• Susan G. Komen® Invests in the Future of Breast Cancer Research

    50 of Komen's 116 New Grants Will Fund Early-Career Investigators

    DALLAS, TEXAS – Oct. 1, 2014 – Following through on a commitment to young scientists and clinicians, the Susan G. Komen® organization today announced new grants to more than 50 early-career breast cancer researchers almost half of Komen’s $34.7 million investment in new breast cancer research funding for 2014.

    “Our 2014 grants are intended to ensure continuity in breast cancer research for years to come,” said Komen President and CEO Judith A. Salerno, M.D., M.S. “With federal research dollars tightening, we’re deeply concerned that a generation of promising breast cancer researchers will be lost to other fields.

    “While we fund young researchers, we’re also continuing to grant to established researchers whose work has led to significant progress against this disease,” she said.

    Komen is funding nearly $16 million in new grants to early-career researchers – those who are still in training and those at the earliest stages of their research careers. The remaining funds are being granted to leading breast cancer scientists who have already made significant contributions to the field, and to support scientific programs and partnerships that advance Komen’s mission to end breast cancer forever.

    Komen is the largest nonprofit funder of breast cancer research, with more than $847 million invested since its founding in 1982. But research is just one aspect of Komen’s mission: since 1982, Komen and its Affiliates have invested more than $1.8 billion in community health outreach and global programs that last year served more than half a million women and men facing breast cancer. More than 80 cents of every dollar Komen spends is devoted to mission programs.

    Highlights of Komen’s 2014 Research Program

    The Komen research grants are being distributed in 23 states and seven countries for studies into some of the most challenging questions in breast cancer research, including disparities in breast cancer outcomes for underserved women, triple negative disease and treatments for metastatic disease.

    A full list of Komen’s 2014 research grants can be found here.* Highlights include:

    • $450,000 in funding to Nicole Steinmetz, Ph.D., of Case Western Reserve University, who will work to develop a vaccine intended to prevent HER2-positive breast cancer from occurring in high-risk individuals and prevent recurrence in those previously diagnosed with HER2-positive disease.
    • $180,000 in funding to Rebecca Marquez, Ph.D., of the University of Kansas Center for Research to develop novel therapies for metastatic breast cancer using microRNAs, powerful regulatory molecules that can inhibit the expression of many genes and proteins.
    • More than $2 million into Graduate Training in Disparities Research programs in five states to train young, highly skilled researchers and practitioners to pursue careers focusing on breast cancer disparities.

    Salerno is a strong advocate for increased funding for medical research, most recently making the case in a joint blog with Research!America President and CEO Mary Woolley in Salerno’s monthly Huffington Post blog.

    “Our ability to continue to save lives, and ultimately eliminate this disease, relies on our continued commitment to funding research, which is why Komen is preparing to increase funding to early-career investigators by 30 percent over the next year,” Salerno said. “Without innovative breast cancer research, advancements in early detection and lifesaving treatments such as tamoxifen, trastuzumab and KadcylaÒ would not have been possible.”

    For more information about Komen’s overall mission investments, please visit komen.org.

    *Grant is awarded when agreement is signed with Komen