Baylor College of Medicine

Dan L Duncan Cancer Center

Baylor receives more than $15.6 million in CPRIT funding

Molly Chiu


Houston, TX -

Researchers with the Dan L Duncan Comprehensive Cancer Center at Baylor College of Medicine have been awarded more than $15.6 million in grants by the Cancer Prevention & Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) to support innovative cancer research, treatment and prevention measures for underserved populations. Today, CPRIT awarded 74 new grants to institutions across Texas, totaling more than $112.7 million, to advance the fight against cancer, including 12 grants to Baylor.

“I am delighted that so many Dan L Duncan Comprehensive Cancer Center investigators received awards that cover cancer research areas ranging from prevention and early detection to reducing childhood cancer survivorship disparities and computational systems biology,” said Dr. Helen Heslop, professor and interim director of the Dan L Duncan Comprehensive Cancer Center, director of the Center for Cell and Gene Therapy and a Dan L Duncan Chair at Baylor. “We also are excited to receive several awards that developed from collaborations with Baylor’s CPRIT-funded Center for Drug Discovery.”

Awards to Baylor College of Medicine include:

Individual Investigator Research Awards
Dr. Suzanne Fuqua, professor in the Lester and Sue Smith Breast Center:
ESR1-Mutant Receptor Reliance on the Cell Cycle Checkpoint Sensitizes Tumors to Chk1 and PARP1 Inhibition - $900,000

Dr. Ruhee Dere, assistant professor in the Center for Precision Environmental Health:
Targeting Methylation-Mediated Mitotic Fragility in ccRCC - $1,049,994

Dr. Murugesan Palaniappan, assistant professor of pathology & immunology:
Development of Next-Generation Estrogen Receptor-Mutant Inhibitors for Endocrine-Resistant Metastatic Breast Cancer - $769,179

Dr. Jin Wang, Michael E. DeBakey, M.D., Professor in Pharmacology and professor of pharmacology and chemical biology and molecular and cellular biology: RIP PROTACs as a Novel Immunotherapy Sensitizer to Treat Colorectal Cancer - $1,050,000

Dr. Jeffrey Rosen, distinguished service professor of molecular and cellular biology:
EIF4A is a New Therapeutic Vulnerability in Triple-Negative Breast Cancer - $949,208

Individual Investigator Research Awards for Cancer in Children and Adolescents

Dr. Yongcheng Song, professor of pharmacology and chemical biology:
Novel Chemical Probes Targeting Critical Protein-Protein Interactions in MLL-Rearranged Leukemia - $1,400,000

Dr. Sharon Plon, professor of pediatrics – oncology and molecular and human genetics, holder of a Dan L Duncan Comprehensive Cancer Center Professorship and director of the Cancer Genetics and Genomics Program at Texas Children’s Hospital:
Role of Germline BRCA Pathway Mutations in Development of Pediatric Cancers - $1,395,083

Individual Investigator Research Awards for Computational Systems Biology of Cancer

Dr. Bing Zhang, professor in the Lester and Sue Smith Breast Center and Department of Molecular and Human Genetics and McNair Scholar:
Signaling Network Modeling to Identify New Treatments for Triple-Negative Breast Cancer - $1,200,000
Individual Investigator Research Awards for Prevention and Early Detection

Dr. Hashem El-Serag, chair of the Margaret M. and Albert B. Alkek Department of Medicine and professor in the Section of Gastroenterology and Hepatology:
Novel Metabolomics and Radiomics for Predicting HCC Risk - $1,995,127

Dr. Aaron Thrift, associate professor of medicine – epidemiology and population sciences:
Optimizing Population Selection for Primary (Helicobacter pylori Screening) and Secondary (Endoscopic Screening and Surveillance) Prevention of Gastric Cancer - $1,920,700

Expansion of Cancer Prevention Services to Rural and Medically Underserved Populations

Dr. Monica Gramatges, associate professor of pediatrics – oncology and co-director of the Long-Term Survivor Program and associate chief of oncology at Texas Children’s Cancer and Hematology Centers:
Leveraging Passport for Care to Reduce Childhood Cancer Survivorship Outcome Disparities in the Rio Grande Valley - $983,276

Recruitment of First-time Tenure-track Faculty Members

Dr. Zhi Tan, Department of Pathology & Immunology - $2 million

To date, CPRIT has awarded more than $3 billion in grants to Texas research institutions and organizations through its academic research, prevention and product development programs. Read more about the most recent round of CPRIT funding.

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