SWCRF Awards $1.4M in Research Grants

The Samuel Waxman Cancer Research Foundation (SWCRF) has announced that it awarded $1.4 million in new grants to scientists conducting groundbreaking research. The grants will fund research in aging and cancer, differentiation therapy, abnormal gene expression and epigenetic therapies.

These grants are part of more than $2 million in donor-supported funding that SWCRF has allocated this year for cancer research. In addition, the SWCRF now funds a record of nearly 50 physician-scientists as part of the Foundation’s Institute Without Walls, which promotes inter-disciplinary collaboration and breaks down institutional research silos.

“The SWCRF is making a substantial investment in funding cutting-edge research ideas that show remarkable promise for uncovering abnormal gene expression in cancer and developing less-toxic therapies,” said Samuel Waxman, MD, founder and CEO of the SWCRF. “We welcome these scientists to the SWCRF Institute Without Walls, which will expand our network of scientists committed to cross-disciplinary and cross-institutional collaboration as a mechanism to speed discoveries.”

Earlier this year, the SWCRF issued an RFA to cancer research institutions around the world. Proposals underwent a rigorous review process by the Scientific Advisory Board of the SWCRF. Grant recipients are expected to declare collaboration with at least one other SWCRF Investigator to join publications, grant application and other mechanisms that support the mission of the Foundation. These investigators present a progress report of their research findings through participation at the annual SWCRF symposium for peer review.

“This level of funding would not be possible without the generous support from dedicated donors of the SWCRF and we are extraordinarily grateful,” said William T. Sullivan, executive director at the SWCRF. “We anticipate even more breakthroughs by directing an increased level of support to these outstanding scientists who have a track record of novel approaches to cancer cures.”

The 2019-2021 individual research grant recipients are:

Photos courtesy of the SWCRF

Tyler J. Curiel, MD, MPH
The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio
Research focus: Age effects of T cell stem cells, cancer stem cells and immune checkpoints on cancer immunotherapy



Ronald M. Evans, PhD
The Salk Institute for Biological Studies
Research focus: FXR as a novel therapeutic target in Colitis-induced Colorectal Cancer


Maria E. Figueroa, MD
University of Miami
Research focus: The role of age-related reprogramming of KLF6 in HSC dysfunction and myeloid malignancies



Jan Karlseder, PhD
The Salk Institute for Biological Studies
Research focus: The regulation of proliferative boundaries by autophagy



Ross Levine, MD
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
Research focus: Determining the role of somatic clonal evolution in aging, hematopoiesis, and predisposition to malignancies



Joel Neilson, PhD
Baylor College of Medicine One Baylor Plaza
Research focus: In vivo disruption of a novel translation pre-initiation complex as a putative therapeutic vulnerability for breast cancer differentiation therapy


Emmanuelle Passegué, PhD
Columbia University
Research focus: Autophagy and Hematopoietic stem cell function in aging and leukemia

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