The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Announces Recipients of Quest for Cures Grant Program

For Immediate Release
Contact: Andrea Greif
(914) 821-8958

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Announces Recipients of Quest for Cures Grant Program

Grant Program Addresses Three Critical Areas of Blood Cancer Research

White Plains, NY (January 23, 2014) - The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) today is pleased to announce the fourteen  researchers who will receive funding through the Quest for Cures program - a new grant program that addresses three critical areas of blood cancer research. 

The three priority areas are: monitoring tumor cell heterogeneity and its contribution to response or resistance to therapy; molecular mechanisms to identify and direct subsets of patients with B-cell malignancies to the right therapy; and the role of tumor microenvironment in initiation and maintenance of blood cancers.

"The Quest for Cures research topics enable LLS to continue to drive a progressive research agenda to improve outcomes for patients who urgently need therapies," said Lee Greenberger, Ph.D., LLS chief scientific officer.  "Most importantly, this research will, hopefully, lead to an understanding as to why current treatment methods are not successful and identify new treatments regimens."

Quest for Cures is enabled by funding from Celgene through LLS's new "Targets, Leads and Candidates Program." This program identifies and funds priority research areas, with support from biotechnology and pharmaceutical partners.

The amounts of the grants awarded to these innovative researchers will range from $200,000 to $400,000, annually for two years. The awardees are:

Priority area #1: Monitoring tumor cell heterogeneity
Andrew Weng, M.D., Ph.D., British Columbia Cancer Agency Branch. Resolution of intratumoral heterogeneity in B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) by flow cytometry
Catherine Ju-Ying Wu, M.D., Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Biology of genetic & epigenetic heterogeneity and impact on outcome in chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL)
Catriona Jamieson, M.D., Ph.D., The Regents of the University of California, San Diego. Targeting aberrant RNA processing in the molecular evolution of myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) to acute myeloid leukemia (AML)
Matthew Walter, M.D., Washington University at St. Louis. Impact of allogeneic transplant on clonal heterogeneity in MDS
Adolfo Ferrando, M.D., Ph.D., Columbia University Medical Center. Clonal evolution and chemotherapy resistance in acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL)

Priority area #2: New molecular stratification mechanisms
Kazuya Machida, M.D., Ph.D., University of Connecticut Health Center. Signalosome-oriented phosphotyrosine profiling of B-cell malignancies
Andrei Thomas-Tikhonenko, Ph.D., Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. Mechanisms of resistance to CART19
Blossom Damania, Ph.D., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Novel technology for targeting and understanding NHL biology
Joel Pomerantz, Ph.D., John Hopkins University School of Medicine. Dysregulated signaling-based tools for stratifying and monitoring diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL)
Sandeep Dave, M.D., Duke University Medical Center. Predicting treatment futility in refractory DFBCL

Priority area #3: Tumor microenvironment in blood cancers
Anton Martens, Ph.D.,
University Medical Center Utrecht (Netherlands). A humanized engineered bone marrow model for myeloma and leukemia
Christopher Cogle, M.D., University of Florida. Role of the microenvironment in AML
Larry Kwak, M.D., Ph.D., University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. Targeting myeloid-derived suppressor cells in the lymphoma microenvironment
David Scadden, M.D., Massachusetts General Hospital. Microenvironmental contributions to MDS

LLS will be announcing a new round of Quest for Cures requests for proposals in February. The RFPs will cover new topics which will be detailed in advertisements in the February and March issues of the journal Blood. Please visit this link to learn more about the program.

About The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society ® (LLS) is the world's largest voluntary health agency dedicated to blood cancer. The LLS mission: Cure leukemia, lymphoma, multiple myeloma, and improve the quality of life of patients and their families. LLS funds lifesaving blood cancer research around the world, provides free information and support services, and is the voice for all blood cancer patients seeking access to quality, affordable, coordinated care. 

Founded in 1949 and headquartered in White Plains, NY, LLS has chapters throughout the United States and Canada. To learn more, visit Patients should contact the Information Resource Center at (800) 955-4572, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET.

last updated on Thursday, January 23, 2014