Damon Runyon News

September 13, 2016

Congratulations to the six researchers named recipients of The Lasker Awards, among the most respected prizes in medicine. William G. Kaelin, Jr., MD (Damon Runyon Board Member, Chair of the Physician-Scientist Training Award Committee) of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, received the Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research Award for his work to understand the pathway cells use to sense and adapt to changes in oxygen levels which led to the development of potential drugs for heart attack, stroke, and kidney cancer. Bruce M.

September 12, 2016

Lorraine Egan, President & Chief Executive Officer, Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation

September 9, 2016

Arvin C. Dar, PhD (Damon Runyon-Rachleff Innovator '14-'16) at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, reported that a “scaffolding protein” called the kinase suppressor of Ras (KSR) could be targeted as a way to disrupt signaling from mutant Ras protein. About 25 percent of human cancers have mutations in the Ras protein that disrupt growth signals and cause tumor development.  The researchers tested over 170 compounds and discovered that one could effectively slow cancer growth.

September 7, 2016

Colleen Delaney, MD, MSc (Damon Runyon Clinical Investigator ’07-’12) and colleagues at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, developed a method for using umbilical cord stem cells as a source of donor material for transplant. This is important because the majority of patients in need of a hematopoietic-cell transplant do not have a matched related donor. The advance is particularly valuable for minorities and people of mixed-race background.

July 20, 2016

Amit J. Sabnis, MD (Damon Runyon-Sohn Pediatric Cancer Fellow ’13-’17), of the University of California, San Francisco, and colleagues, demonstrated that cancer cells co-opt a cellular “chaperone” protein called HSP70 (heat-shock protein 70) to promote their growth. By blocking that pathway, the scientists were able to kill cells derived from patients with rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS), a rare muscle-tissue cancer that affects children.

July 14, 2016

Pavan Bachireddy, MD (Damon Runyon Physician-Scientist ’15-’19), Catherine J. Wu, MD (Damon Runyon-Lilly Clinical Investigator ’07-’12), and colleagues at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, reported that a new treatment approach, using repeated doses of the immunotherapy drug ipilimumab, may be able to restore a complete remission for some patients with advanced blood cancers that relapse after stem-cell transplant.

July 6, 2016

Daniel A. Heller, PhD (Damon Runyon Fellow ’10-’12), and colleagues at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, reported that radiation-guided nanoparticles may offer a new approach for penetrating the vascular barrier that often prevents current nanomedicines from reaching metastatic tumors. In a mouse model of lung cancer and metastatic melanoma and breast tumors, the nanoparticles selectively delivered chemotherapy drugs to the tumors. The researchers hope to translate these findings to clinical trials.

May 30, 2016

Damon Runyon Clinical Investigators Aude G. Chapuis, MD (’15-’17) of Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, Cassian Yee, MD (’01-’06), of M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Jedd D. Wolchok, MD, PhD (’03-’08), of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, and colleagues, have successfully treated a patient with metastatic melanoma by combining two different types of immunotherapy, harnessing the patient’s own immune system to attack and destroy the cancer.

May 4, 2016

The Pershing Square Sohn Cancer Research Alliance has announced the winners of the 2016 Pershing Square Sohn Prize for Young Investigators in Cancer Research. The annual prize aims to catalyze collaboration among young investigators, academics, nonprofits, investors, and the biotech and pharmaceutical industries. The prize-winners will each receive funding for up to three years. Two of the seven awards were granted to Damon Runyon scientists:  

May 3, 2016

Election to the National Academy of Sciences is one of the highest honors that can be earned by a U.S. scientist. In recognition of their distinguished and continuing achievements in original biomedical research, members of the Damon Runyon community of scientists were inducted this May:


Adrian P. Bird, PhD (Damon Runyon Fellow '71-'73), Wellcome Trust Centre for Cell Biology, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, United Kingdom 

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