Damon Runyon News

February 15, 2024

The Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation has announced eight recipients of the 2024 Damon Runyon-Rachleff Innovation Award, established to support “high-risk, high-reward” ideas with the potential to significantly impact the prevention, diagnosis, or treatment of cancer. Five extraordinary early-career researchers will receive initial grants of $400,000 over two years, and each will have the opportunity to receive two additional years of funding (for a potential total of $800,000).

February 12, 2024

On Saturday, February 10, 2024, an intrepid team of twenty scientific luminaries led by biotech journalist and mountaineer Luke Timmerman embarked upon the trip of a lifetime—a hike to the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro, the African continent’s highest peak. In advance of the expedition, the team trained for hiking at more than 19,000 feet above sea level, enlisted the support of friends and colleagues, and together raised more than $1 million to support Damon Runyon’s brave and bold cancer researchers.

February 1, 2024

The Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital today announce the inaugural class of pediatric cancer research fellows. Each of the five fellows will receive funding for four years ($300,000 total) to support an innovative project in basic or translational research with the potential to significantly impact the diagnosis or treatment of one or more pediatric cancers.

January 19, 2024

Only about one percent of the human genome contains what we recognize as protein-coding genes: DNA sequences that are transcribed into RNA sequences and then translated into proteins. Much of the intervening space between genes consists of mobile DNA sequences, known as transposable elements, which have the ability to “copy and paste” themselves throughout the genome.

January 12, 2024

Metastatic pancreatic cancer is often resistant to chemotherapy-based treatments, and clinicians do not currently have a good way to predict whether a patient’s cancer will respond or not. At the Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania, former Damon Runyon-Rachleff Innovator Gregory L. Beatty, MD, PhD, and his colleagues are seeking to uncover the factors that determine response so that patients and clinicians can make better informed treatment decisions.

December 14, 2023

As many of our supporters know, Damon Runyon was an iconic sportswriter and journalist whose colorful stories served as the basis for the Broadway hit Guys and Dolls. The Foundation has preserved this connection with the theater throughout its 75-year history, primarily through our long-running Broadway ticket program.


December 4, 2023

The Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation is thrilled to announce the launch of the Damon Runyon Scholars Program for Advancing Research and Knowledge (SPARK), a one-year intensive cancer research internship program for post-baccalaureate students who come from backgrounds underrepresented in the sciences.

October 25, 2023

Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS), a non-invasive form of breast cancer found in the milk ducts, is a precursor to invasive breast cancer, but until recently, its progression has remained enigmatic. This is partly because standard methods of preserving tissue—as formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE) samples—have made single-cell genetic analysis difficult. 


October 24, 2023

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, five Damon Runyon alumni were nominated for membership, bringing the total number of Damon Runyon scientists in the organization to 46.


October 20, 2023

Each year, the Damon Runyon-Jake Wetchler Award for Pediatric Innovation is given to a third-year Damon Runyon Fellow whose research has the greatest potential to impact the prevention, diagnosis, or treatment of pediatric cancer. This year, the award recognizes the work of Qinheng Zheng, PhD, a Damon Runyon-Connie and Bob Lurie Fellow at the University of California, San Francisco.