Texas nonprofit cancer research funder doles out millions to health professionals moving to Houston
Thanks in part to multimillion-dollar grants from the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas, two top-flight cancer researchers are taking key positions at Houston’s Baylor College of Medicine.
Dr. Pavan Reddy and Dr. Michael Taylor each recently received a grant of $6 million from the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT).
Reddy is leaving his position as chief of hematology-oncology and deputy director at the University of Michigan’s Rogel Cancer Center to become director of the Baylor College of Medicine’s Dan L. Duncan Comprehensive Cancer Center. Dr. C. Kent Osborne stepped down as the center’s director in 2020; Dr. Helen Heslop has been the interim director.
Taylor, a pediatric neurosurgeon at the University of Toronto, is set to become the first-ever director of pediatric neuro-oncology research at Texas Children’s Hospital. The hospital is affiliated with the Baylor College of Medicine. Taylor is an expert in children’s brain tumors.
In all, 11 researchers recruited by three health care institutions in Houston recently received $34 million in CPRIT grants. The nine other grant recipients in Houston are:
- Dr. Christine Lovly, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, $4 million. She is co-leader of the Translational Research and Interventional Oncology Research Program at the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center in Nashville.
- Hans Renata, Rice University, $4 million. He is an associate professor at UF Scripps Biomedical Research in Jupiter, Florida.
- Mingjie Dai, Rice University, $2 million. He is a technology development fellow at Harvard University’s Weiss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering.
- William Hudson, Baylor College of Medicine, $2 million. He is a postdoctoral fellow at Emory University in Atlanta.
- Deepshika Ramanan, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, $2 million. She is a research fellow in immunology at Harvard Medical School.
- Jason Schenkel, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, $2 million. He is an instructor in pathology at Harvard’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital.
- Aria Vaishnavi, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, $2 million. She is a postdoctoral scholar at the University of Utah’s Huntsman Cancer Institute.
- Samantha Yruegas, Rice University, $2 million. She is a postdoctoral research associate at Princeton University in New Jersey.
- Qian Zhu, Baylor College of Medicine, $2 million. He is a research fellow at Harvard’s Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.
A CPRIT committee recently approved 17 recruitment grants totaling nearly $48 million for cancer research institutions in Texas.
“CPRIT’s mission is to invest in the research prowess of Texas institutions while expediting breakthroughs in cancer cures and prevention … . These 17 highly respected researchers will join an impressive roster of cancer-fighters who call the Lone Star State home,” says Wayne Roberts, CEO of CPRIT.
Since its creation, CPRIT has awarded $2.9 billion in grants to cancer research organizations around the state.
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