Damon Runyon News

October 31, 2016

As the nation prepares for next week’s elections, we invited Mary Woolley, the president and CEO of Research!America, the country’s well-respected and nonpartisan alliance working to make research to improve health a higher national priority, to share her thoughts on what our national priorities should be.

October 25, 2016

Damon Runyon staff spoke with NBC News journalist, author and cancer survivor Tom Brokaw after he provided remarks at our 2016 Annual Breakfast. The following blog post was edited and condensed from that interview.

DR: Thank you for attending our 2016 Annual Breakfast.

I was very impressed with the whole organization. I had known kind of broadly about the organization, but that was an impressive breakfast.

October 18, 2016

Philippe Soriano, PhD, Professor, Department of Developmental and Regenerative Biology, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

I have been on the Damon Runyon Fellowship Awards Committee for three years and as a developmental biologist, who studies signaling pathways in mouse embryos, I do not strictly work on cancer. However, the Damon-Runyon Fellows are all very bright minds and are curious about all areas of science, so it was really fun to interact with them at the Fellows Retreat in San Jose, CA, from September 25-28, 2016.

October 4, 2016

The NIH announced the 2016 recipients of awards within its High-Risk, High-Reward Research program. These awards are designed to support scientists proposing highly innovative approaches to major contemporary challenges in biomedical research. Of 88 total awards this year, six were granted to Damon Runyon Scientists. 

2016 Pioneer Award

Christine Mayr, MD, PhD (Damon Runyon Innovator '13-'15), Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York

2016 NIH New Innovator Award

September 21, 2016

Dianne K. Newman, PhD (Damon Runyon Fellow ’88-‘89) of California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, was named one of 23 MacArthur Fellows for 2016. She is recognized for her innovative research investigating the role that bacteria have played in shaping the Earth and continue to play in modern biomedical contexts. The MacArthur Fellows Program awards five-year, unrestricted fellowships to individuals across all ages and fields who show exceptional merit and promise of continued creative work. 

September 20, 2016

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

A recent article in Nature, “The Unsung Heroes of CRISPR,” highlights the special role of young scientists in research breakthroughs.  They are “unsung,” because they rarely get the credit they deserve for being important drivers of innovation in research.  But they are crucial to progress against cancer and other biomedical research.

It made me think of Lin Manuel Miranda, the celebrated creator of Hamilton, who won his first Tony in 2008, when he was 28.  He is a classic example of a young person breaking the mold.  History is replete with stories of bold innovation by young minds.  Take Steve Jobs and Bill Gates to name two other contemporary examples.  The same is true in biomedical research.  In fact, the majority of Nobel Prizes in science have gone to individuals who made their prize-winning discovery before they were 40.

September 14, 2016

Yung S. Lie, PhD, Deputy Director and Chief Scientific Officer, Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation

Public support for basic scientific research is essential, as it can help insure that brilliant young people continue to enter the sciences and dedicate their careers to cancer research. It can also insure that there will always be another Bill Kaelin in the pipeline.

Bill is a trailblazing physician-scientist at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, a member of our Board of Directors, and a winner of the 2016 Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research Award for his work on the pathway by which cells sense and adapt to changes in oxygen levels. The Boston Globe lauded the significance of Bill’s contributions to science and observed that, “This work on oxygen sensing has led to the development of potential drugs for heart attack, stroke, and kidney cancer, as well as possible treatments for anemia and retinopathy of prematurity, a condition that can blind premature infants.”

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.