Metavivor Announces 2022 MBC Research Awards

BY METAvivor Board of Directors


METAvivor Announces Metastatic Breast Cancer Research Awards for 2022

METAvivor Research and Support announces 27 new grant awards for metastatic breast cancer research totaling $5.75 million.  METAvivor held its annual metastatic breast cancer research cycle in 2022 and as a result of strong support from generous donors Metavivor is able to announce another banner year for peer-reviewed, metastatic breast cancer research funding. 

Metavivor Research and Support Inc., a non-profit organization dedicated to funding research for stage IV metastatic breast cancer (MBC), announces 27 grant awards totaling $5,750,000.  The research grants will enhance the understanding of metastatic breast cancer, help improve current treatments and develop greatly needed therapeutic options to combat the complicated disease. Since its founding in 2009, METAvivor has put 100% of donations into its peer-reviewed research grant program.

Metastatic breast cancer (also known as stage IV or advanced stage cancer) is the spread of breast cancer to other parts of the body -- most commonly to the bones, liver, lungs and/or brain. Approximately 30% of early stage breast cancer patients metastasize, with the mean survival after diagnosis being 33 months. In the U.S., only 2-5% of all cancer research funds are dedicated to metastatic breast cancer research – yet 98% of all breast cancer deaths are caused by a metastasis. 

“METAvivor is thrilled that we are able to continue to fund peer-reviewed research specifically for metastatic breast cancer. The research grants hold promise for future treatments and therapies that will one day, change metastatic breast cancer from a terminal disease to one that is survivable and manageable with a good quality of life.” Said Jamil Rivers, president of METAvivor.

Metavivor is awarding grants for the 2022 research cycle in three award categories:  The Early Career Investigator Award program is focused on funding grants for early career metastatic breast cancer researchers, The Translational Research Grant and Advisor’s awards program are targeted at career metastasis researchers with total awards of up to $250,000. per grant. 

The 27 grants that METAvivor is funding in this grant cycle, bring the grand total of metastatic breast cancer-specific research awards to $28,900,000.00. “We are truly thankful to our donors who continue to keep metastatic breast cancer research at the forefront of their giving.” Said Rivers. 

METAvivor’s Metastatic Breast Cancer Early Career Research Grant Awards

Corinne Beinat, PhD, BSc (Hons), Stanford University School of Medicine - A Theranostic Strategy for Precision Imaging and Treatment of Metastatic Triple-Negative Breast cancer – Presented in loving memory of Be Bold and Behold honorees Kathryn Petrides and Lisa M. Laudico

Jennifer Caswell-Jin, MD, Stanford University School of Medicine - Fibroblast growth factor receptor signaling and immune composition in estrogen receptor-positive metastatic breast cancer - Presented by the Linda (LeClair) Sousa, A Better Dream Foundation in memory of Linda (LeClair) Sousa

Amanda Clark, PhD, University of Pittsburgh - Extracellular vesicles regulate metastatic breast cancer dormancy in the liver - Presented by Northwest Arkansas Metsquerade, Runway for Research

Ana Gomes, PhD, H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute - Metabolic vulnerabilities of dormant disseminated breast cancer cells - Presented in memory of Molly B. Taylor

Quanyin HU, PhD, School of Pharmacy, University of Wisconsin-Madison - Targeted degradation of BET proteins in combination with immune checkpoint inhibitors for treating metastatic triple-negative breast cancer - Presented In memory of Andi Myers and Elizabeth Seagraves Murray and those from the support group "Living with MBC in DENJPA" that passed away in 2022          

Ines Velazquez-Quesada, PhD, Temple University, College of Engineering, Bioengineering Department Impact of the neuron - breast cancer cell interactions on the growth and survival of brain metastasis - Presented in memory of Tonyia Lucas and her Hope To Find A Cure


METAvivor’s Metastatic Breast Cancer Advisors Research Award                                

Stuart S. Martin, PhD, University of Maryland, Baltimore - Leveraging combined ctDNA and CTC analysis to optimize treatment for existing bone metastases - Presented in memory of Kerry O'Riordan McAdam and in honor of Jacqueline Beck

Danny Welch, PhD, University of Kansas Medical Center Research Institute - Mitochondrial Modifiers of Metastasis - Presented by The Pittsburgh Metsquerade in honor of members who died of MBC during event planning: Jill Griffin, Andrea Dimond,  Lori Czyzewski, and Sophia Holland 


METAvivor Metastatic Breast Cancer Translational Research Awards

Khalid Sossey-Alaoui, PhD, Case Western Reserve University and MetroHealth Medical Center - Role of YB1 in Triple Negative Breast Cancer Metastasis

Prasanna Alluri, MD, PhD, The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas - Targeting CDK4/6 inhibitor resistance in patients with metastatic, ER-positive breast cancer - Presented by #LightUpMBC Ambassador team in memory of Jessica Moore

Andrei Bakin, PhD, Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center - Development of Novel Immune Therapy Approaches for Metastatic Breast Cancer - Presented by #LightUpMBC Ambassador team in memory of Rosylin Weston

Elvin Blanco, PhD, Houston Methodist Research Institute - Mitochondrial biogenesis for T-cell priming and enhanced immunotherapy in metastatic breast cancer - Presented by METAvivor's community of followers on social media in honor of all of those touched by metastatic breast cancer

Katherine Cook, PhD, Wake Forest University School of Medicine - Improving ER+ bone metastatic breast cancer outcomes through metabolic re-programming of the microenvironment - Presented by Lake Norman Metsquerade in memory of Hilary Blake Hamilton

Gokul Das, PhD, Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center, Repurposing Tamoxifen to Treat Molecularly Stratified Metastatic Triple Negative Breast Cancer - Presented by METAvivor's community of followers on social media in honor of all of those touched by metastatic breast cancer

Bisrat Debeb, DVM, PhD, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center -Targeting sEcad - PDI axis for the treatment of breast cancer brain metastasis         

Ayesha Shajahan-Haq, PhD, Georgetown University - Application of a novel ruthenium-based anticancer therapy in ER+ metastatic breast cancer - Presented by METAvivor's community of followers on social media in honor of all of those touched by metastatic breast cancer

Jonathan Kessler, MD, City of Hope / Beckman Research Institute -Combination of Immune Checkpoint Inhibitor and Hepatic Radioembolization for the Treatment of Liver-Dominant Metastatic Breast Cancer – Presented by Minneapolis Metsquerade in memory of Toniya Lucas and Rachael Masters

Laurie Littlepage,  PhD, University of Notre Dame - Targeting Endocrine Therapy Resistance in Bone Metastasis

Hui-Wen LO, PhD, McGovern Medical School at The University of Texas Health Science Center, Houston - Targeting Breast Cancer Brain Metastases by an FDA-Approved Antifungal Drug and its Novel Analog - Presented by METAvivor's community of followers on social media in honor of all of those touched by metastatic breast cancer

Lluis Morey, PhD, Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of Miami - Dual targeting of an epigenetic machinery and a cellular receptor to block metastatic breast cancer – Presented by The Pittsburgh Metsquerade in honor of members who died of MBC during event planning: Amy Fletcher, Bindy Koontz, Roberta Thomas Szpara and Laura Williams

Jitesh Pratap, PhD, Rush University - Targeting microtubule dynamics and endosomal trafficking for bone metastasis of breast cancer - Presented by METAvivor's community of followers on social media in honor of all of those touched by metastatic breast cancer

Axel Schönthal, PhD, University of Southern California - Controlled Opening of the Blood-Brain Barrier to Enable Effective Therapeutic Access to Breast Cancer Brain Metastases - Presented in memory of Kerry O'Riordan McAdam and In Honor of Jacqueline Beck

Andrew D. Seidman, MD, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center -  Untangling the role of the brain metastasis microenvironment in HER2 positive breast cancer brain metastases to inform rational systemic treatment strategies - Presented by Cycle4Helen in honor of Helen O'Leary

Ghada Sharif, PhD, Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center - Targeting Occult Cancer Cell Subpopulations Driving Metastases Growth - Presented by Color Street Foundation

Theresa Vincent, PhD, New York University Grossman School of Medicine - Targeting breast cancer brain metastasis using a brain penetrable RNA Polymerase I inhibitor -  Presented by The Met Gala Santa Clarita in honor of Eva Miranda Crawford and Amy Steffe Lohmann

Min Yu, PhD, The University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore -  Targeting IGFBP3 signaling as a novel therapy for ESR1-Y537S mutant driven bone metastasis - Presented in honor of Tara Kuipers - Creator of #LightUpMBC Color Fun Run

Lin Zhang, PhD, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center - Altering the Metabolic Tumor Microenvironment to Impede Breast Cancer Brain Metastasis - Presented in honor of Ashleigh Griffin



METAvivor Research and Support Inc. is an Annapolis-based, volunteer-led, non-profit organization founded by metastatic breast cancer (MBC) patients in 2009.  The organization’s main focus is to fund critical research that will lead to advances in treatment options, quality of life and survival for patients diagnosed with MBC.  Since 2009, METAvivor has awarded 193 research grants totaling $28,900,000. METAvivor is the only national organization with a peer-reviewed grant program aimed at exclusively funding MBC research, and 100% of all donations go to fund research. 

METAvivor also raises awareness of MBC, provides support for people living with this disease, and offers opportunities for others to help make a difference for the metastatic community. METAvivor has gained a rapidly growing following within the breast cancer community, and has become a leader the metastatic breast cancer community.

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