July 11, 2020
1 min read

Nine investigators to share $6.75 million for blood cancer research

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Three organizations awarded grants totaling $6.75 million to fund research into blood cancers.

The Blood Cancer Discoveries Grant Program — supported by Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, The Mark Foundation for Cancer Research and The Paul G. Allen Frontiers Group — encourages investigators with extensive experience in blood cancers to conduct critical research that could identify novel approaches for treating lymphoma, leukemia, multiple myeloma and myelodysplastic syndrome.

Nine investigators each will receive $750,000 over 3 years to study the biological underpinnings of various blood cancers, how they develop and grow, and how they become resistant to treatment.

The grant recipients are:

  • Robert Bradley, PhD, of Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, who will investigate mutations in the SF3B1 protein, their connection with myelodysplastic syndrome and leukemias, and the potential of this protein as a therapeutic target;
  • Catriona Jamieson, MD, PhD, of University of California, San Diego, who will examine the role of two enzymes — APOBEC3 and ADAR1 — in acute myeloid leukemia and disease relapse, especially among elderly patients;
  • Ronald Levy, MD, of Stanford University School of Medicine, who will investigate a preclinical off-the-shelf chimeric antigen receptor T-cell approach in which CAR cells are generated in a patient’s body;
  • Ravindra Majeti, MD, PhD, of Stanford University School of Medicine, who is generating cell-based models to test the progression of preleukemic cells into AML, with the hope of evaluating potential therapies and assessing the role of the microenvironment in disease progression;
  • Markus Müschen MD, PhD, of City of Hope, who studies mechanisms of tumor initiation in B-cell malignancies, including acute lymphoblastic leukemia, mantle cell lymphoma and diffuse large B-cell lymphoma. These studies focus on negative regulators of the WNT/b-catenin pathway as potential diagnostic marker and therapeutic target.
  • Susan Schwab, PhD, of New York University, who will investigate the mechanism of T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia cells that enables them to enter and accumulate in the central nervous system when the disease spreads to the brain;
  • Margaret Shipp, MD, of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute/Harvard Medical School, who — along with her colleague, Scott J. Rodig, MD, PhD — aims to map the immune microenvironment in classical Hodgkin lymphoma;
  • Robert Signer, PhD, of University of California, San Diego, who is investigating how inaccurate protein synthesis contributes to development of AML; and
  • Daniel T. Starczynowski, PhD, of Cincinnati Children’s Research Foundation, who is investigating the potential therapeutic benefit of targeting UBE2N in AML.