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SU2C Awards New Innovative Grants

By a GenomeWeb Staff Reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The non-profit cancer research initiative Stand Up to Cancer (SU2C) said today that it has awarded $9.7 million in new grants for innovative scientists involved in high-risk, high-reward translational research areas, including 'omics-based studies.

The multi-partner SU2C initiative, which turns to the American Association for Cancer Research for its science and grants advice, said that several of its $750,000, three-year Innovative Research Grants to scientists will support sequencing and proteomics and a range of other research approaches.

These grants "allow some of the best and brightest young researchers across various disciplines to step out of their comfort zones and attempt to make major breakthroughs in the field with bold research projects," Richard Kolodner, who chairs the SU2C grants program and is a senior researcher at the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, said in a statement.

"The array of novel approaches that these investigators are utilizing to attack cancer is extraordinary," added William Nelson, Su2C scientific advisory committee member and vice chairperson for the grants program.

"We have cell biologists looking at cancer metabolism, and new ways to disrupt how cancer cells obtain nutrients to grow; and a computer scientist analyzing data to predict how a tumor will respond to a drug before it's given to a patient. In this era of interdisciplinary cancer research, these cutting-edge approaches have enormous potential for rapid improvements in patient care," added Nelson, who also is director of the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins University.

Among the 13 grant winners are Roger Lo of the University of California, Los Angeles Comprehensive Cancer Center, who will conduct exome sequencing of melanomas with acquired resistance to BRAF inhibitors; Adolfo Ferrando at Columbia University Medical Center for studies targeting genetic and metabolic networks in T-lineage acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL); Estala Jacinto at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey's Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, who will target protein quality control for use in cancer therapies; Dana Pe'er at Columbia University for a systems approach to understanding tumor-specific drug responses; and Catherine Wu at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute for studies focused on coupled genetic and functional dissection of chronic lymphocytic leukemia.

Since SU2C launched in 2008 it has received pledges totaling $180 million.

AACR assembled the SU2C scientific advisory committee and the Innovative Research Grants committee.

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