• For Immediate Release
    August 19, 2015 - AUSTIN, TX
  • For more information, contact
    Chris Cutrone 512-305-8483

Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas Awards Seven New Academic Research Grants


The Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) today awarded seven grants through its academic research program. The grants, totaling $23,000,000, support the recruitment of seven cancer scientists to academic institutions in Texas, including two distinguished senior researchers.

“Over the last six years, CPRIT funding has made it possible to recruit nearly 100 of the top cancer scientists in the world to Texas research institutions,” said Wayne Roberts, chief executive officer for CPRIT. “With these latest grants, we’re well on our way to assembling the finest cluster of cancer expertise in the country.”

After undergoing CPRIT’s research review process, the seven grants were recommended by the Scientific Review Council and ratified by the Oversight Committee (OC). The awarded grants include:

Recruitment of First-Time, Tenure-Track Faculty Members*:

  • Charles Lin, Ph.D., Recruitment to Baylor College of Medicine from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute – $2,000,000
  • Leng Han, Ph.D., Recruitment to The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston from The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center – $2,000,000
  • Jan Erzberger, Ph.D., Recruitment to The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center from ETH Zurich (Eidgenossische Technische Hochschule) – $2,000,000
  • Kendra Frederick, PhD., Recruitment to The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center from the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research – $3,000,000
  • Peter Douglas, PhD., Recruitment to The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center from the University of California, Berkeley – $2,000,000

Recruitment of Established Investigators*:

  • Frank McKeon, M.D., Ph.D., Recruitment to the University of Houston from the Genome Institute of Singapore (GIS) – $6,000,000
  • Yang-Xin Fu, M.D., Ph.D., Recruitment to The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center from the University of Chicago – $6,000,000

Also at today’s meeting, OC members elected Pete Geren as presiding officer and Will Montgomery as vice presiding officer. Geren, who was vice presiding officer, replaces Dr. William Rice, whose term as OC presiding officer expired. Amy Mitchell was re-elected as secretary of the OC. Geren, Montgomery and Mitchell have been on the OC since 2013.

Pete Geren, Presiding Officer
Hometown: Fort Worth
Term: October 22, 2013 - January 31, 2019
Geren is the President of the Sid W. Richardson Foundation, which provides grants to educational, health, human service and cultural nonprofit organizations in Texas. From 2001 to 2009, he served in the U.S. Department of Defense as Special Assistant to the Secretary of Defense, Acting Secretary of the Air Force, Under Secretary of the Army and Secretary of the Army. He also served four terms in the U.S. House of Representatives and was formerly assistant to U.S. Sen. Lloyd Bentsen. Geren received a B.A. from The University of Texas in 1974 and a J.D. from The University of Texas Law School in 1978.

Will Montgomery, Vice Presiding Officer
Hometown: Dallas
Term: November 20, 2013 - February 01, 2017
Montgomery is a partner at Jackson Walker LLP, where his practice focuses on commercial litigation and arbitration. He is experienced in all aspects of litigation, including jury and non-jury trials, arbitration, mediation. Montgomery was admitted to the Texas State Bar in 1984. He received his B.A. and his M.A. degrees from Stanford University. He received his J.D. degree from the University of Chicago.

Amy Mitchell, Secretary
Hometown: Austin
Term: September 26, 2013 - January 31, 2015
Mitchell, a cancer survivor, works as an attorney in the real estate practice group of Fulbright & Jaworski's Austin office. A member of the State Bar of Texas, she has professional legal expertise in areas ranging from alternative energy and capital markets to healthcare and global infrastructure. She has been included in Real Estate Law's "The Best Lawyers in America" listing for the past six years and was named "Texas Top Rated Lawyer" by LexisNexis Martindale-Hubbell. She holds a bachelor's degree in History from Princeton University and a JD from The University of Texas at Austin. She has been a member of the Ballet Austin Board since 2007.

*Recruitment grants awarded indicate only approval to negotiate offers; at the time of release candidates have not accepted offers


About the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas
Beginning operations in 2009, CPRIT has to date awarded $1.35 billion in grants to Texas researchers, institutions and organizations. CPRIT provides funding through its academic research, prevention and product development research programs. Programs made possible with CPRIT funding have reached all 254 counties of the state, brought nearly 100 distinguished researchers to Texas, advanced scientific and clinical knowledge, and provided nearly 2.5 million life-saving education, training, prevention and early detection services to Texans. Learn more at cprit.state.tx.us. Follow CPRIT on Twitter  and like CPRIT on Facebook.

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