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Wistar Receives $1.1M Award to Create Breast Cancer Research Consortium

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – The Wistar Institute today said that it was awarded $1.1 million to create a consortium to support breast cancer research at the institute. 

The grant will be used to create the Jayne Koskinas Ted Giovanis Breast Cancer Research Consortium at Wistar to support work being conducted by Frank Rauscher, deputy director of basic research at the Wistar Institute Cancer Center; Rugang Zhang, an associate professor at the institute; and José R. Conejo-Garcia, a professor at Wistar and program leader in the tumor microenvironment and metastasis program. 

The scientists will collaborate on research into how metastatic breast cancer cells break away and spread to other organs, with a particular focus on elucidating the pathways that are essential to breast cancer cells that reemerge in patients as drug-resistant tumors in bone, lungs, liver, or brain, Wistar said. 

The consortium will leverage Rauscher's expertise in gene regulation, epigenetics, and molecular pharmacology and biochemistry, along with Conejo-Garcia's research in immune recognition and immunotherapy, and Zhang's work in tumor biology and senescence, Wistar said. 

In a statement, Wistar CEO Dario Altieri said that the researchers have "cross-disciplinary and well-established research programs that, as a collaborative unit, will yield fundamental and clinically translatable discoveries to shape the innovation of novel therapeutics."