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2017 Research Funding

New York Researchers Receive More Than $2.4 Million in Research Funding

September 19, 2016



New York Researchers Receive More Than $2.4 Million in Research Funding



DALLAS – September 19, 2016 – Building on its bold goal to reduce current breast cancer deaths by 50 percent in the U.S. over the next decade, Susan G. Komen, the world’s leading breast cancer organization, today announced $32.7 million in new research grants for 2016. Awarded across 23 states and 7 countries, the projects span the entire continuum of breast cancer research, including research into metastatic disease, novel treatments for aggressive types of breast cancer, new technologies and health equity – areas that will make a significant impact in achieving the 50 percent goal.


The grants include more than $2.4 million in new funding for research at four institutions in New York, bringing Komen’s total research investment in New York to more than $47,358,770  since 1982.


“For nearly 35 years our organization has been a leader in the fight to end breast cancer, changing how people think about, talk about and treat this disease. Now, with a sharpened focus on our organization’s new strategic direction, we are delighted to announce new research funding that will play a significant role in making our bold goal a reality,” said Komen President and CEO Judy Salerno, M.D., M.S.


“Not only will these grants accelerate our understanding of key areas in breast cancer research, but they include funding for early-career investigators. As federal research dollars become increasingly difficult to secure, these awards give promising young researchers an opportunity to establish their careers, and help ensure breakthrough breast cancer research continues for years to come,” Dr. Salerno added. “Their work is essential to achieving our vision of a world without breast cancer.”


Grants from Komen’s nearly $33 million 2016 research portfolio* – including more than $16 million to early-career investigators – will focus on promising areas in research that have the greatest potential to save lives, including:


-       38 grants expanding our knowledge of metastatic breast cancer and how to stop it.

-       15 grants looking into novel treatments for aggressive types of breast cancer (specifically, triple negative, Luminal B and inflammatory breast cancer).

-       21 grants advancing our ability to detect primary and recurrent breast cancer at its earliest stages.

-       12 grants identifying the causes of breast cancer disparities and testing ways to overcome barriers to care.


Komen’s Investments in New York


Komen’s research program is funded in part by contributions from Komen’s nationwide Network of Affiliates, which direct 25 percent of funds raised locally to Komen’s national research program, while investing the remaining 75 percent into community outreach programs that serve local women and men facing breast cancer.


Since 1995, Komen Northeastern New York has funded $3.2 million to community programs serving local women and men, while contributing $1 million to Komen research.


“We are so thankful for the friends, family and neighbors who fight alongside us, helping to reduce the number of breast cancer deaths in New York, both on the ground and through research,” said Victoria Roggen.


In New York, researchers will receive more than $2.4 million, including:


Columbia University

  • Alberto Ciccia, Ph.D., will receive $450,000 to study the normal role of the BRCA2 protein in cells and the mechanism of breast cancer initiation in individuals with the BRCA2 gene mutation. This information could be used to prevent and treat breast cancer in individuals with the BRCA2 gene mutation.
  • Yana Miteva, Ph.D., will receive $180,000 to further investigate the role of a protein called CtIP in basal-like triple negative breast cancer (TNBC). Previous work has implicated CtIP in the promotion of breast cancer development. This research could reveal new strategies for the prevention and treatment of TNBC.
  • Meghana Trivedi, M.D., will receive $120,000 to test and refine a newly developed internet-based tool designed to improve knowledge about genetic testing, accuracy of perceived breast cancer risk, and confidence in making a decision about genetic testing among Ashkenazi Jewish women – a group at high risk for developing breast cancer.
  • Komen Scholar Dawn Hershman, M.D., will receive $600,000 to study whether results from breast cancer clinical trials apply to the general population by linking public datasets to compare the long-term side effects and disease-free survival of women selected for clinical trials with those in the broader population receiving the same treatment outside of the trial.


Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory

  • Jean Albrengues, Ph.D., will receive $180,000 to investigate the signals that may trigger breast cancer cells that have spread to  the lungs or other metastatic sites to begin actively growing and dividing after a long period of nongrowth (dormancy). This work will focus primarily on the signals coming from  the noncancerous cells surrounding the tumor.
  • Sarah Diermeier, Ph.D., will receive $180,000 to assess the role of a newly identified but poorly understood class of molecules known as long noncoding RNAs in metastatic breast cancer. This work may identify new therapeutic targets for the treatment and/or prevention of metastatic breast cancer.


Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

  • Mirela Berisa, Ph.D., will receive $180,000 to test the hypothesis that metastatic breast cancer cells may survive chemotherapy by hiding in newly developed lymphatic vessels in other sites in the body. If successful, this work could lead to therapies that prevent the cells from becoming resistance to traditional chemotherapy and breast cancer metastasis by targeting lymphatic vessel development.
  • Komen Scholar Ramon Parsons, M.D./Ph.D., will receive $100,000 to continue his work to understand the role of the tumor suppressor gene PTEN in preventing breast cancer development and how PTEN mutations contribute to the initiation of estrogen receptor positive breast cancer. This work could lead to new, more-effective combinations of therapies to treat ER+ breast cancer.


Rockefeller University

  • Paul Cohen, M.D., Ph.D., will receive $450,000 to investigate why being overweight can increase the risk of developing breast cancer. This study will determine whether healthy fat cells make factors that slow tumor growth while unhealthy fat cells make factors that accelerate cell growth.


These new funds bring Komen’s total research investment to more than $920 million since opening its doors in 1982, the largest of any nonprofit outside the U.S. government. In addition to research, Komen and its nationwide network of Affiliates serve women and men in thousands of communities. To date, more than $2 billion has been invested in community programs that provide education, screening and treatment support.


About Susan G. Komen®
Susan G. Komen is the world’s largest breast cancer organization outside of the federal government, funding more breast cancer research than any other nonprofit while providing real-time help to those facing the disease. Since its founding in 1982, Komen has funded more than $920 million in research and provided more than $2 billion in funding to screening, education, treatment and psychosocial support programs. Komen has worked in more than 60 countries worldwide. Komen was founded by Nancy G. Brinker, who promised her sister, Susan G. Komen, that she would end the disease that claimed Suzy’s life. Visit or call 1-877 GO KOMEN. Connect with us on social at


*Contingent upon signed and executed contracts with Komen