NEW YORK, April 24, 2017– Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C) has awarded a total of $1 million to four teams of cancer researchers to advance "innovation in collaboration" among SU2C-affiliated scientists. Each team, consisting of researchers from different SU2C-supported "Dream Teams" or research programs who have not previously worked together, will receive a grant of $250,000 over two years to support new research projects stemming from previous advances in cancer research from the SU2C community.
"Stand Up To Cancer works to break down the barriers to innovation by encouraging collaboration among the best researchers in order to advance science and benefit cancer patients," said Phillip A. Sharp, PhD, Chair of SU2C's Scientific Advisory Committee and a Nobel Prize winner for his research in genetics. "These teams and their research will help bring us closer to the day we defeat cancer."
The award program was established in 2014 by SU2C to honor Sharp's keen interest in team research, with a scientific review and oversight process managed by SU2C's Scientific Partner, the American Association for Cancer Research. The Phillip A. Sharp Innovation in Collaboration Awards are intended to reward distinctive collaborations that propose to accelerate current research and development models, bringing therapeutic benefits for cancer patients. Brief, initial proposals were reviewed by a committee of senior scientists led by SU2C Scientific Advisory Committee Co-Vice Chairs Arnold J. Levine, PhD, professor emeritus of systems biology at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, and William G. Nelson, MD, PhD, director of the Johns Hopkins Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center in Baltimore, during the SU2C Scientific Summit in Santa Monica, California, in January.
"The Sharp Awards are unique in how quickly they award projects so that the research can start immediately," said Levine. "We are committed to finding new and effective funding mechanisms for researchers across the SU2C community in order to advance the necessary science to defeat cancer."
Following the Summit, each selected team submitted a more detailed, yet still streamlined, two-page proposal and budget to SU2C's Scientific Advisory Committee.
"The research teams who submitted proposals for consideration are incredibly diverse and represent the full spectrum of research that is currently working to develop new treatments for cancer," said Nelson. "Topics ranged from computational biology to immune-oncology and we are excited to see where the four selected teams take their work with the help of the awards."
Sharing the $1 million in Sharp Award funding in equal allocations of $250,000 to support research over a two-year period are teams including SU2C scientific leaders, senior researchers, and early career investigators:
Interrogation of Resistance Mechanisms to Checkpoint Inhibitors Using Functional Genomics
- René Bernards, PhD, The Netherlands Cancer Institute, Co-leader, SU2C-Dutch Cancer Society Translational Research Team on DNA-guided Personalized Cancer Treatment.
- Siwen Hu-Lieskovan, MD, PhD, University of California, Los Angeles, Young Investigator, SU2C-Cancer Research Institute (CRI) Cancer Immunology Dream Team.
Aptamer-based Detection and Binding of Peptide-MHC Complexes
- Matthew Levy, PhD, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, 2009 Innovative Research Grant recipient.
- Cassian Yee, MD, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Co-leader, SU2C-CRI Immunology Dream Team.
Dissecting the Epigenetic Mechanisms of Repeat RNA Regulation in Cancer
- David T. Ting, MD, Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center, Investigator, SU2C-National Science Foundation-Lustgarten Foundation Pancreatic Cancer Convergence Research Team.
- Shelley Berger, PhD, University of Pennsylvania, VARI-SU2C Epigenetics Dream Team Joint Scientific Advisory Committee member.
Probing the Metabolic Interactions Between Tumor and Stroma in Pancreatic Cancer
- Matthew Vander Heiden, MD, PhD, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2016 Innovative Research Grant recipient.
- Melissa Skala, PhD, Morgridge Institute for Research, 2016 Innovative Research Grant recipient.
About Stand Up To Cancer
Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C) raises funds to accelerate the pace of research to get new therapies to patients quickly and save lives now. SU2C, a program of the Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF), a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, was established in 2008 by film and media leaders who utilize the industry's resources to engage the public in supporting a new, collaborative model of cancer research, and to increase awareness about cancer prevention as well as progress being made in the fight against the disease. As SU2C's scientific partner, the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) and a Scientific Advisory Committee led by Nobel Laureate Phillip A. Sharp, PhD, conduct rigorous, competitive review processes to identify the best research proposals to recommend for funding, oversee grants administration, and provide expert review of research progress.
Current members of the SU2C Council of Founders and Advisors (CFA) include Katie Couric, Sherry Lansing, Lisa Paulsen, Rusty Robertson, Sue Schwartz, Pamela Oas Williams, Ellen Ziffren, and Kathleen Lobb. The late Laura Ziskin and the late Noreen Fraser are also co-founders. Sung Poblete, PhD, RN, has served as SU2C's president since 2011.
About the American Association for Cancer Research
Founded in 1907, the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) is the world's first and largest professional organization dedicated to advancing cancer research and its mission to prevent and cure cancer. AACR membership includes more than 37,000 laboratory, translational, and clinical researchers; population scientists; other health care professionals; and patient advocates residing in 108 countries. The AACR marshals the full spectrum of expertise of the cancer community to accelerate progress in the prevention, biology, diagnosis, and treatment of cancer by annually convening more than 30 conferences and educational workshops, the largest of which is the AACR Annual Meeting with more than 21,900 attendees. In addition, the AACR publishes eight prestigious, peer-reviewed scientific journals and a magazine for cancer survivors, patients, and their caregivers. The AACR funds meritorious research directly as well as in cooperation with numerous cancer organizations. As the Scientific Partner of Stand Up To Cancer, the AACR provides expert peer review, grants administration, and scientific oversight of team science and individual investigator grants in cancer research that have the potential for near-term patient benefit. The AACR actively communicates with legislators and other policymakers about the value of cancer research and related biomedical science in saving lives from cancer. For more information about the AACR, visit http://www.AACR.org.
Jane E. Rubinstein