Cancer Prevention & Research Institute of Texas Awards $114.7 Million in New Grants

(AUSTIN) — The Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) today awards 62 new grants totaling over $114 million consisting of 52 academic research grant awards, 8 prevention awards, and 2 product development research awards.

“Today’s investments demonstrate CPRIT’s continued commitment to cancer research and the unparalleled growth of the cancer-fighting ecosystem across Texas,” said Wayne Roberts, CPRIT Chief Executive Officer. “At the same time, these awards translate directly to job creation and continuity in our state.”  

The awards support cancer research and prevention activities taking place in universities and community organizations across Texas that include recruiting 11 outstanding cancer researchers to the state, expanding access to clinical trials, and providing needed cancer screenings for underserved populations, as well as two investments in Texas biotech companies developing CPRIT-supported research discoveries into promising new cancer treatments.

See the attached list for all grants awarded.

About the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas

To date, CPRIT has awarded $2.6 billion in grants to Texas research institutions and organizations through its academic research, prevention, and product development research programs. CPRIT has recruited 213 distinguished researchers, supported the establishment, expansion or relocation of 42 companies to Texas, and generated over $5 billion in additional public and private investment. CPRIT funding has advanced scientific and clinical knowledge and provided 6.6 million life-saving cancer prevention and early detection services reaching Texans from all 254 counties. On November 5, 2019, Texas voters overwhelmingly approved a constitutional amendment to provide an additional $3 billion to CPRIT for a total $6 billion investment in cancer research and prevention.

Learn more at https://cprit.texas.gov/. Follow CPRIT on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

AWARDED RESEARCH GRANTS

Collaborative Action Program to Reduce Liver Cancer Mortality in Texas: Investigator-Initiated Research Awards – Three grants totaling $7,407,804

Baylor College of Medicine

  • Reducing Disparities in the Risk of Hepatocellular Cancer (Fasiha Kanwal) - $2,434,495
  • Genetic Epidemiology of Hepatocellular Carcinoma in Hispanics (Aaron Thrift) - $2,473,314

The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center 

  • A Novel Risk Stratification and Early Detection Strategy to Reduce Liver Cancer Mortality (Amit Singal) - $2,499,995

Core Facility Support Awards – Four grants totaling $14,821,043

Baylor College of Medicine

  • Comprehensive Cancer Epigenomics Core Facility (Rui Chen) - $3,999,943

The Methodist Hospital Research Institute

  • CPRIT RNA Therapeutics Core (John Cooke) - $3,999,995

 Texas A&M University System Health Science Center

  • The Combinatorial Drug Discovery Program (CDDP) (Peter Davies) - $3,989,892

Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center

  • From Whole Animal Imaging to Super-Resolution Microscopy: An Imaging Core for the TTUHSC Campus at Amarillo (Ulrich Bickel) - $2,831,213

Early Clinical Investigator Awards – Four awards totaling $5,991,545

Baylor College of Medicine

  • CPRIT Early Career Clinical Investigator Award (Premal Lulla) - $1,500,000

The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center

  • CPRIT Early Clinical Investigator Award (Nicolas Palaskas) - $1,491,551
  • CPRIT Early Clinical Investigator Award (Chad Tang) - $1,499,996

The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center

  • Enhancing neoantigen expression and immune checkpoint inhibitor response using splicing modulators in hepatocellular carcinoma (David Hsieh) - $1,499,998

High Impact High Risk Awards – Seventeen grants totaling $4,245,038

Baylor College of Medicine

  • Targeting Fatty Acid Synthesis in NAFLD Related HCC (Bingning Dong) - $250,000

Baylor University

  • Novel Betabody-Drug Conjugates Targeting Phosphatidylserine for the Selective Delivery of Potent, Small-Molecule Payloads (Kevin Pinney) - $250,000

Texas AgriLife Research

  • Targeting Plasma Membrane Spatial Dynamics to Suppress Obesity-Induced Colon Cancer (Robert Chapkin) - $250,000

Texas A&M University - Corpus Christi

  • High-throughput Non-destructive Enumeration and Characterization of CTCs in Whole Blood By a Thin Film "Tactile" Microfluidics and Holographic Interferometry (Jian Sheng) - $247,703

Texas A&M University System Health Science Center

  • Genome-Wide DNA Methylation Markers for Predicting the Risk of Liver Cancer in Non-Alcoholic Fatty Livers (Robert Tsai) - $250,000

Texas State University

  • Screening for Melanoma Genes Using Natural Hybrid Incompatibilities (Manfred Schartl) - $248,458

The Methodist Hospital Research Institute

  • A Novel Organoid Platform to Modulate Human Neural Networks Integrated with Glioblastoma Stem Cells (Robert Krencik) - $249,372

The University of Texas at San Antonio

  • Pathological Role of Neuronal Cell Cycle Re-entry in the Development of Chemotherapy-induced Peripheral Neuropathy (Hyoung-gon Lee) - $250,000

The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston

  • Small RNA Nanovector based Targeted Immunotherapy for Glioblastoma (Tae Jin Lee) - $250,000
  • Development of Artificial Intelligence Framework for Assessment of Responses to Treatment and Automated Tumor Volume Measurement in Glioblastoma (Jay-Jiguang Zhu) - $249,794

The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio

  • SERBP1, Epigenetic Regulation and Glioblastoma Targeting (Luiz Penalva) - $249,968

The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center

  • Elucidating Pre-metastatic Niches at Single Cell Resolution (Filippo Giancotti) - $249,996
  • Targeted Proteolysis of Glucocorticoid Receptor (GR) as a Therapeutic Strategy to Enhance Anti-Tumor Immunity (Yonathan Lissanu Deribe) - $249,992
  • Targeting B Cells to Enhance Responses to Immune Checkpoint Blockade (Jennifer Wargo) - $249,755

The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston

  • Characterization of Salmonella Tumor Targeting Mechanisms and Oncolytic Potential (Linda Kenney) - $250,000

The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center

  • Low-cost Non-conventional Ultra-low-field MRI Scanner For the Next-Generation MR-guided Radiation Therapy (Xun Jia) - $250,000

University of Houston

  • Developing Single-cell RNAseq-based Genetic Screens to Identify Novel Targets for Cancer Immunotherapy (Weiyi Peng) - $250,000

Individual Investigator Awards – Eight grants totaling $6,855,983

The Methodist Hospital Research Institute

  • Rational Combination Therapy for Aggressive Double-Hit Lymphoma (Yulin Li) - $899,985

The University of Texas at Austin

  • Interrogating the Senescence-Associated Secretory Phenotype and its Dependence On the ATM Protein Kinase (Tanya Paull) - $754,398

 The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio

  • Role of HOTTIP lncRNA in Leukemogenesis (Mingjiang Xu) - $900,000

The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center

  • A Hippo Pathway Sensitized Genetic Screen for Regulators of Yap/Taz Driven Hepatocellular Carcinoma (Randy Johnson) - $899,999
  • Targeted Inhibition of Autophagy for Treatment of Dormant Ovarian Cancer (Steven Millward) - $900,000
  • Predicting Response and Improving Efficacy of CAR T-cell Therapy in DLBCL (Linghua Wang) - $899,020

The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center

  • Immune Checkpoint Regulation by the Integrated Stress Response Pathway in Lung Cancer (Kathryn O’Donnell) - $900,000

University of Houston

  • Arming an Oncolytic Herpes Simplex Virus to “BiTE” Tumor Cells (Xiaoliu Zhang) - $702,581

Individual Investigator Research Awards for Cancer in Children and Adolescents – Two grants totaling $2,398,659

Baylor College of Medicine

  • Targeting the CXCL10-CXCR3 Axis in Metastatic Osteosarcoma (Tsz-Kwong Man) - $1,200,000

The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio

  • Enhancing Cytarabine Response Through SAMHD1 Inhibition (Dmitri Ivanov)- $1,198,659

Individual Investigator Research Awards for Clinical Translation - One grant totaling $1,199,997

The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center

  • Harnessing Aurora Kinase Inhibition-Induced Cell Death to Enhance Immunotherapy in HPV- Driven Cancers (Jagannadha Sastry) - $1,199,997

Individual Investigator Research Awards for Prevention and Early Detection - Two grants totaling $2,380,366

The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center

  • Improving Risk Prediction for Li-Fraumeni Syndrome: A Practical Tool for Clinical Health Care Providers (Banu Arun) - $896,896
  • Establishment of a Prospective Cohort at Risk for HPV-Related Cancers: Using HPV Testing at Mucosal Sites and Blood-Based Assays for Risk Stratification in Men (Erich Sturgis) - $1,483,470

Recruitment of Established Investigators Awards* - Two grants totaling $11,997,660

  • David Gius, MD, PhD, Recruitment to The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio from the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center - $6,000,000
  • Jeffrey Pollard, FMedSci FRSE, Recruitment to The Methodist Hospital Research Institute from the University of Edinburgh - $5,997,660

Recruitment of First-Time, Tenure-Track Faculty Members Awards* - Nine grants totaling $18,000,000

  • Jin Chen, PhD, Recruitment to The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center from the University of California, Berkeley - $2,000,000
  • Bruno Di Stefano, PhD, Recruitment to Baylor College of Medicine from Harvard Medical School - $2,000,000
  • Joshua Gruber, MD, PhD, Recruitment to The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center from Stanford University - $2,000,000
  • Pengxiang Huang, PhD, Recruitment to Baylor College of Medicine from Harvard Medical School - $2,000,000
  • Hongjie Li, PhD, Recruitment to Baylor College of Medicine from Stanford University - $2,000,000
  • Monica Pillon, PhD, Recruitment to Baylor College of Medicine from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences - $2,000,000
  • Andrew Sandstrom, PhD, Recruitment to The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center from the University of California, Berkeley - $2,000,000
  • Xing Zeng, PhD, Recruitment to The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center from the Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School - $2,000,000
  • Peng Zhao, PhD, Recruitment to The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio from the University of California San Diego - $2,000,000

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

AWARDED PREVENTION GRANTS

Tobacco Control and Lung Cancer Screening Awards - One grant totaling $1,000,000

Texas A&M University

  • Promoting Access to Maternal Smoking Cessation and Smoke-free Home Services Among Low-income Rural Pregnant Women and Their Household Smokers (Lei-Shih Chen) - $1,000,000

Expansion of Cancer Prevention Services to Rural and Medically Underserved Populations - Seven grants totaling $13,063,633

Baylor College of Medicine

  • Expanding Colorectal Cancer Prevention and Education Through Community-Based Outreach and Information Technology (Luis Rustveld) - $1,947,073

Light and Salt Association

  • Establish a Comprehensive Cancer Prevention and Support Program among Asian-American Communities in Houston, Dallas/Fort Worth and Austin Areas of Texas (Helen Sun) - $1,467,728

Texas A&M University System Health Science Center

  • Expansion of Texas A&M’S Cancer Prevention Program to Rural and Medically Underserved Women (Anna Lichorad) - $1,656,478

The University of Texas at Austin

  • Expanding Mailed Stool Test-Based Colorectal Cancer Screening in Vulnerable Populations in Central Texas (Michael Pignone) - $1,999,227

The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston

  • Expanding a successful postpartum HPV vaccination project to women in the Rio Grande Valley (Abbey Berenson) - $1,993,991
  • School-based Human Papillomavirus Vaccination Program in the Rio Grande Valley: Continuation and Expansion in Starr, Zapata, and Jim Hogg County (Ana Rodriguez) - $1,993,140

The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center

  • A Regional Expansion of Cervical Cancer Screening and Patient Navigation in North Texas (E-XSPAN) (Keith Argenbright) - $1,999,996

AWARDED PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT RESEARCH GRANTS

Texas Company Product Development Awards - Two grants totaling $25,421,133

Immunogenesis, Inc.

  • Cytoreductive Bispecific PD-L1/PD-L2 Antibodies Active Across Immune “Hot” and “Cold” Cancers (Michael Curran) - $15,455,860

OncoNano Medicine, Inc.

  • Image-guided Surgical Detection of Metastatic Disease to the Peritoneum, Lymph Nodes and Pleural Surfaces (Ravi Srinivasan) - $9,965,273

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