Skip to main content

TRP: Translational Research Program

What it is.

Translational Research Program grants fund new and innovative research that shows high promise of moving from laboratory discoveries to clinical application.

What it does.

TRP grants are designed to help reduce the time between laboratory findings and actual treatment. LLS’s TRP grants have helped numerous renowned researchers advance their life-saving research into clinical trials.

image of Smita Bhatia

Iannis Aifantis, PhD
NYU Langone Health

"The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society is a funding agency that has really transformed the field of hematopoietic malignancies by targeting adequate funding to exciting and challenging basic research and translational projects. In this project we are attempting to target stress response in pediatric T-cell leukemia (T-ALL), and LLS funding will let us develop genetic tools and test compound combinations, that will hopefully lead to a future clinical trial."

image of Stephen Ansell

Sami Nimer Malek, MD
University of Michigan Rogel Cancer Center

"The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society has generously supported our research program in hematological malignancies for many years. This new Translational Research Program award is based on our discovery that a sizable subset of follicular lymphomas activates a pathway called autophagy that allows for tumor cell survival under limited nutrient conditions. Such stressful starvation conditions are postulated to exist in crowded enlarged lymph nodes or other organs infiltrated with lymphoma. With support from this grant we are trying to understand additional aspect of this survival mechanism, which we hope will inform us on novel strategies to treat follicular lymphoma. To develop such novel treatments, we are commencing with screens to identify new compounds that inhibit autophagy and aim at developing a clinical trial that will target activated autophagy as a vulnerability in follicular lymphoma. "

image of Roland Walter

Soheil Meshinchi, MD, PhD
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center

"I am very grateful to The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society for awarding me with this Translational Research Program grant. This critical funding will help our team advance targeted and immunotherapeutic treatments for infants and babies under the age of five with subtypes of acute leukemia who do not respond to standard chemotherapy. We hope that this work will lead to therapies that can cure this aggressive type of leukemia without harming the infants’ growing bodies."

image of Roland Walter

Gareth J. Morgan, MD, PhD, MBBCh, FRCP, FRCPath
NYU Langone Health

"I am immensely grateful to receive the LLS funding because it will allow us to shine a light on a critically important mechanism whereby cancer genes are activated and deactivated by changes in the overall structure of the DNA. This type of gene deregulation is brought about by movement of DNA from one chromosome to another leading to cancer gene overexpression by relocation of gene control elements and changes in nuclear DNA organization. Importantly these events can be complex leading to the deregulation of more than one gene simultaneously, which can explain rapid changes in cancer behavior and suggest new ways of predicting how aggressive the cancer will be."

image of Roland Walter

Davide Rossi, PhD, MD
Foundation for the Institute of Oncology Research (IOR)

"I am very honored to receive this award from The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. These funds will support the development of the liquid biopsy as a diagnostic tool in Hodgkin lymphoma. An unmet medical need in Hodgkin lymphoma, the second most common aggressive lymphoma type, is the early and accurate identification of chemorefractory patients, as they are candidates for treatment intensification to maximize the chances of cure, as well as the early and accurate identification of good-risk patients, as they are candidates for treatment de-escalation to avoid both short and long-term complications of chemo-radiotherapy. If successful, the project will provide an innovative, non-invasive and radiation-free tool for improving disease response assessment in Hodgkin lymphoma. "

image of Roland Walter

Ashwin Unnikrishnan, PhD
UNSW Medicine at UNSW Sydney

"I am honoured and delighted to receive the prestigious Translational Research Program grant from The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. This generous support will support our aim to develop more effective treatments for Myelodysplastic Syndromes (MDS), a disease that is increasing in prevalence given rapidly aging populations worldwide.

The best available treatment option for many MDS patients is the drug 5-azacitidine. However, it is only effective in about half of the patients who are treated and the prognosis is poor for those who fail to respond to treatment. In addition, most of those patients who initially respond to treatment will eventually relapse. There is therefore a need to develop new treatment options that will be more effective and durable. With the generous support of the LLS, we aim to pursue some tantalizing leads we have recently uncovered that might shine a light on the path forward towards this eventual goal. "

FY20 Grant Recipients

Iannis Aifantis, PhD
NYU Langone Health
Targeting the stress response machinery in pediatric T cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL)

Scott Armstrong, MD, PhD
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Selective BRD4 degradation in pediatric leukemia

Brian Baker, PhD
University of Notre Dame
Safer and More Effective T cells for Immunotherapy of Viral-associated Hematological Malignancies

Venkata Lokesh Battula, PhD
The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
Targeting Immune Checkpoint protein B7-H3 (CD276) in Acute Myeloid Leukemia

Katherine Borden, PhD
IRIC - Institute for Research in Immunology and Cancer
The oncogene eIF4E coordinates extracellular signalling in AML

Patrick Brown, MD,
The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
The Immunobiology of Blinatumomab Response and Resistance in Relapsed Pediatric B-ALL

David Fruman, PhD
University of California, Irvine
Preclinical optimization of statin/BH3 mimetic combinations in multiple myeloma

Jolanta Grembecka, PhD
University of Michigan Rogel Cancer Center
ASH1L degradation as a new treatment for acute leukemia

Babal Jha, PhD
Cleveland Clinic Foundation
Synthetic lethality of a-ketoglutarate antagonists in TET2 mutant leukemias

Peng Ji, MD, PhD
Northwestern University
Targeting Plek2 for the treatment of myeloproliferative neoplasms

Ricky Johnstone
The University of Melbourne
Targeting deregulated epigenetic mechanisms in B-cell lymphomas

Robert Kridel, MD, PhD
University Health Network
Delineation of the molecular heterogeneity underlying treatment failure in follicular lymphoma

Jatinder Lamba, PhD
University of Florida
Personalizing CD33-directed immunotherapy for pediatric AML

Yan Liu, PhD
Indiana University
Development of therapeutic strategy for the treatment of MDS

Ivan Maillard, MD, PhD
The Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania, Medical Center
Preclinical Notch inhibition to prevent graft-versus-host disease in mice and non-human primates

Sami Nimer Malek, MD
University of Michigan Rogel Cancer Center
Targeting v-ATPase mutations and activated autophagic flux in follicular lymphoma

Soheil Meshinchi, MD, PhD
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
Novel immunotherapeutic strategies in infants with high risk AML

Gareth J. Morgan, MD, PhD, MBBCh, FRCP, FRCPath
NYU Langone Health
Structural chromosomal rearrangements and the multi-step progression of multiple myeloma

Charles Mullighan, MD
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
Improving therapy for CRLF2-rearranged Ph-like acute lymphoblastic leukemia

Ryotaro Nakamura, MD
Beckman Research Institute of the City of Hope
CMV-CD19 bi-Specific CAR T cells with CMV vaccine as post-transplantation immunotherapy for ALL

Sattva Neelapu, MD
The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
CD79b as a novel target for CAR T-cell therapy in B-cell malignancies

Stephen Nutt, PhD
Walter & Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research
Therapeutic targeting of IRF4 to treat multiple myeloma

Owen O'Connor, MD, PhD
The Trustees of Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Medical Center
Translating Novel Immunoepigenetic Concepts to the Treatment of T-Cell Lymphomas (TCL)

Joel Pomerantz, PhD
The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
Evaluation of BRD1 as a Novel Therapeutic Target for Diffuse Large B Cell Lymphoma

Rizwan Romee, MD
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
CIML NK Cell Immunotherapy for Relapse after Haploidentical Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation

Davide Rossi, PhD, MD
Foundation for the Institute of Oncology Research (IOR)
Treatment tailoring by optimized early residual disease assessment in classic Hodgkin lymphoma

Michael Rout, PhD
Rockefeller University
Engineering Nanobodies for Lymphoma Immunotherapeutics

Kathleen Sakamoto, MD, PhD
Board of Trustees of the Leland Stanford Junior University
Niclosamide for the Treatment of Relapsed Pediatric Acute Myeloid Leukemia

Aaron Schimmer, MD, PhD
Princess Margaret Cancer Center, University Health Network
Targeting the mitochondrial protease, ClpP, as a novel therapeutic strategy for AML

Kevin Shannon, MD
The Regents of the University of California, San Francisco
Co-targeting BET Bromodomain Proteins and Aberrant Signaling in AMLe Ras Signaling in Pediatric AML

Aditi Shastri, MD
Montefiore Medical Center
Antisense inhibition of stat3 as a therapeutic strategy against leukemic stem cells

Margaret Shipp, MD
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Matching Genetic Signatures and Targeted Combination Therapy in High-Risk DLBCL

Karin Tarte, PhD
National Institute of Health and Medical Research (INSERM)
Characterizing and targeting the follicular lymphoma microenvironment

Ashwin Unnikrishnan, PhD
UNSW Medicine at UNSW Sydney
Beyond Azacitidine: Investigating new therapeutic strategies for the treatment of MDS

Dan Vogl, MD
The Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania, Medical Center
Targeting the myeloma bone marrow microenvironment through S100A9 inhibition with tasquinimod

Brian Walker, PhD
University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
The Impact of Non-Coding Somatic Mutations on the Prognosis and Progression of Multiple Myeloma

Baochun Zhang, PhD, MD
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
A multiantigen-targeting cytotoxic CD4+ T cell approach for treating B cell malignancies