CPRIT awards $2.5 million to support MD Anderson cancer research

The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center was awarded $2.5 million today from the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) to support cancer research projects across the institution.

Four of the five grants awarded to MD Anderson today are CPRIT High-Impact/High-Risk Research Awards, which provide short-term funding to explore the feasibility of high-risk projects that, if successful, would contribute major new insights into the etiology, diagnosis, treatment or prevention of cancers.

“We are immensely grateful for CPRIT’s continued support of our exceptional science across the spectrum of discovery, translational and clinical research,” said Peter WT Pisters, M.D., president of MD Anderson. “Funding innovative, high-risk research ideas in their early stages is crucial, as these have the potential to lead to truly transformational breakthroughs with the potential to benefit patients throughout Texas and beyond.”

Since its inception, CPRIT has awarded over $3 billion in grants for cancer research;

MD Anderson investigators have received approximately 20% of the total awards. Programs supported by CPRIT funding have brought more than 281 distinguished cancer researchers to Texas, advanced the knowledge base for cancer treatment throughout the state, and provided 8.2 million cancer prevention and early detection services to Texans.

CPRIT awards to MD Anderson include:

Early Clinical Investigator Award

High-Impact/High-Risk Research Awards

  • Reversing aging-associated resistance to cancer immunotherapy (Wen Jiang, M.D., Ph.D., Radiation Oncology) – $249,976
  • Fasting-induced microbiome changes and radioprotection (Helen Piwnica-Worms, Ph.D., Experimental Radiation Oncology) – $249,999
  • Restoration of phagocytosis function of glioma-associated microglia/macrophage by activating QKI-PPARb-RXRa (Jian Hu, Ph.D., Cancer Biology) – $250,000
  • Identification of enhancers of T-cell anti-tumor activity in PDAC using CRISPR activation screening (Anirban Maitra, M.B.B.S., Pathology) – $250,000

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