July 14, 2022

The Mark Foundation for Cancer Research Expands Global Outreach with New ASPIRE Awards

High-impact cancer research projects funded at top academic institutions in six countries

New York, NY- The Mark Foundation for Cancer Research announced eight outstanding research projects to receive its latest class of ASPIRE awards. Grantees from top academic institutions in six countries (Australia, Austria, Canada, Netherlands, Switzerland, and USA) were awarded more than $2 million for high-impact/high reward projects that aim to answer key feasibility and proof-of-concept questions in an accelerated time frame, typically one year. These are the first Mark Foundation grants in Austria and Switzerland, as the Foundation continues to expand its global outreach.

“These ASPIRE grants will enable innovative approaches to solving challenges in multiple cancer types including small cell lung cancer, breast cancer, and glioblastoma. The projects are at the forefront of diverse research areas such as chemical biology, cancer evolution, and cellular plasticity,” said Ryan Schoenfeld, The Mark Foundation Chief Executive Officer. “We continue to increase our financial commitment globally to accelerate the pace of scientific discovery and the development of new cancer therapies.”

The Mark Foundation’s latest ASPIRE awards were granted to:

Hans Clevers, MD, PhD, Hubrecht Institute (KNAW), Utrecht, Netherlands
Modeling HBV-associated liver cancer with hepatocyte organoids

Sarah-Jane Dawson, MD, PhD, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, The University of Melbourne, Australia
Circulating tumor DNA to serially assess in vivo transcriptional evolution in cancers

Andreas Hottinger, MD, PhD, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois (CHUV), Lausanne, Switzerland, and Douglas Hanahan, PhD, Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research Lausanne and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland
A proof-of-concept clinical trial of an innovative new therapy for glioblastoma

Johanna Joyce, PhD, University of Lausanne and Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research Lausanne Branch, Switzerland
Investigating the bacterial microbiome in brain metastasis

Xiongbin Lu, PhD, Indiana University School of Medicine and Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Comprehensive Cancer Center, USA
Reprograming Regulatory T Cells for Cancer Immunotherapy

Trudy Oliver, PhD, and Baldomero Olivera, PhD, Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah, USA
Targeting small cell lung cancer plasticity with constellation pharmacology

Mikko Taipale, PhD, Donnelly Centre for Cellular and Biomolecular Research, University of Toronto, Canada, Daniel Durocher, PhD and Frank Sicheri, PhD, Mount Sinai Hospital, Canada
Development of a genetic platform for induced proximity therapeutics

Georg Winter, PhD, CeMM – Research Center for Molecular Medicine, Vienna, Austria, and Steve Gygi, PhD, Harvard Medical School
Hijacking immune-cell specific E3 ligases for targeted protein degradation

More about these projects and others funded by The Mark Foundation can be found here.

Learn more about the ASPIRE Awards here.

About The Mark Foundation for Cancer Research
The Mark Foundation for Cancer Research actively partners with scientists, research institutions, and philanthropic organizations around the world to accelerate research that will transform the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of cancer. Since 2017, The Mark Foundation has awarded more than $180 million in grants to enable innovative basic, translational, and clinical cancer research, including drug discovery. In 2022, The Mark Foundation received an additional $500 million commitment to fund cutting-edge cancer research in its first decade. The Mark Foundation also has a robust and growing portfolio of investments in oncology companies developing novel therapeutics and diagnostics. Through its research and venture arms, The Mark Foundation supports projects throughout their life cycle to ensure their highest chance of success in impacting the lives of patients with breakthroughs in cancer care.

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Media Contact:

Linda Heaney
The Mark Foundation for Cancer Research

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