LUNGevity Announces 2013 Lung Cancer Research Grants

Published: Jul 30, 2013

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LUNGevity Foundation awards sixgrants to outstanding researchers for significant lung cancer research projects; additional awards to be announced later this year

WASHINGTON, July 30, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- LUNGevity Foundation, which supports the largest grant awards program of any lung-cancer focused organization in the U.S., announced that it has awarded $900,000 in new lung cancer research funds to sixexceptional researchers through its Career Development and Targeted Therapeutics Awards programs. The work of these researchers will help ensure continued progress against this cancer that kills more people than the next four cancers combined.

In addition to these awards, LUNGevity will announce funding for awards through its Early Detection Awards program later this year as well as provide $500,000 of funding to support ongoing projects. This will bring the year's funding total to $1.8 million.

LUNGevity's Career Development Awards for Translational Research program identifies future research leaders who will keep the field of lung cancer research vibrant with new ideas. 2013 Career Development Awards for Translational Research were made to:

  • Timothy Burns, MD, Ph.D., University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, for "Targeting KRAS-mutant NSCLC through inhibition of mTOR and Hsp90"
  • David Kozono, MD, Ph.D., Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, for "Biomarkers for NSCLC radiosensitization by proteasome inhibition"
  • Meredith Tennis, Ph.D., University of Colorado Denver, for "Biomarkers for targeted lung cancer chemoprevention"

LUNGevity's Targeted Therapeutics for Translational Research program supports the discovery and validation of biomarkers or novel targeted therapeutics that will make a difference in the clinical treatment and survival of patients. 2013 Targeted Therapeutics Awards for Translational Research were made to:

  • Balazs Halmos, MD, Columbia University Medical Center, for "Identification of predictive biomarkers of chemoradiotherapy in lung cancer"
  • Lecia V. Sequist, MD, Massachusetts General Hospital, for "Determining mechanisms of resistance to next-generation EGFR inhibitors"
  • Frank J. Slack, Ph.D., Yale University, for "Targeting KRAS mutations in lung cancer"

"Lung cancer, which will kill about 160,000 people this year, accounts for 27% of cancer deaths in the United States, yet less than 6% of federal cancer research funding is allocated toward it. The translational research funding that LUNGevity provides is critical in helping to make up for this disparity. This year's award winners, selected after a rigorous review process, will move us forward toward the breakthroughs that will make an important difference not just to survivorship but also to the quality of survivorship," said Andrea Ferris, President and Chairman of LUNGevity Foundation.

Second-year funding for ongoing projects includes continued support for the following Career Development Award for Translational Research projects in early detection and targeted therapeutics:

  • Jennifer Beane, Ph.D., Boston University, for "Biomarkers of pre-malignant disease progression for lung cancer detection"
  • Lauren Byers, MD, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, for "PARP1 as a novel therapeutic target in small cell lung cancer"
  • Mohamed Hassanein, Ph.D., Vanderbilt University Medical Center, for "Developing new non-invasive methods for the diagnosis of lung cancer"
  • Christopher Maher, Ph.D., Washington University in St. Louis, for "Molecular predictors of outcome in non-small cell lung cancer" (Recipient of LUNGevity's Melissa Lumberg Zagon Founders' Award)
  • Viswam Nair, MD, Stanford University, for "In-vivo and in-vitro diagnostics to improve lung cancer care"

Special thanks to Genentech and our other donors for supporting the LUNGevity Scientific Research Program.

The Foundation works with its Scientific Advisory Board, eighteen prominent and leading scientists and researchers, and additional experts to ensure that grants are awarded to the proposals with the greatest potential for saving lives. Under the guidance of the Advisory Board, chaired by Dr. Pierre Massion, Associate Professor of Medicine and Cancer Biology in the Division of Allergy, Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, LUNGevity has become the nation's premier private grant-making organization funding research for the early detection and effective treatment of lung cancer.

About LUNGevity Foundation
LUNGevity Foundation is firmly committed to making an immediate impact on increasing quality of life and survivorship of people with lung cancer by accelerating research into early detection and more effective treatments, as well as by providing community, support and education for all those affected by the disease.

Our vision is a world where no one dies of lung cancer.

For more information about the grants or LUNGevity Foundation, please visit

About Lung Cancer

  • 1 in 14 Americans is diagnosed with lung cancer in their lifetime
  • More than 226,000 people in the U.S. will be diagnosed with lung cancer this year
  • About 60% of all new lung cancer diagnoses are among people who have never smoked or are former smokers
  • Lung cancer kills more people than the next four cancers (colorectal, breast, pancreatic, and prostate) combined
  • Only 16% of all people diagnosed with lung cancer will survive 5 years or more, BUT if it's caught before it spreads, the chance for 5-year survival improves dramatically

To schedule an interview with Andrea Stern Ferris or an award recipient, please contact Sara Neumann at (202) 414-0788 or

SOURCE LUNGevity Foundation

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