lipedema Foundation is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit that is funding multiple basic and translational research projects at multiple top-tier universities and hospitals in order to define, diagnose and treat Lipedema and related conditions such as Dercum's. We are furthering knowledge of adipose and lymphatic biology, and spanning physiology, genomics, immunology and endocrinology. www.lipedema.org

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