Nov 01, 2018 9:00 AM

photo of trudy oliver, phd

The Lung Cancer Research Foundation (LCRF) announced the awardees of its 2018 Scientific Grant Program today during the Thirteenth Annual Lung Cancer Awareness Luncheon, held at The Pierre in New York City. Through this program, LCRF awarded $1.95 million in research grants to 13 investigators for innovative research focused on the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of lung cancer. LCRF received a record-breaking 201 grant applications, representing 116 institutions and 21 countries in 2018.

“The number of applications we receive for the Scientific Grant Program continues to grow year after year, demonstrating the vast interest and need for funding of lung cancer research,” said Brendon M. Stiles, MD, Chair of LCRF’s Board of Directors. “We are confident that the projects we fund will help lead to significant advancements and improved patient outcomes.”

Among the 2018 Scientific Grant Program Awards are the prestigious Scientific Merit Award and William C. Rippe Award for Distinguished Research in Lung Cancer. The Scientific Merit Award is presented to the investigator whose proposal was selected for outstanding overall merit by LCRF’s Scientific Advisory Board. This year’s recipient is Chiara Ambrogio, PhD, staff scientist at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Dr. Ambrogio’s research project is titled “Functional and Therapeutic role for RAS dimerization.”

“I am honored to be receiving the Scientific Merit Award from the Lung Cancer Research Foundation,” said Dr. Ambrogio. “This is not only a personal achievement, it is a recognition that I want to share with an amazing group of colleagues and collaborators I am privileged to work with. This award provides us both inspiration and drive to continue our mission to develop new therapeutic strategies to defeat lung cancer.”

LCRF’s William C. Rippe Award for Distinguished Research in Lung Cancer is presented to the investigator whose proposal not only demonstrated exceptional scientific merit but also exemplified an enduring commitment to making an impact in the field of lung cancer research. Trudy Oliver, PhD, associate professor of oncological sciences, University of Utah, and endowed chair in cancer research, Huntsman Cancer Institute, was named the 2018 recipient of this award. Her research project is titled “Arginine deprivation as a novel therapy for MYC-driven small cell lung cancer.”

“I am honored and thrilled for our laboratory’s work to be recognized by the William C. Rippe Award for Distinguished Research in Lung Cancer from the Lung Cancer Research Foundation,” said Dr. Oliver. “This generous support from the Lung Cancer Research Foundation will catalyze important research on a promising new therapeutic target for small cell lung cancer.”

LCRF grants provide up to $150,000 in funding over a two-year period. The 2018 awardees include:

Jalal Ahmed, MD, PhD, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

Targeting the tumor microenvironment to advance CAR T cell therapy for lung cancer

Chiara Ambrogio, PhD, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Functional and Therapeutic role for RAS dimerization

Amruta Bhate, PhD, Stanford University

Investigating role of ADAR1 in improving cancer immunotherapy efficacy in lung adenocarcinoma

Israel Cañadas Castillo, PhD, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Co-opting endogenous retroviral signaling as a lung cancer vulnerability

Yanxiang Guo, MD, PhD, Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey

Elucidating the mechanism of autophagy in supporting Lkb1-deficient lung tumorigenesis

Amanda Kussrow, PhD, Vanderbilt University

High sensitivity assay methodology to improve lung cancer diagnosis

Pawel Mazur, PhD, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center

Mechanisms of protein synthesis regulation in lung cancer

Chandylen Nightingale, PhD, MPH, Wake Forest University Health Sciences

Caregiver Oncology Needs Evaluation Tool (CONNECT): A technology-based intervention to connect lung cancer caregivers with supportive care resources

Trudy Oliver, PhD, Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah

Arginine deprivation as a novel therapy for MYC-driven small cell lung cancer

Xiaochao Tan, PhD, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center

Targeting chromosome 1q21.3-amplified lung cancer using PI4KB antagonists

Diane Tseng, MD, PhD, Stanford University

Examining tumor-infiltrating T cell functional phenotype, clonality, and antigen specificities in lung adenocarcinoma with single-cell analysis

Athea Vichas, PhD, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center

Targeting oncogenic RIT1 and KRAS in lung adenocarcinoma

Satoshi Yoda, PhD, Massachusetts General Hospital

Tailoring treatment for ALK-positive lung cancer

In addition to the presentation of the 2018 Scientific Grant Program awards, LCRF’s Lung Cancer Awareness Luncheon featured two guest speakers. Kwok-Kin Wong, MD, PhD, professor of medicine and director of medical hematology and oncology at the Laura & Isaac Perlmutter Cancer Center at New York Langone Health delivered the keynote address. Bruce C. Dunbar shared his personal journey of living with lung cancer.

For more information about LCRF and the Scientific Grant Program, visit

lung cancer cancer research Cancer Center Research Program Cell Response and Regulation

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