Lung Cancer Research Foundation Awards $2.1 Million In Grants To Further Critical Research

NEW YORK, Oct. 30, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Lung Cancer Research Foundation (LCRF) awarded a record $2.1 million in research grants at its 10th Annual Lung Cancer Awareness Luncheon on Thursday, October 29, at The Pierre Hotel in New York City. In total, the organization awarded 28 grants as part of its 2015 Scientific Grant Program which is designed to fund projects across the spectrum of basic, clinical and translational research in lung cancer.

"LCRF is proud to recognize the outstanding efforts of our 2015 grant recipients," said Nancy Sanford, Executive Director, LCRF. "We believe that these groundbreaking research projects will greatly contribute to the advancement of innovative strategies to prevent and treat lung cancer, the number one cause of cancer death worldwide."

Among those newly awarded is Wen Xue, PhD, assistant professor at the RNA Therapeutics Institute at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. Dr. Xue also received the LCRF Scientific Merit Award, which acknowledges the investigator whose proposal was selected for outstanding overall merit by the Foundation's Scientific Advisory Board. Dr. Xue received the accolade for his research targeting small RNA-mediated KRAS inhibition in lung cancer.

"Continued support for lung cancer research is critical to driving advancements in the field. I'm thankful to LCRF for believing in this important research, which will potentially lead to better patient outcomes." said Dr. Xue.

Dr. Carla F. Kim, PhD, principal investigator at Boston Children's Hospital Stem Cell Program and associate professor of genetics and pediatrics at Harvard Medical School, received the William Rippe Award for Distinguished Research in Lung Cancer for her project regarding precision medicine opportunities for BRG1 deficient lung cancers.

The 2015 grant recipients were selected from a pool of more than 140 applications from 92 institutions in 19 countries. The maximum award amount is $75,000 for a period of one year. The 2015 LCRF grant recipients are:

John Brognard, PhD, University of Manchester
TNIK: a novel and druggable driver in lung squamous cell carcinoma

Alexander Drilon, MD, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
Targeting lung adenocarcinoma with MET exon 14 skipping mutations and defining mechanisms of sensitivity and resistance to therapy

Daniel Gomez, MD, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
Intratumoral heterogeneity analysis as a method for identifying drivers and mechanisms of metastasis in non-small cell lung cancer

Emanuela Grassilli, PhD, University of Milano-Bicocca
Development of a novel diagnostic and therapeutic target in non-small cell lung cancer

Wesley Hsu, MD, Wake Forest University Health Sciences
Inhibition of FGFR1/MAPK signaling to downregulate brachyury for the treatment of lung cancer

Paul Huang, PhD, The Institute of Cancer Research
Investigating kinase dependencies in BRG1-deficient lung cancer

Benjamin Izar, MD, PhD, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Dissecting treatment-resistance to EGFR-inhibitors in lung cancer patients using single-cell RNA-sequencing

Duangporn Jamsai, PhD, Monash University
RBM5 is a critical regulator of pre-mRNA splicing and a lung tumor suppressor

Natalia Jura, PhD, University of California, San Francisco
Molecular basis for the activation of Met receptor in lung cancer by mutations in the juxtamembrane segment

Vaishali Kapoor, PhD, Washington University in St. Louis
Immunotherapy targeting radiation-induced neoantigens, a novel strategy to treat lung cancer

Carla Kim, PhD, Boston Children's Hospital
Precision medicine opportunities for BRG1 deficient lung cancers

Donald Kufe, MD, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Targeting the MUC1-C oncoprotein with new agents in drug resistant NSCLC

Vincent Lam, MD, University of Maryland, Baltimore
Genomic analysis of pan-wild type metastatic lung adenocarcinoma (LUAD) exceptional responders

Leanne Li, MD, PhD, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
It takes two to tango: Dissecting the molecular mechanisms by which intra-tumoral heterogeneity contributes to small cell lung cancer metastasis

Linde Miles, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
Characterization of ANTXR1 as the cellular receptor for Seneca Valley Virus

Matthew Niederst, PhD, Massachusetts General Hospital
Combining 1st plus 3rd generation EGFR inhibitors to maximize response in EGFR mutant NSCLC patients

Manish Patel, DO, University of Minnesota
Combination oncolytic virotherapy and immune checkpoint blockade for non-small cell lung cancer

Janey Peterson, PhD, Weill Cornell Medical College
Strides for life I: A randomized controlled trial of induction of positive affect to increase physical activity in early stage lung cancer survivors

Saleela Ruwanpura, PhD, Hudson Institute of Medical Research
Interleukin-6 trans-signalling as a novel therapeutic target and a biomaker for lung cancer

Kurt Schalper, MD, PhD, Yale University
Quantitative analysis of the PD-1 axis components and immune infiltrates in lung cancer: predictive role and therapeutic implications

Tuomas Tammela, MD, PhD, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Targeting cellular heterogeneity in lung cancer with novel therapeutics

Joana Vidigal, PhD, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
Investigating the role of mutations in epigenetic regulators and non coding DNA elements in lung cancer

Victoria Wang, MD, PhD, University of California, San Francisco
Tumor recurrence and drug resistance in non-small cell lung cancer through modulation of the cytoskeleton and Induction of YAP1

Ralph Weichselbaum, MD, The University of Chicago
Detection of RNAs activated by ionizing radiation and their radiosensitizing effects in lung cancer cells and tumors

Wen Xue, PhD, University of Massachusetts Medical School
Small RNA-mediated KRAS inhibition in lung cancer

David Yu, MD, PhD, Emory University
Exploiting the replication stress response in small cell lung cancer

Bruce Zetter, PhD, Boston Children's Hospital
The mechanistic role of prohibitin 1 in non-small cell lung cancer chemoresistance

Xiaorong Zhou, PhD, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
Molecular characterization of the PCDH7/SET pathway in non-small-cell lung cancer

Additional information about the LCRF Grant Program, can be found at

About The Lung Cancer Research Foundation
The mission of the Lung Cancer Research Foundation is to improve and save lives by funding groundbreaking research for the prevention, diagnosis, treatment and cure of lung cancer. In 2015, the original Lung Cancer Research Foundation and Uniting Against Lung Cancer merged to form the Foundation as it is today, combining their expertise, resources and networks to have an even greater impact on the disease. Since inception, the two organizations have funded hundreds of grants across the spectrum of basic, clinical and translational research at leading medical institutions around the world.

Delia Naughton,, 212-588-1580

SOURCE Lung Cancer Research Foundation