Susan G. Komen’s 2015 Breast Cancer Research Funding Targets Early-Career Investigators, New Therapies, Health Inequities and Metastatic Disease

Ohio Researchers Receive $1,055,000 in Research Funding

Susan G. Komen, the world’s largest nonprofit funder of breast cancer research, announced new grants to 124 researchers in 25 states and eight countries, with about half of the grants targeted to early-career researchers squeezed by stagnation in federal research dollars.

The grants include $1,055,000 in new funding for research at two institutions in Ohio, bringing Komen’s total research investment in Ohio to $12,805,000 since 1982.

The 2015 research grants expand Komen’s ongoing commitment to funding early-career scientists, that is, recent graduates and those trying to establish independent research careers. This group has been especially hard hit by real-dollar declines of as much as 25 percent in federal research funding over the past decade.

“We committed two years ago to do all that we can to ensure that talented early-career investigators remain in the breast cancer research field, while continuing our support for established researchers,” said Komen President and CEO Judith A. Salerno, M.D., M.S. “We cannot afford to lose talented scientists to other fields for lack of funding.”

This year’s research slate brings Komen’s total research investment to more than $889 million since 1982, the largest of any nonprofit, and second only to the U.S. government.

Grants from Komen’s nearly $36 million research portfolio – including more than $17.6 million in grants awarded to early-career investigators – span the entire cancer continuum from prevention to treatments for aggressive and metastatic disease. These include:

  • 36 grants to improve understanding of metastatic breast cancer
  • 18 grants investigating how tumors develop drug resistance
  • 19 grants related to the study of triple negative breast cancer – one of the most aggressive forms of the disease
  • 15 grants working to identify and understand biological and socio-economic health inequities
  • 13 grants seeking to develop new and novel therapies

Komen’s Investments in Ohio

Komen’s research program is funded in part by contributions from Komen’s nationwide network of Affiliates, which direct 25 percent of locally raised funds to Komen’s national research program. The remaining 75 percent of net funds are invested into community outreach programs that serve local women and men facing breast cancer.

Since 1994, Komen Northeast Ohio has funded nearly $15 million to community programs serving local women and men, while contributing over $5 million to Komen research.

“We are so proud to have the support of this community as we help our friends, coworkers and neighbors who are facing breast cancer, and work for continued progress against breast cancer through research,” said Sean Shacklett, Komen Northeast Ohio Executive Director.

In Ohio, researchers will receive more than $1 million to investigate breast cancer metastasis, disparities and early detection.

  • Huiping Liu, M.D., Ph.D., of Case Western Reserve University will receive more than $450,000 to assess the effects of the expression of miR-30c (a mircoRNA found to be associated with breast cancer) in different stages of breast cancer metastasis in order to identify novel methods of targeting cell invasion and preventing chemotherapy resistance.
  • Electra Paskett, Ph.D., of the Ohio State University will receive $405,000 to lead the Breast Cancer Disparities Research Training Program, which will offer a combination of coursework and mentored research focused on the reduction of breast cancer disparities to graduate students, positioning them for a career in breast cancer disparities research.
  • Komen Scholar Julia White, M.D., of the Ohio State University will receive $200,000 to develop and test a novel technology approach which would use MRI-guided pre-operative partial breast irradiation for early-stage breast cancer patients.

A full list of Komen’s 2015 research grants can be found here.*

In addition to funding breast cancer research, Komen has invested more than $1.95 billion into community health outreach and global programs that serve hundreds of thousands of women and men annually through breast cancer health and support programs that screen, educate and provide financial, medical and psychosocial assistance.

For more information about Komen’s mission investment, please visit komen.org.

About Susan G. Komen®

Susan G. Komen is the world’s largest breast cancer organization, funding more breast cancer research than any other nonprofit while providing real-time help to those facing the disease. Since its founding in 1982, Komen has funded more than $889 million in research and provided $1.95 billion in funding to screening, education, treatment and psychosocial support programs serving millions of people in more than 30 countries worldwide. Komen was founded by Nancy G. Brinker, who promised her sister, Susan G. Komen, that she would end the disease that claimed Suzy’s life. Visit komen.org or call 1-877 GO KOMEN. Connect with us on social at ww5.komen.org/social.

*Contingent upon signed and executed contracts with Komen