• For Immediate Release
    August 16, 2017 - AUSTIN, TX
  • For more information, contact
    Chris Cutrone 512-305-8483

Cancer Prevention & Research Institute of Texas Awards 60 New Grants


AUSTIN — The Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) today awarded 60 new academic research, prevention, and product development research grants totaling more than $102 million towards advancing the fight against cancer.

Fifty-one of the awards, totaling more than $79 million, went to academic research grants, with 14 for recruiting outstanding cancer researchers to Texas. Eight prevention services grants were awarded totaling $14 million as well as one product development research grant for $9 million.

“The large number of awards approved by CPRIT underlies the growth of the cancer-fighting ecosystem in Texas,” said Wayne Roberts, CPRIT chief executive officer. “This momentum is evident as Texas expands its critical mass of talent in our life-sciences sector.”

CPRIT has awarded 1,189 grants totaling more than $1.89 billion. The agency began making awards in 2009 after Texas voters overwhelmingly approved a 2007 constitutional amendment committing $3 billion to the fight against cancer. During the 85th Texas Legislature, CPRIT’s Sunset Review date was extended by two years to 2023 to allow the agency to fulfill its constitutional mandate to invest all funds approved by Texas voters.

See the attached list for all 60 academic research, prevention, and product development research grants awarded.


About the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas

To date, CPRIT has awarded $1.89 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 more than 135 distinguished researchers to Texas, advanced scientific and clinical knowledge, and provided more than 3.9 million life-saving education, training, prevention and early detection services to Texans. Learn more at cprit.texas.gov. Follow CPRIT at twitter.com/CPRITTexas and facebook.com/CPRITTexas.

AWARDED RESEARCH GRANTS

Early Translational Research Awards – Three grants totaling $2,744,006

The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center

  • Targeting Ubiquitination for Cancer Therapy (Shuxing Zhang) – $915,000

Texas A&M University System Health Science Center

  • Chemoablation of High-Risk Oral Premalignant Lesions for Sustained Cancer Prevention (Robert Tsai) – $915,000

Baylor College of Medicine

  • Development of Next Generation Steroid Receptor Coactivator Small Molecule Inhibitors as Novel Agents to Target Therapy-resistant Breast Cancer (Bert O'Malley) – $914,006

Individual Investigator Awards – Eight grants totaling $6,436,283

The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center

  • Role of HDAC8 and Higher Order Chromatin Structure in Melanoma Metastasis and Therapy (Kunal Rai) – $823,154
  • Novel Regulation and Function of TAK1 in Mutant Kras-driven Development of Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinoma (Paul Chiao) – $823,500
  • Mechanistic Roles of Long Non-Coding RNA in Glioblastoma Development and Treatment (Suyun Huang) – $823,500

The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center

  • HTS for Covalent GTP-competitive Inhibitors of KRAS G12C (Kenneth Westover) – $823,500
  • Tumor Suppression, p53 and Retrotransposons (John Abrams) – $816,171
  • Probing Novel Concepts of the NF-kappaB Transcriptional Program in Human Cancer (Ivan D'Orso) – $679,458
  • Chemically Based Disruption of Oncogenic Beta-catenin Activity in Liver Tissue (Lawrence Lum) – $823,500

Baylor College of Medicine

  • Targeting Therapy Resistance using Epithelial to Mesenchymal Transition (EMT) Pathways in Preclinical Claudin Low Breast Cancer Models (Jeffrey Rosen) – $823,500

High Impact High Risk Awards – 19 grants totaling $3,799,366

The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center

  • Capitalizing on Therapeutic Liabilities in RAS-Mutant Cancers With a Rational Combination Therapy With PARP and MEK Inhibitors (Gordon Mills) – $200,000
  • Identification of Critical Dependencies and Actionable Therapeutic Options in Smarcb1-Deficient Pediatric Tumors (Giulio Draetta) – $200,000

The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center

  • Regulation of Cancer Cell Migration by Secreted Protein Phosphorylation (Vincent Tagliabracci) – $200,000
  • Targeting a Metabolic Reprogramming Event for the Early Prevention of Pancreatic Cancers (Benjamin Tu) – $200,000
  • Targeting a Novel Nuclease PAAN in Triple-Negative Breast Cancer (Yingfei Wang) – $200,000
  • The Role of the CACNA1D Calcium Channel in Melanoma (Sean Morrison) – $199,828

The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio

  • A Novel Chemical Strategy to Target EGFR for Destruction (Hai Rao) – $200,000

Texas A&M University System Health Science Center

  • Optogenetic Toolkit for Precise Epigenome Editing in Cancer Cells (Yubin Zhou) – $200,000
  • Mitochondrial DNA Instability Engages a Cancer-Related Interferon Program to Modify the Immune Microenvironment and NAD+ Metabolome and Enhance Melanoma Growth (Andrew West) – $199,795
  • Identify Streptococcus gallolyticus Factors Important for Promoting Colorectal Tumor Development (Yi Xu) – $200,000

The University of Texas at San Antonio

  • Optimization of a Novel Class of Microtubule Stabilizers That Circumvent Multiple Drug Resistance Mechanisms Through Crystal-Structure Guided Total Synthesis (Douglas Frantz) – $200,000

Texas Tech University

  • Isolation and in Situ Profiling of Circulating Tumor Cell Subpopulations Using a Hyperuniform Structured Microchip (Wei Li) – $200,000

The University of Texas at Dallas

  • Radiation-Induced Release of Chemotherapeutic Agents in Vivo (Jeremiah Gassensmith) – $200,000

Baylor University

  • Targeting Cathepsin L as a Selective Mechanism for the Release of Potent Anticancer Agents from Drug-Linker Conjugates (Kevin Pinney) – $200,000

Rice University

  • Enhancing Immunotherapy of Pancreatic Cancer by Disrupting Mutant K-Ras Using CRISPR/Cas9 (Gang Bao) – $200,000

The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston

  • An Unexpected Oncometabolic Axis: Exposing Novel Regulators of Cardiac Remodeling in Leukemia (Heinrich Taegtmeyer) – $199,744

The University of Texas at Arlington

  • Noninvasive Lung Cancer Screening by Rapid Chemical Profiling of Exhaled Breath (Yuze Sun) – $199,999

Texas A&M University

  • Etiology and Prevention of Gastric Cancers by Mitigation of H pylori Mechanosensing (Pushkar Lele) – $200,000
  • The Preparation of Novel Phage-Displayed Macrocyclic Peptide Libraries for the Identification of Anticancer Agents (Wenshe Liu) – $200,000

Core Facility Support Awards – Seven grants totaling $30,502,278

The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center

  • Cyclotron and Radiochemistry Core Facility for Pediatric Oncology (Xiankai Sun) – $5,648,027
  • Establish a New Cryo-Electron Microscopy Core Facility and Service for Structure Determination at UT Southwestern Medical Center (Daniela Nicastro) – $5,498,714

The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center

  • The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center Science Park Flow Cytometry and Cell Imaging Core (Ellen Richie) – $3,693,219

Baylor College of Medicine

  • Patient-Derived Xenograft and Advanced in Vivo Models (PDX-AIM) Core Facility (Michael Lewis) – $3,822,860
  • Individualized Pediatric Tumor Analysis Center of Texas (INPACT) (Carl Allen) – $200,000

Texas A&M University System Health Science Center

  • GCC Center for Advanced Microscopy and Image Informatics (Michael Mancini) – $5,793,075

The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston

  • Data Science and Informatics Core for Cancer Research (Wenjin Zheng) – $5,846,383

Recruitment of Established Investigators Awards* – Two grants totaling $12,000,000

  • Christopher Amos, PhD, Recruitment to Baylor College of Medicine from Dartmouth – Geisel School of Medicine – $6,000,000
  • Carlos Arteaga, MD, Recruitment to The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center from Vanderbilt University School of Medicine – $6,000,000

Recruitment of First-Time, Tenure-Track Faculty Members Awards* – 12 grants totaling $24,000,000

  • Jeffrey Woodruff, PhD, Recruitment to The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center from Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics – $2,000,000
  • Bo Li, PhD, Recruitment to The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center from Dana-Farber Cancer Institute & Harvard School of Public Health – $2,000,000
  • Jun Wu, PhD, Recruitment to The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center from Salk Institute for Biological Studies – $2,000,000
  • Daniel Dickinson, PhD, Recruitment to The University of Texas at Austin from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill – $2,000,000
  • Kuang-Lei Tsai, PhD, Recruitment to The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston from The Scripps Research Institute – $2,000,000
  • Daehwan Kim, PhD, Recruitment to The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center from McKusick-Nathans Institute of Genetic Medicine, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine – $2,000,000
  • Todd Aguilera, MD, PhD, Recruitment to The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center from Stanford University – $2,000,000
  • Dustin Hancks, PhD, Recruitment to The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center from University of Utah, School of Medicine – $2,000,000
  • Siyuan Zheng, PhD, Recruitment to The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio from University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center – $2,000,000
  • Rohith Reddy, PhD, Recruitment to University of Houston from Harvard University – $2,000,000
  • Rosa Uribe, PhD, Recruitment to Rice University from California Institute of Technology – $2,000,000
  • Ping Mu, PhD, Recruitment to The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center – $2,000,000

AWARDED PREVENTION GRANTS

Competitive Continuation/Expansion Awards – One grant totaling $1,350,000

Texas A&M University System Health Science Center

  • Continuation/Expansion of Texas A&M's Breast and Cervical Cancer Prevention Program for Underserved Women through a Family Medicine Residency (David McClellan) – $1,350,000

Colorectal Cancer Prevention Coalition Awards – Two grants totaling $5,972,794

Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center at El Paso

  • Southwest Coalition for Colorectal Cancer Screening (SuCCCeS) (Navkiran Shokar) – $3,679,823

The University of Texas at Austin

  • Improving Colorectal Cancer Screening in Vulnerable Populations in Travis County (Michael Pignone) – $2,292,971

Evidence-Based Cancer Prevention Services Awards – Three grants totaling $4,044,851

Baylor College of Medicine

  • Expanding a Community Network for Cancer Prevention to Improve Cervical and Colorectal Screening and Follow-Up Among an Urban Medically Underserved Population (Maria Jibaja-Weiss) – $1,347,590

Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center

  • Access to Breast and Cervical Care for West Texas (ABC24WT) (Rakhshanda Layeequr Rahman) – $1,349,730

The Rose

  • Empower Her To Care Expansion(EHC4):Increasing Access to Breast Cancer Screening and the Continuum of Care for Underserved Texas Women (Bernice Joseph) – $1,347,531

Tobacco Control and Lung Cancer Screening Awards – Two grants totaling $2,651,492

University of Houston

  • Taking Texas Tobacco Free: Increasing Tobacco Cessation In Substance Use Treatment Centers via an Evidence-based, Comprehensive Tobacco-free Workplace Program (Lorraine Reitzel) – $1,348,851

The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio

  • Mobile Cessation Services for Young Adult Rural, Low-Income, and Spanish-Speaking Smokers (Amelie Ramirez) – $1,302,641

AWARDED PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT RESEARCH GRANTS

Texas Company Product Development Awards – One grant totaling $8,998,067

  • ViraCyte LLC, Improving the Outcome of Stem Cell Transplants for Cancer Treatment Using Multi-Virus Specific T cells (Ann Leen) – $8,998,067**

*Recruitment grants awarded indicate only approval to negotiate offers; at the time of release candidates have not accepted offers.
**Maximum amount to be funded upon successful completion of all milestones.

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