Press Release 


July 1, 2013

The Samuel Waxman Cancer Research Foundation Awards More than $2 Million in Grants

NEW YORK—The Samuel Waxman Cancer Research Foundation (SWCRF) has announced that it has awarded individual grants to three new researchers and will fund 22 ongoing collaborative grants. This year, more than $2 million will be awarded. The grant recipients represent some of the best minds in differentiation therapy—reprogramming cancer cells, which is a hallmark of the Waxman Foundation.

Each year, the Foundation invites cancer institutes around the world to apply for a research grant. Because the SWCRF accepts only one application per institute, many cancer centers are encouraged to hold their own peer review process before submitting a proposal.

Once accepted, all grants undergo an intense peer-review process by the SWCRF’s Scientific Advisory Board. Grant recipients are expected to present a progress report of their research findings to the Scientific Advisory Board the next year for critique.

Funded investigators become part of the Foundation’s unique collaboration, aptly called “Institute Without Walls,” and are expected to share their findings at the SWCRF annual Scientific Review. Ongoing funding is contingent upon completion of specific aims outlined in the research proposal. Each collaborative grant is about $100,000. Special programs receive $150,000. Individual research grantees receive between $50,000 and $100,000.

“Each of these awardees is an accomplished cancer researcher who has novel ideas about how to target fundamental processes of gene regulation and cell survival,” says Jonathan Licht, M.D., Associate Scientific Director of the SWCRF.  “Through understanding how cancer cells are abnormally programmed, our investigators seek ways to reverse the process, turning the table on the cancer cell and causing its elimination. The discoveries these investigators make may have important impacts on many type of tumors.”

The new 2013-2014 individual research grant recipients are:

  • Gregory David, Ph.D. Associate Professor, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Pharmacology, NYU School of Medicine
    Epigenetic regulation of inflammation as a therapeutic approach against pancreatic cancer 

  • Jayanta Debnath, M.D. Associate Professor, Department of Pathology University of California San Francisco
    Effects of autophagy dependent secretion on triple negative breast cancer differentiation and aggression

  • Yang Shi, Ph.D. Merton Bernfield Professor of Neonatology, Boston Children’s Hospital/Harvard Medical School
    Identification of epigenetic regulators of differentiation in Acute Myeloid Leukemia


Recipients of continued and collaborative support include:

  • Julio A. Aguirre-Ghiso, Ph.D., Emily Bernstein, Ph.D., Mount Sinai School of Medicine: Activating a Dormancy Program in Disseminated Tumor Cells
  • Ross Levine, M.D., Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center: Role of TET2 IDH mutation in pathogenesis and therapy of Acute Myeloid Leukemia
  • Josep M. Llovet, M.D., Mount Sinai School of Medicine: High-Throughput Sequencing of Intrahepatic Cholangiocarcinoma
  • Ari Melnick, M.D., Alexander MacKerell, Ph.D., and Gilbert Privé, Ph.D., Weill Cornell Medical College, University of Maryland, University of Toronto: Therapeutic Targeting of Oncogenic Transcriptional Repressor Proteins in Blood Malignancies and Colon Cancer
  • Ravi Bhatia, M.D., City of Hope: Targeting the Leukemia Stem Cell in CML
  • Brad Cairns, Ph.D. and David Jones, Ph.D., Huntsman Cancer Institute: Demethylation in Colorectal Cancer
  • Robert Casero, Ph.D., Stephen Baylin, M.D., Cynthia Zahnow, Ph.D., Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine: Novel Therapies Targeting Epigenetic Silencing of Tumor Suppression in Lung and Colon Cancers
  • Duane Compton, Ph.D. Ethan Dmitrovsky, M.D., Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth: Targeting Chromosomal Instability in Lung Cancer
  • Ronald M. Evans, Ph.D., Reuben Shaw, Ph.D., Salk Institute for Biomedical Studies: Dietary Stress-induces Epigenetic Signatures in Colon Cancer
  • Christopher A. French, M.D., Jay Bradner, M.D., Brigham and Women's Hospital, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute: Reprogramming the Tumor Epigenome in NUT Midline Carcinoma
  • Doris Germain, Ph.D., Samuel Waxman, M.D., Mount Sinai School of Medicine: Probing the Activation of the Cyclin D1-STAT3 Network as a Biomarker of Response to Endocrine Therapy of Breast Cancer
  • Margaret Goodell, Ph.D., Baylor College of Medicine: Role of DNMT3A in the Development of Myeloid Malignancies
  • Shai Izraeli, M.D., John Crispino, Ph.D., Sheba Medical Center, Tel Aviv University, Northwestern University: The GATA-ERG axis in hematologic malignancies
  • Jonathan D. Licht, M.D., Wilson Miller, M.D., Ph.D., Northwestern University; Jewish General Hospital: Histone Methylation and the Response to DNA Damage and Cancer Therapeutics in Multiple Myeloma
  • Warren Pear, M.D., Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania: Targeting Tribbles in Cancer
  • Zhu Chen, M.D., Ph.D., Sai-Juan Chen, Ph.D., Ruibao Ren, M.D., Ph.D., Yang Shen, Ph.D., Jiang Zhu, Ph.D., Samuel Waxman, M.D., Shanghai Institute of Hematology (SIH), SIH/SWCRF Co-PI Program
  • Robert A. Weinberg, Ph.D., Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research: Formation and Maintenance of Breast Cancer Stem Cells by Paracrine and Autocrine Signals
  • William Weiss, M.D., Ph.D., Kevan M. Shokat, Ph.D., Mark Lemmon, Ph.D., Albert Baldwin Jr., Ph.D., University of California, San Francisco, University of Pennsylvania, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill: HER Family Kinases and Oncogene Addiction in Brain Cancer
  • Arthur Zelent, Ph.D, Ming-Ming Zhou, Ph.D., Samuel Waxman, M.D., Institute of Cancer Research, London; Mount Sinai School of Medicine: Modulating Transcription Repressor Sin3 for Targeted Epigenetic Therapy of Triple Negative Breast Cancer

About the Samuel Waxman Cancer Research Foundation

The Samuel Waxman Cancer Research Foundation is an international organization dedicated to curing and preventing cancer. The Foundation is a pioneer in cancer research, focusing on uncovering the causes of cancer and reprogramming cancer cells.

We dedicate ourselves to delivering tailored, minimally toxic treatments to patients. Our mission is to eradicate cancer by bridging the gap between lab science and the patient.

Through our collaborative group of world-class scientists, the Institute Without Walls, investigators share information and tools to speed the pace of cancer research. Since its inception in 1976, the SWCRF has awarded more than $85 million to support the work of more than 200 researchers across the globe.