Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine has been awarded six Department of Defense (DOD) Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (CDMRP) grants for innovative medical research. The grants, totaling nearly $2.8 million, will advance research in the field of breast cancer.
Case Western Reserve School of Medicine investigators received three postdoctoral awards and three Idea Awards. The three postdoctoral awards were granted to Steven Sizemore, Ph.D., to further his research of FoxC1 in basal-type breast cancer; to Melissa Shelton, Ph.D., and her study of LM04 and estrogen responsiveness; and to Nirmala Krishnamurthy, Ph.D., for her research on the role of estrogen receptor beta and hPMC2 in breast cancer.
The School of Medicine faculty members receiving Idea Awards include Mark Jackson, Ph.D., for his analysis of FAM83D, a novel oncogene in breast cancer; M. Edward Medof, M.D., Ph.D., for his study of the augmentation of antitumor T-Cell responses by increasing APC T-Cell C5a/C3a-C5aR interactions; and to Ruth Keri, Ph.D., for her study of p120ctn and breast cancer metastasis.
"Through the efforts of these six investigators, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine is now developing a body of high-level scientists in breast cancer research. The Idea Awards are highly competitive and these dollars represent one of the biggest investments Case Western Reserve has made in breast cancer research," says Stanton L. Gerson, M.D., Professor of Medicine and Director of the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. Dr. Gerson is a practicing oncologist and Director of the Ireland Cancer Center at University Hospitals.
Since its inception in 1992, Congress has allocated nearly $5 billion through Fiscal Year 2009 across all research programs, including breast cancer. The CDMRP programs consist of awards given to extramural investigators that are selected through a two-tier external peer-review process that includes scientists, clinicians, and consumer advocates. The U.S. Army, on behalf of the DOD, administers a set of biomedical research programs that support basic, translational, and clinical research projects; research training; and research infrastructure for specific diseases identified by Congress.
In 1992, a highly visible lobbying campaign by grassroots advocacy organizations increased awareness among policymakers of the need to expand funding for breast cancer research. These consumer groups emphasized the need to fund research in ways that were different from those employed by traditional medical research organizations such as the National Institutes of Health. In response, the United States Congress allocated specific funds for breast cancer research in the DOD appropriations budget. The DOD was chosen because of its long history in performing medical research studies and because its administrative structure was designed for flexible and quick responses to changing needs and priorities. The success of this effort has resulted in an increase in the number of disease research programs for which Congress has mandated funding through the DOD.
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