ICA Pilot Research Program


The Interstitial Cystitis Association (ICA) Pilot Research Program began in 1985 and remains the first and only interstitial cystitis (IC) dedicated research program funded by a non-profit, patient association. To date, the ICA Pilot Research Program has funded over 70 IC research projects, totaling more than $1 million. Donations for this research program are collected through the IMAGINE NO IC campaign.

 Apply for the ICA Pilot Research Program
Deadline is
February 28, 2014
Apply today!

Often scientists with novel IC research proposals are unable to receive funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) because they lack the preliminary data required for NIH grant approval. That’s where the ICA Pilot Research Program comes in—we provide researchers with the initial grant monies needed to get their projects literally "off the ground." ICA pilot research, funded largely by the Fishbein Family Foundation and ICA patient contributions, has "opened the door" for many researchers and enabled them to obtain large government grants to further pursue their explorations into the causes and treatments of IC.

What We’ve Learned Thus Far

The ICA Pilot program has been an exceptionally successful program. This is a reflection of the generosity of donors and the Fishbein Family Foundation, excellent work of the researchers, dedication and expertise of the scientific review committees, and the ICA’s ongoing networking within the research community. Highlights include the work of:

Many of these funded pilot IC research projects went on to receive National Institutes of Health (NIH) research funding. The importance of this cannot be overstated since NIH funding allows researchers to further pursue the work they began thanks to initial funding from the ICA Pilot Program and Fishbein Family Foundation. Learn about how your donations really do help advance our understanding about IC and translate into studies to find better treatment options and ultimately a cure.

Fishbein Family Foundation

ICA Pilot Research Program

Current Projects

Epidemiology/Genetics Natural History of 314 Incident IC/PBS Cases, University of Maryland, MD
Treatments/Drug Discovery The Effects of Caffeine on the Symptoms of Interstitial Cystitis/Painful Bladder Syndrome, Smith Institute for Urology, NY
  Osteopathic Manipulation as a Therapeutic Intervention for Female Interstitial Cystitis Patients with High-tone Pelvic Floor Dysfunction, Pelvic Pain and Sexual Health Institute, PA
Biomarkers Research Evaluating a Rapid Biomarker-based Method for Differentiating IC from Overactive Bladder (OAB), Tony Buffington, Ohio State University
  Understanding the Mechanism of Degeneration of Bladder Epithelial Cells that Occurs in IC Patients and Identifying Biomarkers, Jayoung Kim, PhD, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
Basic Research Influence of Endometriosis on Bladder Function: Basic Studies in a Rodent Model, Florida State University, FL


Revised November 13, 2013