Since May 2008, SU2C has raised more than $100 million from a wide range of philanthropic, corporate, and organizational donors, as well as the general public. Watch the video below for additional details on how the grants were unlike most in the fact that the scientists were able to take on risk with research, good risk and the ability to go outside the the normal boundaries and go after riskier, but perhaps research that will represent greater reward on winning the battle against cancer. BD
“By any measure, Stand Up To Cancer has been making significant progress in facilitating new ways of doing cancer research,” said Laura Ziskin, one of SU2C’s founding members and the executive producer of the Sept. 2008 broadcast, who is also a cancer survivor. “Cancer claims 1,500 lives every single day in this country, and by 2010 it will become the leading cause of death worldwide, so the need for more and better treatments has never been more urgent. We set out to engage people all over the United States in supporting the scientists who are working to end this disease ... We’re grateful to everyone — from the person who contributes one dollar through our website, to the philanthropists and companies who’ve made multimillion dollar gifts — who is standing up with us.”
Innovative Grant Funding Formula Departs from Traditional Approach
Stand Up To Cancer’s funding model for the Innovative Grants was designed specifically to support work that utilizes new ideas and new approaches to solve critical problems in cancer research. These innovative projects are characterized as “high-risk” because they challenge existing paradigms, and because in order to receive a grant the applicants were not required, as they would be by most conventional funding mechanisms, to have already conducted a portion of the research resulting in an established base of evidence. If successful, the projects have the potential for “high-reward” in terms of saving lives.
13 Stand Up To Cancer Innovative Grant Recipients
The projects funded all represent new approaches to the most important and challenging problems facing cancer researchers today. They address a wide range of cancer types and organ sites, including lung, ovarian and breast cancers, as well as leukemia and lymphomas. Some projects focus on developing improved therapies for difficult to treat cancers that affect children and young adults, including Ewing sarcoma and rhabdoid tumors. All the projects have the potential to significantly advance the identification of the complex mechanisms that cause cancers to occur and spread; to lead to the development of a new generation of targeted treatments; and to improve the methods of diagnosing cancers and monitoring the effects of treatment.
Distinctive Review and Selection Process
The grant selection process began in late 2008 with a call for Letters of Intent from young researchers in the early stages of their careers. The 45-member Innovative Research Grants Review Committee considered 412 eligible letters in an intense, multi-step evaluation process that began in May, 2009. Based on the initial review of each proposal by three committee members, the group was narrowed to 73 semi-finalists who were invited to submit full research proposals, which were then reviewed late this past summer. The list was narrowed again, to 19 finalists who made in-person presentations to the Grants Review Committee during an intensive two-day meeting in early October. From that group, the committee selected the 13 recipients.
Grants are Living Legacy to Research Pioneer Judah Folkman
The Innovative Research Grants program was established in honor of the late Judah Folkman, M.D., to recognize him as one of the great innovators in cancer research, an outstanding teacher of young investigators and an early contributor to the SU2C project. Folkman’s pioneering work led to a new understanding of angiogenesis in cancer and the development of important new treatments based on his discoveries.
Funded Projects Address Wide Range of Challenges
Margaret Foti, Ph.D, M.D. (h.c.), chief executive officer of the American Association for Cancer Research, said she was very excited by the scientific excellence and the scope of the research projects selected by the committee.
Collaboration and Transparency in the SU2C Funding Model
Fostering increased collaboration among cancer researchers at different institutions is a key SU2C goal. Planning is underway for both formal and informal communication and meetings among all the SU2C-funded scientists to share ideas and progress. It is expected that these interactions between the Innovative Research Grant recipients and Dream Team members will lead to new synergies and potential collaborations.
The SU2C Movement’s Online Community
SU2C’s robust online community (www.su2c.org) offers various ways for people to share opinions and support, view video updates, contribute, and learn of ongoing initiatives and progress in the fight against cancer. The scope of donation opportunities on the SU2C website ranges from naming a star in honor of a loved one to web team challenges that encourage collaborative fundraising efforts by groups of various sizes all over the country. The online community provides ample opportunity to share SU2C’s efforts via a variety of social media outlets, including Twitter, Facebook, AOL, MySpace, YouTube, flickr, and several other sites that are accessible through the SU2C website. SU2C is implementing ongoing grassroots efforts, and is participating in national and regional events to raise awareness and funds.
For additional information on Stand Up To Cancer, visit www.su2c.org
Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C) raises funds to hasten the pace of groundbreaking translational research that can get new therapies to patients quickly and save lives. In the fall of 2007, a group of women whose lives have all been affected by cancer in profound ways began working together to marshal the resources of the media and entertainment industries in the fight against this disease. The SU2C founding members include Laura Ziskin, executive producer of the Sept. 5, 2008 broadcast, who is a cancer survivor; Sherry Lansing, chairperson of the Entertainment Industry Foundation’s Board of Directors and founder of the Sherry Lansing Foundation; EIF President and CEO Lisa Paulsen; Katie Couric; Noreen Fraser, founder of the Noreen Fraser Foundation (NFF) and a cancer survivor; EIF Vice President Kathleen Lobb; Rusty Robertson and Sue Schwartz of the Robertson Schwartz Agency; and nonprofit executive Ellen Ziffren. SU2C was formally launched on May 27, 2008, and Diane Balma serves as its executive director.
About the AACR
The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), which consists of over 30,000 scientists engaged in the fight against cancer, is the oldest and largest scientific organization in the world focusing on every aspect of high-quality, innovative cancer research from the bench to the bedside. Lauded internationally for its scientific breadth, innovation and spread of new knowledge about cancer, the AACR is on the front lines in the quest for the prevention and cure of cancer. The AACR holds meetings on critical cancer research topics around the world and publishes six major cancer research journals.
About the Entertainment Industry Foundation
Stand Up To Cancer is a program of the Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF), the 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization that serves as the collective philanthropy for the television and film businesses. EIF has distributed hundreds of millions of dollars to support programs addressing critical health, education and social issues.
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