MD Anderson receives over $31 million in CPRIT funding

Funds to facilitate cancer prevention in underserved populations, childhood cancer research and clinical translation

The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center was awarded $31.73 million from the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) in support of clinical, translational and prevention research across the institution. In total, MD Anderson received more than 28% of the $112.8 million in awards announced by CPRIT.

MD Anderson awards include a $2 million grant for a clinical trial investigating novel therapies for acute myeloid leukemia (AML), which typically is not curable with existing treatments. Additionally, MD Anderson researchers received $2.8 million for childhood and adolescent cancer research, $2.5 million for a project expanding colorectal cancer testing to rural and underserved populations, nearly $2 million for prevention and early detection research, nearly $14.5 million for 14 individual investigator research awards and $8 million for faculty recruitment.

“As our dedicated team of experts at MD Anderson work to advance cancer research, care, education and prevention, we are immeasurably grateful for CPRIT’s continued support,” said Peter WT Pisters, M.D., president of MD Anderson. “These critical funds strengthen our ability to develop new therapeutic approaches, to expand cancer prevention efforts throughout Texas and beyond, and to further our mission to end cancer.”

Since its inception, CPRIT has awarded $3 billion in grants for cancer research, of which MD Anderson investigators have received approximately 20% of the total awards. Programs supported by CPRIT funding have brought 263 cancer researchers to Texas, advanced the knowledge base for cancer treatment throughout the state, and provided 7.8 million cancer prevention and early detection services to Texans.

“The grants awarded today illustrate the broad spectrum of CPRIT’s impact in the fight against cancer,” explained Wayne Roberts, CPRIT’s Chief Executive Officer. “From recruitment awards bringing topflight researchers to Texas, continued investment in cancer prevention and screening programs across the state and supporting cancer-fighting innovation in early-stage companies, Texas just took another major step forward in becoming a national leader in conquering cancer.”

CPRIT awards to MD Anderson include:

Individual Investigator Research Awards:

  • Developing Imaging Biomarkers for Immunotherapy Resistance In Vivo (Pratip Bhattacharya, Ph.D., Cancer Systems Imaging) - $1,050,000
  • Automated Image Quality Assessment for AI Applications in Cancer Treatment (Laurence Court, Ph.D., Radiation Physics) - $1,037,267
  • KRAS Mutation-Induced KDM5D Upregulation Promotes Male-Specific Colorectal Cancer Metastasis (Ronald DePinho, M.D., Cancer Biology) - $1,049,997
  • Study AMPK in Ferroptosis Regulation: Mechanisms and Preclinical Translation (Boyi Gan, Ph.D., Experimental Radiation Oncology) - $1,050,000
  • Strategies for Agitated Delirium in Palliative Care for Patients with Cancer (David Hui, M.D., Palliative, Rehabilitation and Integrative Medicine) - $1,020,236
  • Single-Cell Decoding of Spatiotemporal and Ecological Evolution in Early-Stage KRAS-Mutant Lung Cancer (Humam Kadara, Ph.D., Translational Molecular Pathology) - $1,045,543
  • IRE-Based Rational Combination for Effective PDAC Immunotherapy (Chun Li, Ph.D., Cancer Systems Imaging) - $1,050,000
  • Identification of Oncogenic Mechanisms Driving Lung Squamous Cell Carcinoma Development and Progression (Pawel Mazur, Ph.D., Experimental Radiation Oncology) - $997,500
  • Therapeutic Approaches for TGF-Beta-Enriched Minimal Residual Disease in Patients with Colorectal Cancer (Van Morris, M.D., Gastrointestinal Medical Oncology) - $1,050,000
  • Imaging Metabolic Reprogramming in Prostate Cancer (Federica Pisaneschi, Ph.D., Cancer Systems Imaging) - $1,050,000
  • Mechanisms and Therapies Focused on Epigenomic Alterations in Therapy-Resistant Prostate Cancers (Kunal Rai, Ph.D., Genomic Medicine) - $1,049,532
  • Evolution of Small Cell Lung Cancer from the Normal Airway (Paul Scheet, Ph.D., Epidemiology) - $1,049,739
  • i-SINFOP: Integrative Systems-Scale Interrogation of Neomorphic Fusion OncoProteins (Nidhi Sahni, Ph.D., Epigenetics and Molecular Carcinogenesis) - $900,000
  • Combination Therapy for Treatment of Sleep Disturbance in Patients with Advanced Cancer (Sriram Yennu, M.D., Palliative, Rehabilitation and Integrative Medicine) - $1,048,484

Individual Investigator Research Awards for Cancer in Children and Adolescents:

  • Targeting SMARCA4 Mutations in Pediatric Burkitt's Lymphoma (Michael Green, Ph.D., Lymphoma/Myeloma) - $1,400,000
  • Epigenetic Regulation of Alternative Lengthening of Telomeres (ALT) in Pediatric High-Grade Gliomas (Jian Hu, Ph.D., Cancer Biology) - $1,399,992

Individual Investigator Research Awards for Clinical Translation:

  • The INTERCEPT Trial (Investigating Novel Therapy to Target Early Relapse and Clonal Evolution as Preemptive Therapy) for Acute Myeloid Leukemia (Courtney DiNardo, M.D., Leukemia) - $1,991,960

Individual Investigator Research Awards for Prevention and Early Detection:

Expansion of Cancer Prevention Services to Rural and Medically Underserved Populations:

  • Alliance for Colorectal Cancer Testing 3.0 (ACT 3.0) (Lewis Foxhall, M.D., Clinical Cancer Prevention) - $2,500,000

Scholar Recruitment Awards:

  • Recruitment of two scholars - $8,000,000