MD Anderson receives $22 million in CPRIT funding for research, prevention and recruitment

The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center was awarded $22.3 million from the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT), accounting for 30 percent of the $73.5 million in awards CPRIT announced today. The awards included $16.3 million for individual investigator research including awards for cancer in children and adolescents, computational biology, clinical translation, and prevention and early detection. MD Anderson also received $2 million for recruitment and $4 million for a colorectal cancer prevention coalition award.

“As our team of experts at MD Anderson works to advance understanding and treatment of cancer, we remain grateful to the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas for its support,” said Peter WT Pisters, M.D., president of MD Anderson. “These critical funds enhance our ability to find new therapeutic and preventive approaches for our patients and help further our mission to end cancer in Texas and beyond.”

Since its inception, CPRIT has awarded $1.95 billion in grants for cancer research, of which MD Anderson has received $378 million, or nearly 20 percent. The agency began making awards in 2009 after Texas voters overwhelmingly approved a 2007 constitutional amendment committing $3 billion to the fight against cancer.

CPRIT provides funding through its academic research, prevention, and product development research programs. Programs made possible with CPRIT funding have reached all 254 counties of the state, brought more than 150 distinguished researchers to Texas, advanced scientific and clinical knowledge, and provided more than four million life-saving education, training, prevention, and early detection services to Texans.

“CPRIT enlarges Texas’ critical mass of research and adds to our world class research teams at the state’s institutions,” said Wayne Roberts, CPRIT chief executive officer. “CPRIT grants support novel evidence-based prevention screening for lung cancer — the leading cause of cancer deaths in Texas.”

CPRIT awards to MD Anderson included:

Individual Investigator Awards

  • Hippo signaling in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and it progression to hepatocellular carcinoma (Randy Johnson, Ph.D., Cancer Biology) — $821,669
  • Inhibiting Oxidative Phosphorylation: A Novel Strategy in Leukemia (Marina Konopleva, M.D., Ph. D., Leukemia) — $900,000
  • PTEN Promotes Diabetic breast cancer metastasis (Chunru Lin, Ph.D., Molecular and Cellular Oncology) — $900,000
  • A somatic mutant p53 mouse model of metastatic triple negative breast cancer (Guillermina Lozano, Ph.D., Genetics) — $900,000
  • Targeting the prion protein Doppel in brain tumor angiogenesis (Joseph McCarty, Ph.D., Neurosurgery) — $900,000
  • Mucosal vaccine formulations for targeted therapy of HPV cancers (Jagannadha Sastry, Ph.D., Immunology) — $883,146
  • Functional analyses of linkage-specific ubiquitination in the DNA damage response (Bin Wang, Ph.D., Genetics) — $900,000
  • Targeting neutrophil elastase as a novel therapy for metastatic breast cancer (Stephanie Watowich, Ph.D., Immunology) — $900,000

Individual Investigator Awards for Cancer in Children and Adolescents

  • Molecular mechanisms of anthracycline response in cardiomyocytes and link to genetic susceptibility to cardiotoxicity in long-term childhood cancer survivors (Michelle Hildebrandt, Ph.D., Epidemiology) — $1,194,520
  • Compound heterozygous mutations in pediatric cancer predisposition (Katharina Schlacher, Ph.D., Cancer Biology) — $556,763

Individual Investigator Awards for Computational Biology

  • Characterizing cancer genome instability and translational impact using new sequencing technologies (Ken Chen, Ph.D., Bioinformatics and Computational Biology) — $898,997

Individual Investigator Awards for Clinical Translation

  • EXTernal beam radiation to Eliminate Nominal metastatic Disease (EXTEND): A randomized phase II basket trial to assess local control of oligometastatic disease (Chad Tang, M.D., Radiation Oncology) — $2,394,412
  • Clinical trials of C188-9, an oral inhibitor of signal transducer and activator of transcription (STAT) 3, in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) (David Tweardy, M.D., Internal Medicine) — $2,399,905

Individual Investigator Awards for Prevention and Early Detection

  • Blood-based biomarkers for the early detection of pancreatic cancer (Ann Killary, Ph.D., Translational Molecular Pathology) — $900,000
  • Circulating Exosomes as Biomarkers for Lung Cancer Early Detection (Ayumu Taguchi, M.D., Ph.D., Translational Molecular Pathology) — $799,085

Colorectal Cancer Prevention Coalition Awards

  • Alliance for Colorectal Cancer Testing 2.0 (ACT 2.0) (Lewis Foxhall, M.D., Health Policy, Clinical Operations) — $4,034,507

Recruitment of First-Time, Tenure –Track Faculty Member Awards:

Recruitment of a top prostate cancer expert – $2 million.