Leukemia & Lymphoma Society awards $12M in grants for blood cancer

Thursday, August 30, 2012 11:54 AM

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) of White Plains, N.Y., has awarded 20 grants representing a total investment of $12 million to tackle four areas of high unmet medical need in the blood cancers.

LLS awarded the grants under its Translational Research Program, an initiative designed to help accelerate the movement of promising discoveries from the lab to the clinic. Each grant is for a three-year duration with a total value of $600,000.

The RFPs mark LLS's aggressive and proactive approach to addressing the challenge of improving outcomes for cancer patients with particularly urgent needs. LLS aims to stimulate more academic research in these areas: the malignant stem cells in acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) and myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS); non-cutaneous T-cell malignancies; high-risk myeloma; and long-term and late effects of blood cancer therapies.

Grants recipients in the area of leukemic stem cell in AML and MDS and the identification of potential targeted therapies:

  • Alan D'Andrea, M.D., Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Targeting ID1 in acute myeloid leukemia stem cells
  • James Griffin, M.D., Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Aberrant splicing in AML: novel molecular markers and therapeutic targets
  •  Leighton Grimes, Ph.D., Children's Hospital Medical Center of Cincinnati, RNA therapeutics for leukemia
  • Monica Guzman, Ph.D., Joan & Sanford I. Weill Medical College of Cornell University, Strategies to eliminate leukemia stem cells during remission
  • Duane Hassane, Ph.D., Joan & Sanford I. Weill Medical College of Cornell University, Significance and mechanisms of genomic diversity in AML stem cells
  • Anthony Letai, M.D., Ph.D., Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Personalizing AML therapy by BH3 profiling AML stem cells
  • Ross Levine, M.D., Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, Targeting cytosine hydroxymethylation in AML stem cells
  • A. Thomas Look, M.D., Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Targeting of nuclear export in primary AML cells
  • Li Zhang, MSc, M.D., Ph.D, University Health Network, Preventing AML relapse by targeting stem cells with double-negative T-cells

Grants recipients in the area of novel therapeutic strategies for non-cutaneous T-cell lymphoproliferative disorders:

  • Jaroslaw Maciejewski, M.D., Ph.D., Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Implications of STAT3 mutations in large granular lymphocyte leukemia
  • Owen O'Connor, M.D., Ph.D., Columbia University, Epigenetic approaches to PTCL therapy

Grants recipients for the development of therapeutic strategies for the high risk myeloma patient:

  • Jennifer Carew, Ph.D., University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, Targeting SIRT1 in multiple myeloma
  • Irene Ghobrial, M.D., Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Targeting hypoxic and metabolic pathways in multiple myeloma
  • Christoph Heuck, M.D., University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Targeting DNA methylation in the diagnosis and therapy of high-risk myeloma
  • Alexander Stewart, M.D., Mayo Clinic, Development of novel therapeutics targeting high risk myeloma

Grant recipients for mechanisms underlying long term and late effects resulting from cancer treatment and the development of measures to significantly reduce or prevent these toxicities:

  • Smita Bhatia, M.D., M.P.H., City of Hope, Bone marrow transplant survivor Study-2
  • Eric Chow, M.P.H., Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Dexrazoxane and prevention of anthracycline-related cardiomyopathy
  • Ruben Niesvizky, M.D., Joan & Sanford I. Weill Medical College of Cornell University, Stem cell alterations in lenalidomide treated myeloma patients
  • Pavan Reddy, M.D., University of Michigan, Alpha 1-antitypsin as a novel strategy to modulate GVHD
  • Daniela Salvemini, Ph.D, Saint Louis University, Blocking bortezomib induced painful peripheral neuropathy with FTY720

LLS also announced the awarding of an additional 28 TRP grants, totaling $15.6 million, to scientists working in other areas of blood cancer research.

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