NEW YORK, November 2, 2017 – The Lung Cancer Research Foundation (LCRF) announced the recipients of its 2017 Scientific Grant Program Awards at the Twelfth Annual Lung Cancer Awareness Luncheon, held on Wednesday, November 1, at The Pierre in New York City. LCRF awarded $1.6 million in research grants to 10 investigators.
Each year LCRF funds projects across the spectrum of basic, clinical and translational research through its Scientific Grant Program. Research topics include improving our understanding of lung cancer biology, prevention and screening for early detection, identification of new biomarkers and the development of targeted therapies, development of more effective and safer therapies, and supportive care and quality of care/outcomes research.
“Lung cancer remains the number one cause of cancer death worldwide, yet it is also the most underfunded cancer,” said Nancy M. Sanford, Executive Director, LCRF. “We are proud to be the largest charity dedicated to funding lung cancer research and are confident that LCRF’s investigators are moving the needle in the fight against this deadly disease.”
Among the 2017 Scientific Grant Program Awards are the prestigious Scientific Merit Award and William C. Rippe Award for Distinguished Research in Lung Cancer. The Scientific Merit Award is presented to the investigator whose proposal was selected for outstanding overall merit by LCRF’s Scientific Advisory Board. This year’s recipient is Nikhil Joshi, PhD, Assistant Professor in the Department of Immunobiology at Yale School of Medicine. Dr. Joshi’s research project is titled, “Investigating anti-tumor T cell function in autochthonous models of lung adenocarcinoma.”
“This is the second time I’ve been fortunate enough to have support from LCRF for my research, and it’s been essential for my ability to do research in this area,” said Dr. Joshi. “I’m excited that we’re in a good position to start figuring out what immune cells [do in lung cancer] and why they don’t work without help. LCRF will be essential for that effort and I’m very grateful for the opportunity be part of this story going forward.”
LCRF’s William C. Rippe Award for Distinguished Research in Lung Cancer is presented to the investigator whose proposal not only demonstrated exceptional scientific merit but also exemplified an enduring commitment to making an impact in the field of lung cancer research. Christopher Maher, PhD, Assistant Professor within the Department of Medicine and Assistant Director of the McDonnell Genome Institute at Washington University, was named as this year’s recipient. His research project is titled “Understanding the regulatory roles of long non-coding RNAs in lung cancer.”
“I am very grateful to receive support from LCRF to accelerate our lung cancer research,” said Dr. Maher. “This funding will enable us to understand how a tumor spreads throughout the body to ultimately guide the development of better treatments.”
In 2017, LCRF received 172 applications to the Scientific Grant Program, representing 103 institutions from sixteen countries. LCRF grants provide up to $150,000 over a two-year funding period. The 2017 awardees include:
Ashley Bakhoum, PhD, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
Targeting metastasis-initiating cells in lung adenocarcinoma
Amy Davidoff, PhD, Yale University
Patterns of palliative care and concurrent therapy for lung cancer at end-of-life: implications for quality
Benjamin Drapkin, MD, PhD, Massachusetts General Hospital
Biomarker discovery for combination therapy with olaparib and temozolomide using patient-derived xenograft models of small cell lung cancer
Marcus Goncalves, MD, PhD, Weill Cornell Medical College
Molecular mechanisms of cachexia in non-small cell lung cancer
Haichuan Hu, MD, Massachusetts General Hospital
Targeting the tumor microenvironment to enhance non-small cell lung cancer targeted therapy
Nikhil Joshi, PhD, Yale University
Investigating anti-tumor T cell function in autochthonous models of lung adenocarcinoma
Christopher Maher, PhD, Washington University
Understanding the regulatory roles of long non-coding RNAs in lung cancer
Triparna Sen, PhD, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
Investigating the role of DNA damage repair inhibition in enhancing anti-tumor immunity in small cell lung cancer
Alison Taylor, PhD, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Genome engineering to generate models of chromosome arm-level aneuploidies in lung cancer
Hua Zhang, MD, PhD, New York University School of Medicine
Enhancing anti-PD-1 immunotherapy with CDK7 inhibition in small cell lung cancer
In addition to the presentation of the 2017 Scientific Grant Program awards, LCRF’s Lung Cancer Awareness Luncheon featured two guest speakers. Heidi Greulich, PhD, Senior Group Leader at the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT, gave the keynote address. Chris Draft, Founder, President and CEO of The Chris Draft Family Foundation, Co-founder of Team Draft, and former NFL linebacker and NFL Ambassador, shared his personal lung cancer experience.
During the program, LCRF Executive Director, Nancy M. Sanford, shared news about the organization’s recent merger with Free to Breathe, a lung cancer research and advocacy organization. LCRF and Free to Breathe merged on September 30, 2017 to further their impact on lung cancer research discoveries. The Lung Cancer Research Foundation name will be retained to best reflect their shared mission: to improve lung cancer outcomes by funding research for the prevention, diagnosis, treatment and cure of lung cancer. To date, the new LCRF has funded a cumulative 342 grants, totaling nearly $34 million and representing the highest amount of funding provided by an organization dedicated to supporting lung cancer research.
For more information on LCRF and the Scientific Grant Program, visit https://www.lungcancerresearchfoundation.org/
About the Lung Cancer Research Foundation
The Lung Cancer Research Foundation is the pre-eminent national nonprofit focused on funding innovative, high-reward research with the potential to extend survival and improve quality of life for people with lung cancer. The organization’s mission is to improve lung cancer outcomes by funding research for the prevention, diagnosis, treatment and cure of lung cancer.
To date, the Lung Cancer Research Foundation has provided 342 grants, totaling nearly $34 million to institutions around the world for critical lung cancer research. In addition to funding lung cancer research, the organization focuses on lung cancer awareness and education programs. The Foundation will also host over 50 public events nationwide through the Free to Breathe Event Series.
Emily Prager, eprager@Lungfund.org, (212) 588-1580
SOURCE Lung Cancer Research Foundation