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Fox Chase Cancer Center Awards Translational Research Grants to Seven Research Collaborations

PHILADELPHIA (October 24, 2003) — Fox Chase Cancer Center long has been recognized for creating an environment that fosters collaboration across academic divisions. To that end, seven teams of researchers have been awarded grants from Fox Chase to extend their work to achieve translational research goals. Each team includes laboratory scientist(s) and physician(s) who engage in clinical research.

Translational research describes a process in which laboratory-based scientific advances are connected with new ways to prevent, diagnose and treat human cancers. The laboratory advances provide opportunities to make strides in the clinic, while the lessons learned in the clinic provide beacons to direct and refine the associated laboratory studies.

A formal translational research program at Fox Chase was established in 2002 under the direction of Louis M. Weiner, MD. Weiner, who occupies the G. Morris Dorrance Jr. Endowed Chair, is the vice president for translational research and chairman of the department of medical oncology.

"We have focused most of our early efforts to identify the most promising collaborations and obtain institutional and financial support to stimulate such research," said Weiner. "By awarding these multi-investigator grants within the first year of the translational research program, we have made a definitive statement about Fox Chase's commitment in this vital area of cancer research."

The grants are designed to foster collaborations among clinical researchers and basic scientists so that scientific advances can be leveraged into tangible progress in cancer prevention, detection, diagnosis and therapy.

"The quality of the applications was outstanding, and in fact the proposals were so strong that we awarded more grants than initially contemplated," Weiner said.

Those receiving grants include:

  • Peter D. Adams, PhD, Division of Basic Science and Roger B. Cohen, MD, Division of Medical Science "Development of Biomarkers to Monitor Activity of a Novel Anti-Cancer Therapeutic in Patients"
  • Alaa F. Badawi, PhD, Division of Population Science; Eric Sherman, MD, Division of Population Science; John Ridge, PhD, MD, Division of Medical Science; and Samuel Litwin, PhD, Division of Population Science "Targeting Cyclooxygenase-2 and Peroxisome Proliferator Activated Receptor γ in Head and Neck Cancer: A Phase I Clinical Trial" *
  • Jonathan Chernoff, MD, PhD, Division of Basic Science; Andre J. P. Klein-Szanto, MD, Division of Medical Science; and Nancy Lewis, MD, Division of Medical Science "Assessing HER-2 Targets in Breast Cancer"
  • Erica A. Golemis, PhD, Division of Basic Science; Myung K. Shin, PhD, Division of Basic Science; and Stuart Lessin, MD, Division of Medical Science "Evaluating HEI10 as Biomarker and Drug Target with a Critical Role in Metastic Melanoma"
  • Vladimir Kolenko, PhD, Division of Medical Science and Robert Uzzo, MD, Division of Medical Science "Selenium and Vitamin E: Experimental Basis for Prostate Cancer Prevention" *
  • Andre Rogatko, PhD, Division of Population Science, and Gary Hudes, MD, Division of Medical Science "Patient Characteristics as Predictors of Toxicity of Cancer Treatment"
  • Timothy Yen, PhD, Division of Basic Science; Gary Hudes, MD, Division of Medical Science; and Roger B. Cohen, MD, Division of Medical Science "Discovery and Development of Mitotic Targets for Chemotherapy"
    (* = Awarded seed money)

"Many of the relationships represented by these grants were developed as a direct result of a successful interactive lecture series of translational research forums, which consist of paired research presentations by basic and clinical investigators around general topics of mutual interest. This lecture series has stimulated ongoing discussions and led to the initiation of many of the collaborative efforts that were just funded," Weiner added.

Funding for these grants comes from federal (core grant) and state (tobacco settlement fund) money. Nearly half of all grant applications were funded.

Fox Chase Cancer Center, part of the Temple University Health System, is one of the leading cancer research and treatment centers in the United States. Founded in 1904 in Philadelphia as one of the nation’s first cancer hospitals, Fox Chase was also among the first institutions to be designated a National Cancer Institute Comprehensive Cancer Center in 1974. Fox Chase researchers have won the highest awards in their fields, including two Nobel Prizes. Fox Chase physicians are also routinely recognized in national rankings, and the Center’s nursing program has received the Magnet recognition for excellence four consecutive times. Today, Fox Chase conducts a broad array of nationally competitive basic, translational, and clinical research, with special programs in cancer prevention, detection, survivorship, and community outreach.  For more information, call 1-888-FOX CHASE or (1-888-369-2427).

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