(AUSTIN) Today, the Oversight Committee, the governing body of the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT), has approved a slate of 17 recruitment awards for a total of almost $48 million, bringing eminent cancer researchers from across the country to Texas institutions. The list of recruitment grants is attached.
“Today’s action by the Oversight Committee deepens the bench of premiere cancer research at Texas institutions,” said CPRIT CEO Wayne Roberts. “CPRIT’s mission is to invest in the research prowess of Texas institutions while expediting breakthroughs in cancer cures and prevention, and today we’ve done just that. These 17 highly respected researchers will join an impressive roster of cancer-fighters who call the Lone Star State home.”
Among the grantees are Dr. Pavan Reddy, a renowned physician-scientist and a leader in the field of cell therapy and stem cell transplantation focused on understanding the role of immune cells and their targets in cancer. Dr. Reddy is leaving his position of Chief of Hematology-Oncology and Deputy Director of the University of Michigan Rogel Cancer Center for the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston where he will take over as Director of the Dan L. Duncan Comprehensive Cancer Center.
Also on the grant award list is Dr. Deepshika Ramanan, an exceptional young scientist from Harvard Medical School coming to M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. Dr. Ramanan is studying a novel immunological phenomenon related to the effects of immune factors transmitted through maternal milk on gut immunity and cancer risk. Dr. Ramanan has found that female mice transfer immunomodulatory factors through their milk to their offspring, impacting their immune cell landscape in the intestine and the mammary gland. Her proposed research program will focus on clarifying this mode of communication between the intestine and the mammary gland and its implication for multigenerational cancer susceptibility.
The Oversight Committee also approved an Established Investigator Award for Dr. Michael Taylor, an active pediatric neurosurgeon at the University of Toronto. Currently a leader in the international neurooncology community, Dr. Taylor leads a large research group investigating the molecular biology underlying childhood brain tumors and has revolutionized the classification of brain tumors in children. His work prompted the World Health Organization to adopt a molecular classification for medulloblastoma and ependymoma that will now be standard around the globe. With help of the CPRIT Scholar grant, the Baylor College of Medicine has recruited Dr. Taylor to serve as the inaugural Director of Pediatric Neurooncology Research at Texas Children’s Hospital.
Along with the grant approvals, the Oversight Committee heard reports from its Geographic Diversity Advisory Committee and Product Development Advisory Committee and authorized the release of FY 2023 requests for grant applications for CPRIT’s Academic Research and Product Development Research program.
The Oversight Committee approval is the final step in a lengthy and transparent process of peer review, consideration of and critique from scientific experts. The grants awarded today help meet many CPRIT Academic Research program priorities, including, amongst others, a focus on childhood and adolescent cancer, computational biology and population disparities.
ABOUT THE CANCER PREVENTION AND RESEARCH INSTITUTE OF TEXAS (CPRIT)
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 $2.9 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 263 distinguished researchers to Texas, supported the establishment, expansion or relocation of 44 companies to Texas and generated over $7.4 billion in additional public and private investment.
Funding approved by the CPRIT Oversight Committee has advanced scientific and clinical knowledge and provided 7.78 million life-saving cancer prevention and early detection services reaching Texans in all 254 counties.
OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE GRANT AWARDS
MAY 18, 2022
1) RR220084 Linde Miles (The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center) $2,000,000 RFTFM
2) RR220087 Hans Renata (Rice University) $4,000,000 RRS
3)RR220068 Elizabeth Wasmuth (The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio) $2,000,000 RFTFM
4) RR220069 William Hudson (Baylor College of Medicine) $2,000,000 RFTFM
5) RR220075 Nicholas Riley (The University of Texas at Austin) $2,000,000 RFTFM
6) RR220033 Pavan Reddy (Baylor College of Medicine) $6,000,000 REI
7) RR220062 Aria Vaishnavi (The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center) $2,000,000 RFTFM
8) RR220065 Mingjie Dai (Rice University) $2,000,000 RFTFM
9) RR220072 Christine Lovly (The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center) $4,000,000 RRS
10) RR220063 Ku-Lung Hsu (The University of Texas at Austin) $4,000,000 RRS
11) RR220051 Michael Taylor (Baylor College of Medicine) $6,000,000 REI
12) RR220081 Jonathan Clinger (Baylor University) $1,998,029 RFTFM
13) RR220086 Jason Schenkel (University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center) $2,000,000 RFTFM
14) RR220088 Abdel Kareem Azab (The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center) $2,000,000 RRS
15) RR220055 Samantha Yruegas (Rice University) $2,000,000 RFTFM
16) RR220066 Deepshika Ramanan (University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center) $2,000,000 RFTFM
17) RR220035 Qian Zhu (Baylor College of Medicine) $2,000,000 RFTFM
REI: Recruitment of Established Investigators
RFTFM: Recruitment of First-Time, Tenure-Track Faculty Members
RRS: Recruitment of Rising Stars