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BCRF Welcomes New Grantees for 2015-16

By BCRF | November 6, 2015

BCRF’s longstanding commitment to the most promising research continues with its 2015-2016 grantees

This year, BCRF is investing $48.5 million to support 240 researchers at leading medical institutions across five continents, making the Foundation one of the largest nonprofit funders of breast cancer research in the world. In addition to our renewing grantees, BCRF welcomes the following new lead investigators conducting studies in tumor biology, genetics, prevention, treatment, drug resistance and metastasis, and also is pleased to highlight seven new investigators who are joining current BCRF grantees on continuing projects.

Sarat Chandarlapaty, MD, PhD and Maurizio Scaltriti, PhD, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY

Scientists have learned that some breast cancers can circumvent targeted therapies by developing new molecular changes that make the cells resistant to treatment. The goal of the BCRF research led by Drs. Chandarlapaty, Scaltriti and Larry Norton is to determine the molecular mechanisms of resistance in order to eliminate these barriers and improve breast cancer outcomes.

E. Aubrey Thompson, PhD, Mayo Clinic Comprehensive Cancer Center, Jacksonville, FL

About 15-20% of breast tumors are characterized by very high levels of the HER2 protein. While most of these patients will benefit from HER2-targeted therapies like trastuzumab (Herceptin®), about 25% will not. Dr. Thompson’s team is studying the relationship between the genetics and biology of the tumor and the immune system to determine the risk of recurrence after treatment with trastuzumab. These studies are essential to identifying patients who are unlikely to benefit from standard therapy and may lead to novel therapeutic strategies to harness the power of the immune system to reduce the risk of relapse.

BCRF has had longtime collaborative partnerships with the Conquer Cancer Foundation (CCF) of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) and the American Association of Cancer Research (AACR) and supports one fellow each year from the American Society of Preventive Oncology (ASPO). These awards support the early career development of basic and clinical scientists dedicated to a career in breast cancer research and care. This year, BCRF is proud to support the following CCF, AACR and ASPO award recipients:

William Dalton, MD, PhD, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, Conquer Cancer Foundation of ASCO Young Investigator Award
Valerie Jansen, MD, PhD, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, TN, Conquer Cancer Foundation of ASCO Young Investigator Award
Kara Maxwell, MD, PhD, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, Conquer Cancer Foundation of ASCO Young Investigator Award
Prabhjot Mundi, MD, Columbia University Medical Center, New York, NY, Conquer Cancer Foundation of ASCO Young Investigator Award
David Page, MD, Providence Portland Medical Center, Portland, OR, Conquer Cancer Foundation of ASCO Young Investigator Award
Katherine Reeder-Hayes, MD, MBA, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC, Conquer Cancer Foundation of ASCO Career Development Award
Priyanka Sharma, MD, University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City, KS, Conquer Cancer Foundation of ASCO Advanced Clinical Research Award
Sasha Stanton, MD, PhD, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, BCRF-AACR Translational Breast Cancer Research Award
Fengtian Xue, PhD, University of Maryland, Baltimore, Baltimore, MD, BCRF-AACR Translational Breast Cancer Research Award
Lauren Houghton, PhD, MSc, Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, New York, NY , American Society of Preventive Oncology


BCRF welcomes new investigators who have joined existing BCRF grantees on their 2015-16 projects.

Laura Biganzoli MD, PhD, Hospital of Prato, Istituto Toscano, Italy, joins Dr. Monica Fornier as Co-Investigator on a study to determine if metabolites in blood of women with early stage breast cancer can help predict the likelihood of breast cancer recurrence.

Donald Berry, PhD, University of Texas, MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, joins Dr. Gabriel Hortobagyi as Co-Investigator in the first systematic analysis of the current breast cancer staging system to determine whether and how some commonly used biomarkers modulate breast cancer outcome, and if they should serve as the foundation for a new and improved staging classification.

Yoo-Jeong Han, PhD University of Chicago, joins Dr. Olufunmilayo (Funmi) Olopade as Co-Investigator on studies exploring alternative chemical and metabolic pathways that can be targeted to develop novel therapies for the most aggressive types of breast cancer, especially triple negative breast cancer.

Terry Hyslop, PhD, Duke University, Durham, NC and Deanna L. Kroetz, PhD, University of California, San Francisco, join Dr. Monica Bertagnolli as Co-Investigators on a joint analysis of two phase III trials evaluating the addition of bevacizumab (Avastin) to first line endocrine therapy in advanced breast cancer and a pharmacogenomic analysis of breast cancer studies, both carried out through the Alliance for Clinical Trials in Oncology.

Neil Iyengar, MD, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY, joins Dr. Clifford Hudis as Co-Investigator on a study aimed at improving breast cancer risk and prognosis by targeting inflammation and metabolism.

Jean Zhao, PhD, Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, MA, joins Dr. Zhigang Charles Wang as Co-Investigator on a study to develop novel and effective therapeutics in metastatic triple negative breast cancer.


To learn more about BCRF’s grantees, click here