Five Fox Chase and Temple Researchers Earn New Privately-Funded Grants for Pilot Projects

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:

  1. Sergei Grivennikov, PhD, for his proposal, “Tumor adherent microbiota as a driver of tumor elicited inflammation in colorectal cancer”
  2. Neil Johnson, PhD, for his proposal, “Targeting the ubiquitin-regulated DNA damage response in BRCA1 mutant cancers”
  3. Richard Pomerantz, PhD, for his proposal, “Discovery of a Novel Reverse Transcriptase in Human Cells: Polymerase Θ”
  4. Vasily Studitsky, PhD, & Italo Tempera, PhD, for their proposal, “Mechanisms of PARP1 action in transcription”
  5. 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.

Fox Chase Cancer Center (Fox Chase), which includes the Institute for Cancer Research and the American Oncologic Hospital and is a part of Temple Health, is one of the leading comprehensive cancer centers in the United States. Founded in 1904 in Philadelphia as one of the nation’s first cancer hospitals, Fox Chase was also among the first institutions to be designated a National Cancer Institute Comprehensive Cancer Center in 1974. Fox Chase is also one of just 10 members of the Alliance of Dedicated Cancer Centers. Fox Chase researchers have won the highest awards in their fields, including two Nobel Prizes. Fox Chase physicians are also routinely recognized in national rankings, and the Center’s nursing program has received the Magnet recognition for excellence six consecutive times. Today, Fox Chase conducts a broad array of nationally competitive basic, translational, and clinical research, with special programs in cancer prevention, detection, survivorship, and community outreach. It is the policy of Fox Chase Cancer Center that there shall be no exclusion from, or participation in, and no one denied the benefits of, the delivery of quality medical care on the basis of race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity/expression, disability, age, ancestry, color, national origin, physical ability, level of education, or source of payment.

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