PHILADELPHIA (January 5, 2018) — Fox Chase Cancer Center is pleased to announce the first winners of its new privately funded pilot project grants. The program supports cutting-edge projects that are potentially paradigm-shifting; possess a high likelihood to lead to significant peer-reviewed funding; address community needs; and/or translate laboratory findings into new clinical treatments.
The grants were created last April as part of the Special Pledge at the annual In Vino Vita Benefit and Wine Auction, Fox Chase’s signature fundraising event. After learning about the importance of early-stage funding for cancer research, many of the 500 attendees pledged their support for pilot grants. That night the guests raised enough funding to support 10 projects over a two-year period.
“Funding to support research is the lifeblood of an academic institution like ours,” said Richard I. Fisher, MD, president and CEO of Fox Chase. “Generous donors who feel a connection to our work often provide the seed money to propel innovative, early-stage ideas to a place where potential turns into results.”
The grants will include funding of $75,000 per year. Two awards were reserved for junior faculty. A second competition for the next five awards will be held in the fall of 2018.
The winning projects were selected from a competitive field of 44 submissions from within Fox Chase and the Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University. The winners are:
- Sergei Grivennikov, PhD, for his proposal, “Tumor adherent microbiota as a driver of tumor elicited inflammation in colorectal cancer”
- Neil Johnson, PhD, for his proposal, “Targeting the ubiquitin-regulated DNA damage response in BRCA1 mutant cancers”
- Richard Pomerantz, PhD, for his proposal, “Discovery of a Novel Reverse Transcriptase in Human Cells: Polymerase Θ”
- Vasily Studitsky, PhD, & Italo Tempera, PhD, for their proposal, “Mechanisms of PARP1 action in transcription”
- Kuang-Yi Wen, PhD, for her proposal “To reduce cancer disparities: Mobile TXT to improve hormone therapy adherence in African American BCa survivors”
The Fifth Annual In Vino Vita will be held on Saturday, April 21.