(AUSTIN) Today, in a meeting at the State Capitol, the Oversight Committee of the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT), approved a large slate of awards totaling over $89 million for cancer research, prevention and product development. The list of grants is included below.

“The awards approved today by the Oversight Committee illustrate the depth and breadth of CPRIT's impact in the Texas fight against cancer,” said CPRIT CEO Wayne Roberts. “From recruitment grants bringing the brightest cancer researchers to Texas, to supporting lifesaving prevention programs across the state and providing critical investments in developing new cancer-fighting drugs, CPRIT touched all the bases for a home run against cancer.”

The Committee approved three new recruitment grants, including (RR220067) for Dr. Zhiguo Zhang a world-renowned cancer researcher relocating from Columbia University to The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. Dr. Zhang will study the epigenetic mechanisms underlying pediatric gliomas – a deadly childhood cancer – and investigate possible new drugs and therapies.

A slate of nine prevention programs across the state also received CPRIT grants, including the DEFEAT (Delivering Education, Focused navigation, and Equitable Access throughout East Texas) breast cancer program at UT Health Tyler. With the assistance of a $997,120 CPRIT grant (PP220035) DEFEAT will focus on increasing breast cancer screenings amongst the African American population in rural East Texas, a population facing significant access barriers to quality healthcare.

The Oversight Committee also approved $64 million in product development grants to nine Texas companies developing new cancer products, drugs, or therapies. One award is particularly relevant, given recent world geopolitical events.

Atom Mines is an Austin-based company that will use its CPRIT product development research grant (DP220055) to utilize technology developed at The University of Texas at Austin to produce Ytterbium-176, a medical isotope needed for cutting-edge cancer drugs and therapies around the world. Currently, Ytterbium-176 is only available in limited quantities from Russia, so there is a critical need to produce this isotope domestically.

In addition to the grant approvals, Robert Alan Hromas, M.D., Dean of the Long School of Medicine at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio updated the Oversight Committee on CPRIT-funded work at UT Health San Antonio and Dr. Gail Eckhardt presented the Clinical Trials Advisory Committee annual report.


CPRIT was created by the Texas Legislature and approved by a statewide vote in 2007 to lead the Lone Star State’s fight against cancer.  In 2019, Texas voters again voted overwhelmingly to continue CPRIT with an additional $3 billion for a total $6 billion investment in cancer research and prevention.

To date, the agency has awarded over $3 billion in grants to Texas research institutions and organizations through its academic research, prevention and product development research programs. CPRIT has also recruited more than 281 distinguished researchers to Texas, supported the establishment, expansion or relocation of 51 companies to Texas and generated over $7.66 billion in additional public and private investment.

The nine-member Oversight Committee is composed of appointees from the Governor, the Lieutenant Governor and the Speaker of the House and meets at least once every quarter to set the priorities for the agency as well as approve peer-reviewed cancer research and prevention grants to entities throughout the state. Committee approval is the final step in a lengthy and transparent process of peer review, including consideration and critique from scientific experts across the country. The grants awarded today help meet many CPRIT Academic Research program priorities.

Funding approved by the CPRIT Oversight Committee has advanced scientific and clinical knowledge and provided over 8.1 million life-saving cancer prevention and early detection services to Texans in all 254 counties.

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



AUGUST 17, 2022



Recruitment: Dr. Zhiguo Zhang                  

Columbia University to The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center  




Recruitment: Dr. Steven Boeynaems      

Stanford University to Baylor College of Medicine                                                            




Recruitment: Dr. Siqi Liu                               

Rockefeller University to The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center   





The University of Texas at Austin                

Promoting Prevention in Survivorship Care in Rural Texas   




The University of Texas Health Science Center at Tyler

Screening to Optimize Prevention of CRC in East Texas (STOP CRC ET)                       




The University of Texas Health Science Center at Tyler      

DEFEAT breast cancer (Delivering Education, Focused navigation, and Equitable Access throughout East Texas)




University of Houston – Downtown

Increasing the use of HPV vaccination services among medically underserved young adults                            




The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center 

Project ACCESS: Increasing Access to Cervical Cancer Screening & Treatment Services in Texas                      




Baylor College of Medicine 

Advancing Implementation of Evidence-Based Strategies for Tobacco Prevention and HPV Vaccination in Pediatric Safety Net Settings




Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center

Fecal Immunochemical Testing for Screening and Treatment of Occult Neoplasia (FIT-STOP)




The University of Texas at Austin 

Inpatient Screening and Treatment for Unhealthy Alcohol Use and Tobacco Use as a means of cancer prevention 




University Health System 

GetFIT: Expansion of Cancer Prevention Services to Rural and Medically Underserved Populations




DP220028            Stellanova Therapeutics, Inc.       $3,000,000          

DP220038            Asylia Therapeutics                         $3,000,000          

DP220039            PLUS Therapeutics, Inc.                 $17,613,605       

DP220043            Xerient Pharma Inc.                         $2,934,737          

DP220053            Rapamycin Holdings Inc.               $16,999,999       

DP220054            NUCORE MEDICAL                           $2,999,999          

DP220055            Atom Mines                                       $2,500,000          

DP220063            InformAI Inc.                                      $1,552,000          

DP220066            PanTher Therapeutics, Inc            $14,268,315