Each year, the Foundation will award the LCRF Scientific Merit Award acknowledging the scientific investigator whose proposal was selected for outstanding overall merit by the LCRF Medical Advisory peer review.
Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School
Principal Investigator: Matthew J. Niederst, PhD
Research project: "Overcoming therapeutic resistance in EGFR mutant NSCLC"
Description: Dr. Niederst will study the mechanisms of resistance to current therapy in patients with a common mutation in non small cell lung cancer. Particular emphasis will be on a population of resistant cells that transform into cells with small cell lung cancer features. These findings could lead to improved outcomes for the treatment of lung cancer with current and future drugs.
Dana Farber Cancer Institute/Harvard Medical School
Principal Investigator: Adam Bass, M.D.
Research project: "Finding new therapeutic targets in squamous lung cancer"
Description: The investigator has discovered a new oncogene, SOX2, associated with squamous cell lung cancer. The grant will support the work to identify the essential co-factor needed to allow the gene to function which is not yet known. Knowledge of this target could potentially lead to more effective therapy for the cancer.
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Principal Investigator: Donald W. Kufe, M.D.
Research project: "Development of a New Therapy for Lung Cancer Resistant to Existing Therapies"
Description: To explore the mechanism by which a new compound likely to be tested in humans can kill lung cancer cells resistant to current drugs. By understanding these pathways, it may be possible to select lung cancer patients who will be most sensitive to its effect.
University of Pittsburgh
Principal Investigator: Christopher Bakkenist, Ph.D.
Research project: "Selective Destruction of Lung Cancer Cells with DNA Repair Inhibitors"
Description: This proposal seeks to examine a DNA repair pathway which is not well studied in lung cancer, but is mutated in 14% of lung cancer patients. This enzyme defect is a variant of a common enzyme in many types of cells and is therefore thought to be a very significant determinate of why lung cancer cells are different from normal lung cells. The approach could lead to personalized medicine for these patients.
In February of 2011, Dr. Bakkenist was awarded a Research Project Grant (RO1) from the National Cancer Institute in the amount of $1.8 million.
View article from Science Signaling
University of Colorado Denver
Principal Investigator: Rachel M.A. Linger, Ph.D.
Research project: "Novel Biologically Targeted Therapy for the Treatment of Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC)"
Description: Role of Axl receptor tyrosine kinase in lung cancer apoptosis. This study tests the hypothesis that high levels of a protein called Axl tyrosine kinase found in many lung cancer cells provides a survival advantage to these cells. If proven correct, this finding could lead to opportunities to interfere with this effect and kill lung cancer cells more effectively.