Bringing Support to BRCA1/2 ResearchThe Basser External Grant Program has been made possible thanks to an additional $5 million donation from University of Pennsylvania alumni and Basser Center founders, Mindy and Jon Gray.
“As the nation’s only center solely devoted to research into the prevention and treatment of BRCA-related cancers, the Basser Research Center for BRCA is uniquely positioned to help fund team science and original ideas,” says Dr. Chi Van Dang, director of Penn Medicine’s Abramson Cancer Center.
The grant program provides support for basic science, early detection, translational or clinical research and relevant to the study of BRCA1/2.
“This generous award by the Grays will help expand the mission of the Basser Center by allowing us to support innovative researchers outside of Penn and widen the circle of those who are working to find new ways to prevent and treat cancers associated with BRCA mutations,” says Dr. Susan Domchek, executive director of the Basser Research Center and the Basser Professor of Oncology at the Abramson Cancer Center.
“There are many research teams doing exceptional work in BRCA1/2 research who are finding it difficult to compete for the shrinking pool of federal and foundation funding for biomedical research, and this program provides a new avenue to accelerate progress across the field.”
Recognizing and funding leaders in the field of BRCA research is a cornerstone of the Basser Center’s missionLast year, the first Basser Global Prize was awarded to cancer biology and genetics expert Alan Ashworth, chief executive officer of the Institute for Cancer Research in London and leader of the Gene Function team in the ICR’s Breakthrough Breast Cancer Research Centre.
As part of the award, Dr. Ashworth, a pioneer in efforts to develop therapies to target cancer cells that contain BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations, will give the keynote address at the annual Basser Research Center for BRCA Symposium in May 2014.
In 2013, the Basser Center awarded its second year of grant funding—more than $2 million—to 19 Penn investigators representing a wide array of disciplines.