(AUSTIN) Today, the Oversight Committee of the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT), held a special meeting to approve a slate of awards totaling $48,923,075 for cancer research and product development. The list of grants is included at the bottom of this release.


“Today, the CPRIT Oversight Committee raised the bar on the fight against cancer,” said CPRIT CEO Wayne Roberts. “These grants continue to fund the path forward for cancer research in the state of Texas and provide vital financial support for the researchers, labs and institutions on the frontline of this monumental statewide effort to end cancer as we know it.”


Among the priorities addressed in today’s awards is over $23 million for core facilities, almost $6 million for expanding access to clinical trials, $8 million for computational oncology, $22 million for cancer-fighting drug discovery and over $17 million for childhood cancer research. (Some grants address more than one priority.)


The one product development award approved by the Oversight Committee today was a $16 million grant to ImmuneSensor Therapeutics.


ImmuneSensor Therapeutics Inc. is a Dallas clinical stage biotechnology company developed by Dr. Zhijian Chen derived from his CPRIT-funded work at The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. The company is developing a new class of drug called STING agonist that activates the patient’s immune system to fight cancers.


“The grant to ImmuneSensor Therapeutics shows the continuum of CPRIT funding,” said CPRIT Chief Scientific Officer Michelle LeBeau, “The development of a new class of drugs by a biotech company founded on Dr.Chen’s seminal laboratory research – supported by CPRIT over the last decade – is an elegant example of completing the translational cycle and addressing CPRIT’s mission to support research leading to new cancer therapies.”


In a related note, the new CPRIT grants came only days after President Biden again emphasized the federal commitment to cancer research in a speech given on the anniversary of John F. Kennedy’s famous “moonshot” speech in 1962 at Rice University – an institution which has received over $87 million in CPRIT funding.


Roberts welcomed the administration’s renewed focus on cancer research.


“In the fight against cancer,” said Roberts, “there’s plenty of work to be done, so we are grateful for every ally and every dollar that can be put towards the goal of eradicating cancer.”


CPRIT is the largest state funder of cancer research and the second largest public funding source for cancer research in the world.




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 52 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.


Funding approved by the CPRIT Oversight Committee has advanced scientific and clinical knowledge and provided over 8.2 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.


SEPTEMBER 14, 2022




RP220645        The University of Texas at Arlington                             $250,000

Ultrasensitive Nanosensor-Based Detection of Tumor Immunogenic Peptides to Enable Personalized Cancer Immunotherapy



RP220558        The University of Texas at Austin                                 $249,999

Novel Covalent Drugs for BCL6


RP220587        The University of Texas at Austin                                 $3,995,180

Advanced Protein Therapeutics core    


RP220653        The University of Texas at Austin                                 $249,932

Novel Modulators of Genomic Instability in Human Cells          




RP220542        The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center   $3,000,000

Establish the Accelerating Clinical Oncology Research Network - Texas (ACORN-TX) to enhance clinical trial access in North and Central Texas      


RP220582        The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center   $4,000,000

Establish New Cryo-EM Core Services to Drive Cancer Research and Drug Discovery at UT Southwestern Medical Center 


RP220606        The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center   $250,000

Developing a novel optogenetic recombinase system to study and target metastatic cancer


RP220614        The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center   $237,501

Understanding the impact of immunity on pre-malignant somatic mosaicism and cancer prevention         


RP220626        Texas A&M University System Health Science Center   $237,500

A glia-to-neuron conversion for treating oral cancer pain          


Product Development

DP220030        ImmuneSensor Therapeutics Inc.                                   $16,154,562

Phase 2 Clinical Trial to Evaluate the Safety and Efficacy of IMSA101 in Combination with Radiotherapy and Checkpoint Inhibitors in Solid Tumor Malignancies      




RP220581        The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston    $1,494,784

Hyperspectral, Quantitative Intraoperative Fluorescence Image Guided Brain Surgery   




RP220544        The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center              $1,500,000

CPRIT Early Clinical Investigator Award- Christopher Alvarez-Breckenridge    


RP220553        The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center              $249,976

Reversing Aging Associated Resistance to Cancer Immunotherapy         


RP220567        The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center              $249,999

Fasting-induced microbiome changes and radioprotection         


RP220592        The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center              $250,000

Restoration of phagocytosis function of glioma-associated microglia/macrophage by activating QKI-PPARb-RXRa            


RP220610        The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center              $250,000

Identification of enhancers of T-cell anti-tumor activity in PDAC using CRISPR activation screening      


RP220639        The Methodist Hospital Research Institute                                 $250,000

Targeting NHE6 to improve clinical efficacy of daratumumab in myeloma          


RP220646        Baylor College of Medicine                                                      $3,999,996

Patient-derived Xenograft and Advanced In Vivo Models (PDX-AIM) Core Facility of Texas       


RP220650        The Methodist Hospital Research Institute                                 $250,000

Targeting Nitric Oxide Synthase (NOS) pathway to remodel obesity induced tumor inflammation in patients with TNBC           


RP220666        Baylor College of Medicine                                                      $250,000

Targeting Tumors and the Tumor Microenvironment with Banana Lectin Expressing T cells       




RP220600        Texas Tech University                                                  $249,999

In vivo Akt Analysis via Chemical Genetics and Nanoparticle-mediated Probe Delivery  


RP220631        Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center               $3,369,480

West Texas Pharmacology Core




RP220599        The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio   $3,935,480

Texas Pediatric Cancer Testing (TPCT) Core


RP220662        The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio   $3,998,688

UTHSCSA Cancer Genome Sequencing and Computation Core