The Orphan Disease Center will develop transformative therapies using platform technologies that can be deployed across multiple rare diseases. We will emphasize disorders with substantial unmet need independent of their incidence and will strive to assure access to patients of all populations.


Each type of orphan disease affects such a small subset of the population, so the need for research and funding in this area is largely unmet. Our Center, the first of its kind, works closely with patient groups and foundations, pharma and biotech, and the academic community. We bring a unique set of programs to the table, enabling us to add value at any stage - from building the initial knowledge base to enabling therapeutic development. Through our grants, Programs of Excellence, International Patient Registries, Jump Start programs, and a number of new initiatives, the ODC seeks to drive therapeutic development for rare diseases. We help identify and fund the most promising therapeutics while also tackling obstacles present in rare disease drug development.

About Our Grantmaking

The ODC offers over 50 grant opportunities in 30+ disease areas annually to researchers across the globe, as well as within the Penn and CHOP community. Since 2011, our grant programs have funded $17.2 million in rare disease research.

Upcoming Grant Opportunities:

The Hypoparathyroidism Stem Cell Consortium Grant Program is now open. 

The In-home Calcium Diagnostic Device for Hypoparathyroidism Grant Program is now open. 

The Orphan Disease Center is now accepting applications for new team participation in the 2020 Million Dollar Bike Ride on Saturday, June  13th.  Please submit this form to enter your disease group for consideration in our 2020 event.  Submission does not guarantee your team's participation.  Space for new teams is limited.  We will contact you to let you know the status of your application. All applications are  due no later than Monday, November 30, 2019

Orphan Disease Center