2013 Grant Announcement


METAvivor is thrilled to announce the award of four research grants totaling $320,000 to fund scientific research to enhance understanding of metastatic breast cancer and to develop much needed therapeutic options to combat this complicated disease. This is the fourth year METAvivor has awarded research grants.

Metastatic breast cancer is the spread of breast cancer to non-adjacent parts of the body -- most commonly to the bones, liver, lungs and/or brain. “Thirty percent of all breast cancers develop into metastasis. The disease is minimally treatable, but not survivable. The disease presents different hurdles for science and medicine for a variety of reasons including molecular complexities and lack of accurate animal models. The biggest hurdle, however, is the fact that research to study stage IV cancer is enormously under funded at an estimated 2-5 % of all western world cancer funding. Individual stage IV cancers, such metastatic breast cancer, are a sub-set of that total. METAvivor is working to increase that funding.” says Dr. Arti Santhanam, Director of Research for METAvivor.

Since 2009 METAvivor has been putting 100% of donations into its research grant program. Including this year’s grants, METAvivor has awarded a total of ten grants to career metastases researchers to study innovative technology and develop models to better understand and treat metastatic breast cancer. This year a total of 23 applications were peer reviewed and the following four grants were awarded based on the research focus, innovation, and the potential to make a difference for the metastatic breast cancer community.

Congratulations to this year’s winners

Dr. Sofia Merajver

University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center, Ann Arbor, MI
Project: "Engineering cancer metastases platforms for precise medicine"

Dr. Douglas Hurst

University of Alabama at Birmingham, Alabama
Project: "Improving oncolytic herpes simplex virus for metastatic breast cancer"

Dr. David Lum

Huntsman Cancer Institute, University of Utah
Project: "Validation of patient-derived breast tumor grafts as predictors of tumor evolution and drug resistance"

Dr. Dihua Yu

The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX
Project: "Identification and Targeting of Kinases Involved in Breast Cancer Brain Metastasis"

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