2013 New Discoveries and Honors in Cancer Research

2013 New Discoveries and Honors in Cancer Research

2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005

Members of the Damon Runyon scientific circle regularly publish findings on the latest cancer research and are frequently recognized for their contributions to the fight against cancer.  Below, you will find new discoveries in cancer research and the most recent honors bestowed upon Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation awardees, alumni and friends.

2014 New Discoveries and Honors in Cancer Research

2014 New Discoveries and Honors in Cancer Research

2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005

Members of the Damon Runyon scientific circle regularly publish findings on the latest cancer research and are frequently recognized for their contributions to the fight against cancer.  Below, you will find new discoveries in cancer research and the most recent honors bestowed upon Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation awardees, alumni and friends.

2012 New Discoveries and Honors in Cancer Research

2012 New Discoveries and Honors in Cancer Research

2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005

Members of the Damon Runyon scientific circle regularly publish findings on the latest cancer research and are frequently recognized for their contributions to the fight against cancer.  Below, you will find new discoveries in cancer research and the most recent honors bestowed upon Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation awardees, alumni and friends.

2011 New Discoveries and Honors in Cancer Research

2011 New Discoveries and Honors in Cancer Research

2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005

Members of the Damon Runyon scientific circle regularly publish findings on the latest cancer research and are frequently recognized for their contributions to the fight against cancer.  Below, you will find new discoveries in cancer research and the most recent honors bestowed upon Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation awardees, alumni and friends.

2010 New Discoveries and Honors in Cancer Research

2010 New Discoveries and Honors in Cancer Research

2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005

Members of the Damon Runyon scientific circle regularly publish findings on the latest cancer research and are frequently recognized for their contributions to the fight against cancer.  Below, you will find new discoveries in cancer research and the most recent honors bestowed upon Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation awardees, alumni and friends.

2009 New Discoveries and Honors in Cancer Research

2009 New Discoveries and Honors in Cancer Research

2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005

Members of the Damon Runyon scientific circle regularly publish findings on the latest cancer research and are frequently recognized for their contributions to the fight against cancer.  Below, you will find new discoveries in cancer research and the most recent honors bestowed upon Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation awardees, alumni and friends.

2005 New Discoveries and Honors in Cancer Research

2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005

Members of the Damon Runyon scientific circle regularly publish findings on the latest cancer research and are frequently recognized for their contributions to the fight against cancer.  Below, you will find new discoveries in cancer research and the most recent honors bestowed upon Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation awardees, alumni and friends.

2006 New Discoveries and Honors in Cancer Research

2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005

Members of the Damon Runyon scientific circle regularly publish findings on the latest cancer research and are frequently recognized for their contributions to the fight against cancer.  Below, you will find new discoveries in cancer research and the most recent honors bestowed upon Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation awardees, alumni and friends.

2007 New Discoveries and Honors in Cancer Research

2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005

Members of the Damon Runyon scientific circle regularly publish findings on the latest cancer research and are frequently recognized for their contributions to the fight against cancer.  Below, you will find new discoveries in cancer research and the most recent honors bestowed upon Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation awardees, alumni and friends.

2008 New Discoveries and Honors in Cancer Research

2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005

Members of the Damon Runyon scientific circle regularly publish findings on the latest cancer research and are frequently recognized for their contributions to the fight against cancer.  Below, you will find new discoveries in cancer research and the most recent honors bestowed upon Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation awardees, alumni and friends.

New Discoveries eNewsletter:  July - Oct 2014

Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation | New Discoveries Newsletter

 

Damon Runyon Logo
July – October 2014
Damon Runyon Newsletter

Dear Damon Runyon Scientists,

We've just returned from our fourteenth annual Fellows' Retreat in Beverly, Massachusetts. Seventy-six first- and third-year Fellows and Damon Runyon-Sohn Pediatric Fellows joined us for a terrific conference. Our Damon Runyon Alumnus Speaker was Matthew L. Meyerson, MD, PhD (Damon Runyon Fellow ’95-’98), Professor of Pathology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School; Senior Associate Member, Broad Institute. The Keynote Speakers were Stephen H. Friend, MD, PhD, President and Director of Sage Bionetworks, and Gustavo A. Stolovitzky, PhD, Functional Genomics and Systems Biology Group at IBM’s Thomas J. Watson Research Center, and Adjunct Professor in the Department of Biomedical Informatics at Columbia University. We were also joined by seven members of our Fellowship Award Committee (FAC). As always, it was a huge pleasure to learn about the Fellows' research progress and spend time with them informally as well. The FAC will meet in November to select a new class of Fellows and Dale F. Frey Scientists.

This past week, the Damon Runyon-Rachleff Innovation Award Committee met at our office in New York City to hear progress reports from our second-year Innovators and to select finalists for the 2015 class of Innovators. Stay tuned for our announcement of the new Innovators in January.

Lastly, thank you to all of you who participated in and/or supported our sixth annual Damon Runyon 5K at Yankee Stadium. It was a great success, with $575,000 raised for cancer research.

Thanks again to those of you who have sent us updates on your recent progress. Have a wonderful fall, and please continue to stay in touch.

Best regards,
Yung

Yung S. Lie, PhD
Deputy Director and Chief Scientific Officer
Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation
One Exchange Plaza
55 Broadway, Suite 302
New York, NY 10006
212.455.0521
yung.lie@damonrunyon.org


UPCOMING DEADLINES and EVENTS

Damon Runyon Physician-Scientist Training Award
Application deadline: December 1, 2014

Damon Runyon Clinical Investigator Award
Next application deadline: February 17, 2015

Accelerating Cancer Cures Research Symposium
March 3, 2015

Damon Runyon Fellowship Award
Next application deadline: March 16, 2015

Damon Runyon-Sohn Pediatric Cancer Fellowship Award
Next application deadline: March 16, 2015 

   

AWARDS and HONORS

   

Elected to the Institute of Medicine:
Todd R. Golub, MD (Damon Runyon Board Member), The Broad Institute, Cambridge

2014 William B. Coley Award for Distinguished Research in Tumor Immunology:

Gordon J. Freeman, PhD (Fellow ’79-’81), Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Boston

MIT Technology Review’s list of “35 Innovators under 35”:
Emily P. Balskus, PhD (Damon Runyon-Rachleff Innovator ’14-’16), Harvard University, Cambridge

2014 NYSCF-Robertson Stem Cell Investigator:
Feng Zhang, PhD (Damon Runyon-Rachleff Innovator ’12-’14), The Broad Institute and MIT, Cambridge

   

 IN MEMORIAM

Emmanuel Farber, MD, PhD (Grantee ’68-’69)
1918-2014

   

 NEW APPOINTMENTS and PROMOTIONS

Raymond E. Moellering, PhD (Dale Frey Scientist ’14-’15, Fellow ’11-’13)
Assistant Professor
Department of Chemistry; Institute for Genomics and Systems Biology
University of Chicago

Michael J. Smanski, PhD (Fellow ’12-’14)
Assistant Professor
Department of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, and Biophysics
University of Minnesota

Sabrina L. Spencer, PhD (Fellow ’10-’13)
Assistant Professor
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
University of Colorado, Boulder

Jesse Zalatan, PhD (Fellow ’09-’11)
Assistant Professor
Department of Chemistry
University of Washington

 

 

PUBLICATIONS

Ronald J. Buckanovich, MD, PhD (Clinical Investigator ’08-’11), University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
Combination cediranib and olaparib versus olaparib alone for women with recurrent platinum-sensitive ovarian cancer: a randomised phase 2 study.
Liu JF, Barry WT, Birrer M, Lee JM, Buckanovich RJ, Fleming GF, Rimel B, Buss MK, Nattam S, Hurteau J, Luo W, Quy P, Whalen C, Obermayer L, Lee H, Winer EP, Kohn EC, Ivy SP, Matulonis UA. Lancet Oncol. 2014 Oct;15(11):1207-14. doi: 10.1016/S1470-2045(14)70391-2.

Ken Cadwell, PhD (Dale Frey Scientist ’11-’12, Fellow ’08-’10), New York University School of Medicine, New York
Autophagy Gene Atg16l1 Prevents Lethal T Cell Alloreactivity Mediated by Dendritic Cells.
Hubbard-Lucey VM, Shono Y, Maurer K, West ML, Singer NV, Ziegler CG, Lezcano C, Motta AC, Schmid K, Levi SM, Murphy GF, Liu C, Winkler JD, Amaravadi RK, Rogler G, Dickinson AM, Holler E, van den Brink MR, Cadwell K. Immunity. 2014 Oct 8. pii: S1074-7613(14)00345-8. doi: 10.1016/j.immuni.2014.09.011.

Kenneth Chen, MD (Sohn Fellow ’13-’17), University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas
Somatic mutations in DROSHA and DICER1 impair microRNA biogenesis through distinct mechanisms in Wilms tumours.
Rakheja D, Chen KS, Liu Y, Shukla AA, Schmid V, Chang TC, Khokhar S, Wickiser JE, Karandikar NJ, Malter JS, Mendell JT, Amatruda JF. Nat Commun. 2014 Sep 5;2:4802. doi: 10.1038/ncomms5802.

Sidi Chen, PhD (Fellow ’12-’15), Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, and Feng Zhang, PhD (Damon Runyon-Rachleff Innovator ’12-’14), The Broad Institute and MIT, Cambridge
CRISPR-Cas9 Knockin Mice for Genome Editing and Cancer Modeling.
Platt RJ, Chen S, Zhou Y, Yim MJ, Swiech L, Kempton HR, Dahlman JE, Parnas O, Eisenhaure TM, Jovanovic M, Graham DB, Jhunjhunwala S, Heidenreich M, Xavier RJ, Langer R, Anderson DG, Hacohen N, Regev A, Feng G, Sharp PA, Zhang F. Cell. 2014 Oct 9;159(2):440-55. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2014.09.014.

Oscar R. Colegio, MD, PhD (Fellow ’09-’10), Yale University, New Haven
Functional polarization of tumour-associated macrophages by tumour-derived lactic acid.
Colegio OR, Chu NQ, Szabo AL, Chu T, Rhebergen AM, Jairam V, Cyrus N, Brokowski CE, Eisenbarth SC, Phillips GM, Cline GW, Phillips AJ, Medzhitov R. Nature. 2014 Sep 25;513(7519):559-63.

Damian C. Ekiert, PhD (Fellow ’12-’16), University of California, San Francisco
Structure of a PE-PPE-EspG complex from Mycobacterium tuberculosis reveals molecular specificity of ESX protein secretion.
Ekiert DC, Cox JS. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2014 Oct 1. pii: 201409345.

Mary Williard Elting, PhD (Fellow ’13-’17), University of California, San Francisco
Force on spindle microtubule minus ends moves chromosomes.
Elting MW, Hueschen CL, Udy DB, Dumont S. J Cell Biol. 2014 Jul 21;206(2):245-56. doi: 10.1083/jcb.201401091.

Dean W. Felsher, MD, PhD (Clinical Investigator ’03-’08), Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford
Activation of Cre Recombinase Alone Can Induce Complete Tumor Regression.
Li Y, Choi PS, Casey SC, Felsher DW. PLOS ONE. 2014 Sep 10;9(9): e107589. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0107589

Maria Genander, PhD (Fellow ’11), and Elaine Fuchs, PhD (Fellow ’77), The Rockefeller University
BMP Signaling and Its pSMAD1/5 Target Genes Differentially Regulate Hair Follicle Stem Cell Lineages. Genander M, Cook PJ, Ramsköld D, Keyes BE, Mertz AF, Sandberg R, Fuchs E. Cell Stem Cell. 2014 Oct 8. pii: S1934-5909(14)00400-7. doi: 10.1016/j.stem.2014.09.009.

Junjie U. Guo, PhD (Fellow ’13-’16), Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research, Cambridge
Expanded identification and characterization of mammalian circular RNAs.
Guo JU, Agarwal V, Guo H, Bartel DP. Genome Biol. 2014 Jul 29;15(7):409.

John J. Karijolich, PhD (Fellow ’12-’16), University of California, Berkeley
Kaposi's Sarcoma-Associated Herpesvirus ORF45 Mediates Transcriptional Activation of the HIV-1 Long Terminal Repeat via RSK2.
Karijolich J, Zhao Y, Peterson B, Zhou Q, Glaunsinger B. J Virol. 2014 Jun 15;88(12):7024-7035. Epub 2014 Apr 9.

William Y. Kim, MD (Clinical Investigator ’09-’14), University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
mTOR Inhibition Induces Compensatory, Therapeutically Targetable MEK Activation in Renal Cell Carcinoma. Bailey ST, Zhou B, Damrauer JS, Krishnan B, Wilson HL, Smith AM, Li M, Yeh JJ, Kim WY. PLoS One. 2014 Sep 2;9(9):e104413.

Serkan Kir, PhD (Fellow ’13-’16), Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Boston
Tumour-derived PTH-related protein triggers adipose tissue browning and cancer cachexia.
Kir S, White JP, Kleiner S, Kazak L, Cohen P, Baracos VE, Spiegelman BM. Nature. 2014 Sep 4;513(7516):100-4. doi: 10.1038/nature13528.

Moritz F. Kircher, MD, PhD (Damon Runyon-Rachleff Innovator ’14-’16), Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York
Guiding Brain Tumor Resection Using Surface-Enhanced Raman Scattering Nanoparticles and a Hand-Held Raman Scanner.
Karabeber H, Huang R, Iacono P, Samii JM, Pitter K, Holland EC, Kircher MF. ACS Nano. 2014 Aug 22.

Kristin A. Krukenberg, PhD (Fellow ’10-’13), Harvard Medical School, Boston
Basal Activity of a PARP1-NuA4 Complex Varies Dramatically across Cancer Cell Lines. Krukenberg KA, Jiang R, Steen JA, Mitchison TJ. Cell Rep. 2014 Sep 25;8(6):1808-18. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2014.08.009.

David Q. Matus, PhD (Fellow ’07-’10), Stony Brook University, Stony Brook
Cell division and targeted cell cycle arrest opens and stabilizes basement membrane gaps.
Matus DQ, Chang E, Makohon-Moore SC, Hagedorn MA, Chi Q, Sherwood DR. Nat Commun. 2014 Jun 13;5:4184. doi: 10.1038/ncomms5184.

Nicholas E. Navin, PhD (Damon Runyon-Rachleff Innovator ’13-’15), M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston
Clonal evolution in breast cancer revealed by single nucleus genome sequencing.
Wang Y, Waters J, Leung ML, Unruh A, Roh W, Shi X, Chen K, Scheet P, Vattathil S, Liang H, Multani A, Zhang H, Zhao R, Michor F, Meric-Bernstam F, Navin NE. Nature. 2014 Aug 14;512(7513):155-60. doi: 10.1038/nature13600.

Trudy G. Oliver, PhD (Damon Runyon-Rachleff Innovator ’13-’15), University of Utah, Salt Lake City
Caspase-2 impacts lung tumorigenesis and chemotherapy response in vivo.
Terry MR, Arya R, Mukhopadhyay A, Berrett KC, Clair PM, Witt B, Salama ME, Bhutkar A, Oliver TG. Cell Death Differ. 2014 Oct 10. doi: 10.1038/cdd.2014.159.

Bradley L. Pentelute, PhD (Damon Runyon-Rachleff Innovator ’13-’15), Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge
Delivery of Antibody Mimics into Mammalian Cells via Anthrax Toxin Protective Antigen. Liao X, Rabideau AE, Pentelute BL. Chembiochem. 2014 Sep 22. doi: 10.1002/cbic.201402290.

Alex Pollen, PhD (Fellow ’13-’17), University of California, San Francisco
Low-coverage single-cell mRNA sequencing reveals cellular heterogeneity and activated signaling pathways in developing cerebral cortex.
Pollen AA, Nowakowski TJ, Shuga J, Wang X, Leyrat AA, Lui JH, Li N, Szpankowski L, Fowler B, Chen P, Ramalingam N, Sun G, Thu M, Norris M, Lebofsky R, Toppani D, Kemp DW 2nd, Wong M, Clerkson B, Jones BN, Wu S, Knutsson L, Alvarado B, Wang J, Weaver LS, May AP, Jones RC, Unger MA, Kriegstein AR, West JA. Nat Biotechnol. 2014 Oct;32(10):1053-8. doi: 10.1038/nbt.2967.

Pardis C. Sabeti, MD, DPhil (Fellow ’04-’06), Harvard University, Cambridge
Genomic surveillance elucidates Ebola virus origin and transmission during the 2014 outbreak.
Gire SK, Goba A, Andersen KG, Sealfon RS, Park DJ, Kanneh L, Jalloh S, Momoh M, Fullah M, Dudas G, Wohl S, Moses LM, Yozwiak NL, Winnicki S, Matranga CB, Malboeuf CM, Qu J, Gladden AD, Schaffner SF, Yang X, Jiang PP, Nekoui M, Colubri A, Coomber MR, Fonnie M, Moigboi A, Gbakie M, Kamara FK, Tucker V, Konuwa E, Saffa S, Sellu J, Jalloh AA, Kovoma A, Koninga J, Mustapha I, Kargbo K, Foday M, Yillah M, Kanneh F, Robert W, Massally JL, Chapman SB, Bochicchio J, Murphy C, Nusbaum C, Young S, Birren BW, Grant DS, Scheiffelin JS, Lander ES, Happi C, Gevao SM, Gnirke A, Rambaut A, Garry RF, Khan SH, Sabeti PC. Science. 2014 Sep 12;345(6202):1369-72. doi: 10.1126/science.1259657.

Jens C. Schmidt, PhD (Fellow ’13-’17), University of Colorado, Boulder
Identification of human TERT elements necessary for telomerase recruitment to telomeres.
Jens C Schmidt, Andrew B Dalby, Thomas R Cech. eLife. 2014 Oct 1;0.7554/eLife.03563

Raffaella Sordella, PhD (Damon Runyon Rachleff Innovator ’10-’12), Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, Cold Spring Harbor
p53Ψ is a transcriptionally inactive p53 isoform able to reprogram cells toward a metastatic-like state.
Senturk S, Yao Z, Camiolo M, Stiles B, Rathod T, Walsh AM, Nemajerova A, Lazzara MJ, Altorki NK, Krainer A, Moll UM, Lowe SW, Cartegni L, Sordella R. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2014 Aug 12;111(32):E3287-96. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1321640111.

Matthew Vander Heiden, MD, PhD (Damon Runyon Rachleff Innovator ’11-’13, Fellow ’06-’08), Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge
Elevation of circulating branched-chain amino acids is an early event in human pancreatic adenocarcinoma development.
Mayers JR, Wu C, Clish CB, Kraft P, Torrence ME, Fiske BP, Yuan C, Bao Y, Townsend MK, Tworoger SS, Davidson SM, Papagiannakopoulos T, Yang A, Dayton TL, Ogino S, Stampfer MJ, Giovannucci EL, Qian ZR, Rubinson DA, Ma J, Sesso HD, Gaziano JM, Cochrane BB, Liu S, Wactawski-Wende J, Manson JE, Pollak MN, Kimmelman AC, Souza A, Pierce K, Wang TJ, Gerszten RE, Fuchs CS, Vander Heiden MG, Wolpin BM. Nat Med. 2014 Oct;20(10):1193-8. doi: 10.1038/nm.3686.

Zefeng Wang, PhD (Fellow ’03-’06), University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
The Splicing Factor RBM4 Controls Apoptosis, Proliferation, and Migration to Suppress Tumor Progression.
Wang Y, Chen D, Qian H, Tsai YS, Shao S, Liu Q, Dominguez D, Wang Z. Cancer Cell. 2014 Sep 8;26(3):374-89. doi: 10.1016/j.ccr.2014.07.010.

Kathryn E. Wellen, PhD (Fellow ’07-’10), University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia
Akt-dependent metabolic reprogramming regulates tumor cell histone acetylation.
Lee JV, Carrer A, Shah S, Snyder NW, Wei S, Venneti S, Worth AJ, Yuan ZF, Lim HW, Liu S, Jackson E, Aiello NM, Haas NB, Rebbeck TR, Judkins A, Won KJ, Chodosh LA, Garcia BA, Stanger BZ, Feldman MD, Blair IA, Wellen KE. Cell Metab. 2014 Aug 5;20(2):306-19.

Ian Y. Wong, PhD (Fellow ’10-’13), Brown University, Providence
Collective and individual migration following the epithelial-mesenchymal transition.
Wong IY, Javaid S, Wong EA, Perk S, Haber DA, Toner M, Irimia D. Nat Mater. 2014 Aug 17. doi: 10.1038/nmat4062.

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October 14, 2014 > 2014 NYSCF-Robertson Stem Cell Investigators named

Feng Zhang, PhD (Damon Runyon-Rachleff Innovator '12-'14) of the Broad Institute and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, is one of six promising early career scientists named as 2014 NYSCF-Robertson Stem Cell Investigators. The award is designed to support scientists engaged in novel neuroscience and cutting-edge translational stem cell research. Each Investigator will receive a generous five-year award.

Click here for more.

September 25, 2014 > New mouse model for genome editing and cancer modeling

Sidi Chen, PhD (Damon Runyon Fellow '12-'15) and Feng Zhang, PhD (Damon Runyon-Rachleff Innovator '12-'14) of the Broad Institute and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, developed a new mouse model that allows scientists to use the CRISPR-Cas9 system for in vivo genome editing experiments. They demonstrated the utility of the new “Cas9 mouse” model to edit multiple genes in a variety of cell types, and to model lung adenocarcinoma. The mouse has already been made available to the entire scientific community. These findings were published in the journal Cell.

Click here for more.

September 24, 2014 > Recruiting anthrax for drug delivery

Bradley L. Pentelute, PhD (Damon Runyon-Rachleff Innovator ’13-’15), and colleagues at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, used a disarmed version of the anthrax toxin to deliver two proteins known as antibody mimics, which can kill cancer cells by disrupting specific proteins inside the cells. In this study, they successfully targeted Bcr-Abl and hRaf-1, which both have known functions in cancer. This is the first demonstration of effective delivery of antibody mimics into cells, which could be applied to develop new drugs for cancer and other diseases. These findings were published in the journal ChemBioChem.

Click here for more.

September 8, 2014 > Splicing factor important for cancer development and metastasis

Zefeng Wang (Damon Runyon Fellow ’03-’06) of UNC School of Medicine, Chapel Hill, discovered that a protein crucial to the process of gene splicing, called RBM4, is drastically decreased in multiple forms of human cancer, including lung and breast cancers. This reduction in RBM4 results in altered gene expression, giving rise to cancer development and metastasis. Components of the splicing pathway could be potential targets for new cancer therapies. The study was published in the journal Cancer Cell.

Click here for more.

September 3, 2014 > Handheld scanner for accurate detection and removal of brain tumor cells

Moritz F. Kircher, MD, PhD (Damon Runyon-Rachleff Innovator '14-'16) and colleagues at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, developed a new handheld device (“Raman scanner”) that can accurately detect cancer cells during surgery. The device resembles a laser pointer and detects nanoprobes that mark tumor cells but not normal cells. In a mouse model of glioblastoma, the scanner enabled researchers to successfully identify and remove all malignant cells in the animals’ brains. The device has the potential to move rapidly into clinical trials, eventually allowing surgeons to remove all cancer cells while sparing healthy tissue. This study was published in the journal ACS Nano.

Click here for more.

August 19, 2014 > 2014 Technology Review’s “35 Innovators under 35”

Emily P. Balskus, PhD (Damon Runyon-Rachleff Innovator '14-'16) of Harvard University, Cambridge, has been named to MIT Technology Review's list of "35 Innovators under 35" for her research focused on how gut bacteria use chemical reactions to survive. The list is comprised of "exceptionally talented technologists whose work has great potential to transform the world."

Click here for more.

August 17, 2014 > Imaging how tumor cells transition to invasion

Ian Y. Wong, PhD (Damon Runyon Fellow '10-'13) of Brown University, Providence, and colleagues, developed a microchip that enabled cancer cells to be imaged as they migrated across a surface that mimics the tissue surrounding a tumor. They examined cells that had undergone epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), a process in which epithelial cells that stick together within a tissue, change into mesenchymal cells that can disperse and migrate individually. EMT is thought to play a role in cancer metastasis, allowing cancer cells to escape from tumor masses and colonize distant organs. This new imaging technology allows researchers to precisely measure how these cells move. Ultimately, they hope the device can be used for preliminary testing of drugs aimed at inhibiting cancer metastasis. This study was published in the journal Nature Materials.

Click here for more.

Improving and Expanding Our Programs

AUGUST 2014

The Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation is committed to identifying and supporting exceptional early career researchers to accelerate progress against cancer. We pride ourselves on being an agile organization, able to rapidly target funding to where it can be most effective.

A recent assessment of our programs conducted by leading experts in the field of cancer research allowed us to ask if we could make a greater difference in finding cures for cancer faster. Based on the results of this rigorous review, we will be increasing our support for the nation’s best cancer researchers by 33%.

In a time of declining federal funding of research, we are stepping up to protect and encourage innovative cancer research in three major ways.


Strengthening the Damon Runyon Fellowship Award

The Damon Runyon Fellowship Award supports the training of the brightest postdoctoral scientists as they embark upon their independent research careers. Postdoctoral funding allows promising scientists time to establish their own research in the labs of senior scientists, who provide vital guidance and scientific expertise.

Typical postdoctoral fellowships offer three years of funding, but most postdoctoral work requires four or more years to complete. So that our Fellows have the support they need to pursue groundbreaking research and build their careers on the cutting edge of cancer research, we are adding a fourth year to the Damon Runyon Fellowship Award. We are the first major organization to add a fourth year to our Fellowship Award.

"I am thrilled. [The award] means I can simply focus 100% on science for my postdoc training period. My mentor and I appreciate the generous support from the Foundation and hope that our project can lead to significant breakthroughs in cancer research to repay the trust of the foundation and the donors.
- Chao Lu, PhD, Kandarian Family Fellow

At a time when the entire funding universe is stepping back, [Damon Runyon is] moving forward." – Leo D. Wang, MD, PhD, Damon Runyon-Sohn Fellow

Read more about the Damon Runyon Fellowship Award

Training More Physicians as Researchers

Physician-scientists are the critical link between scientific discoveries and cures because they understand cancer in patients as well as in the lab. While our Clinical Investigator Award provides established physician-scientists with the support to pursue patient-oriented research, fewer physicians are choosing research careers in the first place.

To reverse this trend and ensure that discoveries from the lab are quickly used to help patients, we are launching a new Physician-Scientist Training Award to recruit top medical school graduates to pursue cancer research careers by offering intensive training and mentorship.

The pilot class of this program will be launched in 2015.

Read more about the Physician-Scientist Training Award


Supporting Daring Ideas

The Damon Runyon-Rachleff Innovation Award encourages our scientists to explore new ideas that, if successful, could revolutionize cancer prevention, diagnosis or treatment. The Innovation Award is specifically designed to provide funding to extraordinary early career researchers who have an innovative new idea but lack sufficient preliminary data to obtain traditional funding. It is not designed to fund incremental advances.

To make certain we are supporting projects with strong potential for high impact in the cancer field, the selection committee will assess each project after two years to see if the idea continues to show great promise. If so, we will extend funding for an additional two years. This will enable us to focus our investments on the projects with the highest potential for radically transforming cancer care.

Read more about the Damon Runyon-Rachleff Innovation Award


All together, we will be increasing our investment in innovative cancer research by 33% over the next 12 months.

These changes demonstrate our belief that continual assessment and expansion of our programs will ensure that the most brilliant scientists remain committed to groundbreaking cancer research.

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