Damon Runyon News

August 7, 2019
Latest News


The warnings to use sunscreen are very real -- skin is the largest organ of the body and the most vulnerable to DNA damage caused by the sun’s ultraviolet rays. Basal cell carcinoma (BCC), a form of skin cancer, is the most common cancer in the United States with 3 million cases diagnosed annually. These cancers tend to grow slowly, usually developing on sun-exposed areas such as the head and neck, and treatment involves surgically removing the tumor. Usually this doesn’t present complications, but some individuals develop frequent recurrences of BCC that require multiple painful surgeries and scars.  


July 24, 2019
New Discovery


CAR (chimeric antigen receptor) T cell immunotherapy has generated much excitement in the last two years— saving the lives of some blood cancer patients when other treatments have failed. Developing CAR T therapies for solid tumors has been far more challenging. That could be changing. Marcela V. Maus, MD, PhD (Damon Runyon-Rachleff Innovator ’17-’20), and colleagues at Massachusetts General Hospital have turned CAR T cells into virtual armored vehicles, capable of launching deadly strikes against glioblastoma brain tumors.


July 23, 2019
Latest News


Fifteen brilliant scientists from across the country were named Damon Runyon Fellows. The recipients of this prestigious, four-year award are outstanding postdoctoral scientists conducting basic and translational cancer research in the laboratories of leading senior investigators. The Fellowship encourages the nation's most promising young scientists to pursue careers in cancer research by providing them with independent funding ($231,000 total) to work on creative, high-risk projects.


July 16, 2019
New Discovery


Nicholas Arpaia, PhD (Damon Runyon Fellow ’13–’16), and Tal Danino, PhD, at Columbia University, have genetically programmed E. Coli bacteria to uncloak tumor cells and activate the immune system to attack them. The innovative approach eliminated tumors and distant metastases in mice and may lead to therapies that combat cancer more effectively in patients, without side effects.


July 16, 2019
Latest News


The Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation has named four outstanding young scientists as recipients of the prestigious Damon Runyon-Sohn Pediatric Cancer Fellowship Award, committing nearly $1 million to help address a critical shortage of funding for pediatric cancer research. 


July 16, 2019
Blog


For the past eight years, the Illini 4000 has spent their summers biking across the country to raise awareness and funds for cancer research. These students from the University of Illinois-Urbana began this year’s road trip in New York City on May 18. They will traverse more than 4,000 miles, battling weather and rough terrain, wrapping up August 3 at the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco.


July 9, 2019
Awards and Honors


Jason M. Sheltzer, PhD (Damon Runyon-Rachleff Innovator ’18 – ‘20), and Christopher Jewell, PhD (Damon Runyon-Rachleff Innovator ’14 – ’18), have received the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE). The PECASE is the highest honor bestowed by the United States government to researchers at the beginning their independent research careers, who show exceptional promise for leadership in science and technology.


July 3, 2019
Latest News

When Bruce W. Stillman, PhD (Damon Runyon Fellow ’79 - ’81), arrived at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory from his native Australia, he expected to stay for two years — the length of his Damon Runyon award. Forty years later, Dr. Stillman is the President and CEO of the renowned institution. 


July 1, 2019
Latest News


The Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation named five new Damon Runyon Clinical Investigators at its spring 2019 Clinical Investigator Award Committee review. The recipients of this prestigious three-year award are outstanding early career physician-scientists conducting patient-oriented cancer research at major research centers under the mentorship of the nation’s leading scientists and clinicians. Each will receive $600,000 to support the development of his/her project, selected for its potential to impact cancer diagnosis, prevention and treatment. Damon Runyon also repays medical school debt up to $100,000 still owed by the awardee.


June 26, 2019
Awards and Honors


Emily P. Balskus, PhD (Damon Runyon-Rachleff Innovator ’14 – ’16), received the Blavatnik National Award for Young Scientists in Chemistry, the largest unrestricted scientific prize ($250,000) offered to the most promising, faculty-level scientific researchers in the United States. Dr. Balskus, a chemical biologist at Harvard University, is being recognized for her “transformative work identifying the novel chemistry of the gut microbiome and deciphering its role in human health and disease.”