The Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas has again granted millions to Texas institutions. Across the state, cancer-fighting scientists have received 55 new grants totaling over $78 million.
Five Houston-area institutions — Baylor College of Medicine, the University of Houston, The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, and the The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center — have received around $30 million of that grand total.
"These awards reflect CPRIT's established priorities to invest in childhood cancer research, address population and geographic disparities, and recruit top cancer research talent to our academic institutions," says Wayne Roberts, CPRIT CEO, in a news release. "I'm excited about all the awardees, particularly those in San Antonio, a region that continues expand their cancer research and prevention prowess. San Antonio is poised to have an even greater impact across the Texas cancer-fighting ecosystem."
Four grants went to new companies that are bringing new technologies to the market. Two companies with a presence in Houston — Asylia Therapeutics and Barricade Therapeutics Corp. — received grants in this category.
Last fall, CPRIT gave out nearly $136 million to Texas researchers, and, to date, the organization has granted $2.49 billion to Texas research institutions and organizations.
Here's what recent grants were made to Houston institutions.
Baylor College of Medicine
- $900,000 granted for Feng Yang's research in targeting AKT signaling in MAPK4-high Triple Negative Breast Cancer (Individual Investigator Award)
- $897,527 Hyun-Sung Lee's research for Spatial Profiling of Tumor-Immune Microenvironment by Multiplexed Single Cell Imaging Mass Cytometry (Individual Investigator Award)
- $899,847 for Joshua Wythe's research in targeting Endothelial Transcriptional Networks in GBM (Individual Investigator Award)
University of Houston
- $890,502 for Matthew Gallagher's research in Transdiagnostic Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Smokers With Anxiety and Depression (Individual Investigator Research Award for Prevention and Early Detection)
- $299,953 for Lorraine Reitzel's research in Taking Texas Tobacco Free Through a Sustainable Education/Training Program Designed for Personnel Addressing Tobacco Control in Behavioral Health Settings (Dissemination of CPRIT-Funded Cancer Control Interventions Award)
The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston
- $1,993,096 for Abbey Berenson's research in maximizing opportunities for HPV vaccination in medically underserved counties of Southeast Texas (Expansion of Cancer Prevention Services to Rural and Medically Underserved Populations)
The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston
- $900,000 for Melissa Aldrich's research on "Can Microsurgeries Cure Lymphedema? An Objective Assessment" (Individual Investigator Award)
- $900,000 for John Hancock's research in KRAS Spatiotemporal Dynamics: Novel Therapeutic Targets (Individual Investigator Award)
- $900,000 for Nami McCarty's research in targeting Multiple Myeloma Stem Cell Niche (Individual Investigator Award)
- $1.96 million for Paula Cuccaro's research in Expanding "All for Them": A comprehensive school-based approach to increase HPV vaccination through public schools (Expansion of Cancer Prevention Services to Rural and Medically Underserved Populations)
The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
- $900,000 for Laurence Court's research in Artificial Intelligence for the Peer Review of Radiation Therapy Treatments
- $900,000 for John deGroot's research in targeting MEK in EGFR-Amplified Glioblastoma (Individual Investigator Award)
- $900,000 for Don Gibbons's research in Investigating the Role ofCD38 as a Mechanism of Acquired Resistance to Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors in Lung Cancer (Individual Investigator Award)
- $900,000 for John Heymach's research in Molecular Features Impacting Drug Resistance in Atypical EGFR Exon 18 and Exon 20 Mutant NSCLC and the Development of Novel Mutant- Selective Inhibitors (Individual Investigator Award)
- $900,000 for Zhen Fan's research in Development of a Novel Strategy for Tumor Delivery of MHC-I-Compatible Peptides for Cancer Immunotherapy (Individual Investigator Award)
- $900,000 for Jin Seon Im's research in off the shelf, Cord-Derived iNK T cells Engineered to Prevent GVHD and Relapse After Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation (Individual Investigator Award)
- $900,000 for Jae-il Park's research in CRAD Tumor Suppressor and Mucinous Adenocarcinoma (Individual Investigator Award)
- $900,000 for Helen Piwnica-Worms's research in Single-Cell Evaluation to Identify Tumor-stroma Niches Driving the Transition from In Situ to Invasive Breast Cancer (Individual Investigator Award)
- $898,872 for Kunal Rai's research in Heterogeneity of Enhancer Patterns in Colorectal Cancers- Mechanisms and Therapy (Individual Investigator Award)
- $900,000 for Ferdinandos Skoulidis's research in Elucidating Aberrant Splicing-Induced Immune Pathway Activation in RBMl0-Deficient KRAS-Mutant NSCLC and Harnessing Its Potential for Precision Immunotherapy (Individual Investigator Award)
- $887,713 for Konstantin Sokolov's research in High-Sensitivity 19F MRI for Clinically Translatable Imaging of Adoptive NK Cell Brain Tumor Therapy (Individual Investigator Award)
- $900,000 for Liuqing Yang's research in Adipocyte-Producing Noncoding RNA Promotes Liver Cancer Immunoresistance (Individual Investigator Award)
- $1.44 million for Eugenie Kleinerman's research in Doxorubicin-Induced Cardiotoxicity: Defining Blood and Echocardiogram Biomarkers in a Mouse Model and AYA Sarcoma Patients for Evaluating Exercise Interventions (Individual Investigator Award for Cancer in Children and Adolescents)
- $2.4 million for Arvind Dasari's research in Circulating Tumor DNA- Defined Minimal Residual Disease in Colorectal Cancer (Individual Investigator Research Award for Clinical Translation)
- Targeting Alterations of the NOTCH! Pathway in Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma (HNSCC)(Faye Johnson) - $1.2 million (Individual Investigator Research Award for Clinical Translation)
- $2.07 million for Florencia McAllister's research in Modulating the Gut- Tumor Microbial Axis to Reverse Pancreatic Cancer Immunosuooression (Individual Investigator Research Award for Clinical Translation)
- $2 million to recruit Eric Smith, MD, PhD, to The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (Recruitment of First-Time, Tenure-Track Faculty Members Award)
- $2 million for Karen Basen-Engquist's research in Active Living After Cancer: Combining a Physical Activity Program with Survivor Navigation (Expansion of Cancer Prevention Services to Rural and Medically Underserved Populations)
Seed Awards for Product Development Research
- Houston and Boston-based Asylia Therapeutics's Jeno Gyuris was granted $3 million for its development of a Novel Approach to Cancer Immunotherapy by Targeting Extracellular Tumor- derived HSP70 to Dendritic Cells
- Houston-based Barricade Therapeutics Corp.'s Neil Thapar was granted $3 million for its development of a First-In-Class Small Molecule, TASIN, for Targeting Truncated APC Mutations for the Treatment of Colorectal Cancer (CRC)