Damon Runyon News

November 23, 2021

Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) is a protein on the surface of cells that receives signals telling the cell to grow. Mutations in the EGFR gene are known to drive a number of cancers, including non-small cell lung cancer. For patients with common EGFR mutations, known as “classical mutations,” EGFR inhibitor treatments are available and effective. But such targeted therapies have not been developed for patients with atypical mutations, often leaving chemotherapy as the only treatment option.


November 22, 2021

The National Academy of Medicine provides independent, evidence-based scientific advice to address national and global health challenges. Membership is considered to be one of the highest honors in the medical field and recognizes individuals who have demonstrated outstanding professional achievement and commitment to service. This year, four Damon Runyon alumni were nominated for membership, bringing the total number of Damon Runyon scientists in the organization to 41.


November 16, 2021

We are delighted to announce that Damon Runyon-HHMI Fellow Tyler Starr, PhD, of Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, has been named a 2021 STAT Wunderkind. This award, granted annually to “the best early-career researchers in health and medicine in North America,” recognizes Tyler’s exceptional promise in the study of viruses and our immune systems.


November 10, 2021

Breast cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed in women worldwide, and an estrogen receptor known as ERα plays a critical role in more than 70% of these cancers. In healthy cells, when bound to estrogen, ERα activates a signaling pathway that controls cell growth, proliferation, and survival. In breast cancer, an abnormal variant of ERα sends this pathway into overdrive. For patients with ERα-positive breast cancer, estrogen-blocking hormone therapies like tamoxifen can prolong survival. Up to half of these patients will acquire resistance, however, creating an urgent need for novel treatment strategies targeting ERα.


October 28, 2021

Damon Runyon was thrilled to hold its Annual Breakfast in person at Cipriani 42nd Street in New York on October 20. The event raised over $1 million to support promising early-career scientists pursuing innovative strategies to prevent, diagnose, and treat all forms of cancer.


October 28, 2021

Myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPNs) are cancers that arise when a mutated blood stem cell begins to produce too many red blood cells, white blood cells, or platelets. A number of mutations can drive MPNs, and studies have demonstrated that different mutations result in different clinical outcomes. For example, between the two most commonly mutated genes, JAK2 and CALRJAK2-mutated MPNs tend to be the more aggressive cancers.


October 21, 2021

It is with great sadness that we share the news that one of our longtime Board Members, David M. Livingston, MD, passed away unexpectedly on Sunday, October 17.


October 5, 2021

Damon Runyon is delighted to announce that the 2021 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine has been awarded jointly to David Julius, PhD, and Ardem Patapoutian, PhD, "for their discoveries of receptors for temperature and touch." 


September 28, 2021

As cancer cells evolve in response to treatment or other environmental pressures, a patient may end up with a highly diverse population of cancer cells circulating throughout their body. In these cases, a single biopsy from the tissue where the cancer originated is not enough to fully understand the cancer’s genome or how best to target it. Liquid biopsies are thus increasingly used to study circulating tumor cells (CTCs) in the blood, with single-cell CTC sequencing emerging as the next step in unraveling the mysteries of disease progression and treatment response.


September 28, 2021

Sometimes, while investigating one question, scientists learn the answer to an entirely different one. Some of the most significant medical breakthroughs have begun with open-ended curiosity: insulin, for example, was discovered after two German doctors removed a dog’s pancreas in 1890 to better understand its role in digestion.