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Sowing success

Seed money jump-starts novel research


 Sattva Neelapu, M.D.

Using internal seed grants made possible partially by the Annual Fund, Sattva Neelapu, M.D., has built $2 million in highly competitive peer-reviewed external grants and publications in leading scientific journals.

His work focuses on lymphoma, a group of blood cancers that affect 750,000 people in the United States, making them one of the most common types of cancer. They’re often chronic conditions that require years of treatment with significant side effects.

“My goal is to harness the power of the immune system and develop a cure,” says Neelapu, an associate professor in Lyphoma/Myeloma. “Ultimately, I want to develop immunotherapies that are highly effective with minimal or no toxicity.”

Neelapu’s first grant was made possible by unrestricted MD Anderson funds. This encouragement gave him the confidence to compete for peer-reviewed outside funding nationally.

“I don't think I would have been as successful at securing external funding without the seed funding,” he says. “Each grant has helped me generate preliminary data to make my proposals more competitive.”

—D.D.

Learn more about the Annual Fund in a related story.

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