• For Immediate Release
    February 17, 2016 - AUSTIN, TX
  • For more information, contact
    Chris Cutrone 512-305-8483

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


AUSTIN – The Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) today awarded six grants through its academic research program. The grants, totaling $26,000,000, support the recruitment of six outstanding cancer scientists, including three distinguished senior researchers, to Baylor College of Medicine and three institutions of The University of Texas System – MD Anderson Cancer Center, UT Austin and UT Southwestern Medical Center.

Since its inception, CPRIT has awarded 110 recruitment grants totaling more than $334 million. The new grants provide support to the four Texas institutions for recruitments from Emory University, Memorial Sloan Kettering Institute for Cancer Research, Johns Hopkins University, Vanderbilt University, University of California, San Francisco, and the University of Toronto.

“We continue to assemble a critical mass of expertise in cancer research in Texas through the recruitment of top scientists who have demonstrated academic excellence, innovation and potential for impact,” said Wayne Roberts, CPRIT’s chief executive officer. “These CPRIT grants have put Texas on the map as a destination for the best cancer researchers in the world.”

The latest round of grants will help Texas academic institutions recruit three distinguished senior researchers, including two world-class structural biologists. The awards also support the recruitment of two promising emerging investigators pursuing their first faculty appointments in Texas, along with an early-stage investigator who has established an internationally recognized research program in cancer proteogenomics.

After undergoing CPRIT’s research review process, the six grants were recommended by the Scientific Review Council and the Program Integration Committee, and then ratified by the Oversight Committee. The awarded grants include:

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

  • Luke Gilbert, Ph.D., Recruitment to The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center from University of California, San Francisco – $2,000,000
  • Traver Hart, Ph.D., Recruitment to The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center from University of Toronto – $2,000,000

Recruitment of Established Investigators*:

  • Xiaodong Cheng, Ph.D., Recruitment to The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center from Emory University School of Medicine – $6,000,000
  • Filippo G. Giancotti, M.D., Ph.D., Recruitment to The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center from Memorial Sloan Kettering Institute for Cancer Research – $6,000,000
  • Daniel J. Leahy, Ph.D., Recruitment to The University of Texas at Austin from Johns Hopkins School of Medicine – $6,000,000

Recruitment of Rising Stars*:

  • Bing Zhang, Ph.D., Recruitment to Baylor College of Medicine from Vanderbilt University School of Medicine – $4,000,000

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


About the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas
Beginning operations in 2009, CPRIT has to date awarded nearly $1.5 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 104 distinguished researchers to Texas, advanced scientific and clinical knowledge, and provided over 2.7 million life-saving education, training, prevention and early detection services to Texans. Learn more at www.cprit.texas.gov. Follow CPRIT on Twitter and like CPRIT on Facebook.

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