The Prevent Cancer Foundation recently announced funding for seven scientists who are researching cancer prevention and early detection. Each scientist has been awarded $100,000 for 2 years. The following individuals are the 2022 research grantees:
Sarah Bernhardt, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow Oregon Health and Science University, Portland, Stohlman Family Grant in memory of Richard Stohlman and Margaret Weigand for “Vitamin D as a Preventive Agent for Young Women’s Breast Cancer.” Cancer prevention strategies targeted to time periods of increased breast cancer risk have the potential to increase treatment efficacy while reducing side effects of long-term treatments. Dr. Bernhardt proposes to test the efficacy of vitamin D, an agent with anticancer actions.
Francesca Gany, MD, Chief, Immigrant Health and Cancer Disparities Service, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, Awesome Games Done Quick award for “FITx3.” Black people are 40% more likely to die of colorectal cancer than most other groups; however, screening improves survival. This project aims to increase colorectal cancer screening in the Black communities with low screening rates by adapting methods used to increase Black voter turnout and applying them to enable accessible fecal immunochemical testing screening.
Ju Youn Kim, PhD, Staff Research Associate, The Regents of the University of California, San Diego, Congressional Families Cancer Prevention Program award “To Investigate the Roles of PIDDosome in NASH and HCC Development.” Using a diet-induced obese mouse model, Dr. Kim will address the role of capase-2 in liver steatosis, the first metabolic dysregulation found in patients with nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) development.
Suzanne Miller, PhD, Professor, The Research Institute of Fox Chase Cancer Center, Marcia and Frank Carlucci Charitable Foundation award for “Feasibility of Text Messaging to Reduce Urban Cervical Cancer Disparities.” Cervical cancer is preventable, but underserved women in the United States have lower rates of recommended follow-up after an abnormal test result. This study will assess the feasibility, acceptability, and usability of a text message–based tailored counseling intervention to increase follow-up care.
Gary Schwartz, PhD, MPH, Professor and Founding Chair Department of Population Health, University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, Richard C. Devereaux Outstanding Young Investigator Award for “Testing Radon Communication Methods: Clinical Trial of a Smartphone App.” Exposure to radon gas at home is the second-largest cause of lung cancer (after smoking). Dr. Schwartz developed a 21st-century approach to radon education—a smartphone app. His research compares information delivered via the radon app vs printed brochures.
Tomotaka Ugai, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, The Shure Family Charitable Foundation award for “Immune Characteristics of Early-Onset and Later-Onset Colorectal Cancers.” This research study will provide the scientific foundation to explore possible influences of antitumor immunity on early-onset colorectal cancer and ultimately generate strategies to harness the immune system for prevention and early detection.
Lisa Yee, MD, Professor, Vice Chair of Research, Department of Surgery, Beckman Research Institute of the City of Hope, Duarte, California, Awesome Games Done Quick award for “White Button Mushrooms and Breast Cancer Prevention.” White button mushrooms may reduce breast cancer risk. In a trial with obese women at high risk of breast cancer, Dr. Yee will test blood and breast fat before and after white button mushroom consumption for effects on immune cell and inflammation biomarkers.