Partnering with scientists to accelerate research that will transform the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of cancer is at the core of what we do at The Mark Foundation. Since we launched in 2017, we’ve also formed unique collaborations with like-minded funding organizations to maximize our impact.
We are currently partnering with:
The Mark Foundation for Cancer Research and the RUNX1 Research Program have partnered to create the STRIVE Grant Program (Seeking Transformational Research Venture) to support innovative studies that aim to delineate the role of inflammation, the immune system and clonal evolution from CHIP to clonal hematopoiesis of oncogenic potential (CHOP) to overt malignancy in RUNX1-FPD. Understanding how germline RUNX1 mutations impart changes in the immune system and the overall inflammatory profile within patients can lead to critical insights into cancer disease initiation and progression mechanisms.
Chordoma is a rare and difficult-to-treat bone cancer. Our partnership will lay the groundwork for developing the first drugs that will inhibit a protein known as brachyury. Believed to be the Achilles’ heel of chordoma, brachyury is also a driver of metastasis and resistance to therapy in many other cancers. To date, because of its physical characteristics, brachyury has been a challenging drug target. These studies will set an important precedent for the development of new cancer therapies for the targets that are the most difficult to drug.
We’ve joined forces with CRUK to fund SPECIFICANCER, a global collaborative team of investigators with multiple areas of expertise – including geneticists, cell biologists and bioinformaticians – working to generate a comprehensive map of cancer driver genes and understand why mutations in these genes cause cancer in very specific tissues. This project will substantially advance our knowledge about the genetic and biological underpinnings of cancer and provide information that could influence therapeutic choices for patients.
NextGen Grant for Transformative Cancer Research
The AACR NextGen Grants for Transformative Cancer Research represent the AACR’s flagship funding initiative to stimulate highly innovative research from young investigators. The Mark Foundation is sponsoring the work of NextGen awardee Dr. Birgit Knoechel of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, who is exploring how treatment resistance develops and persists in response to targeted therapy in T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL), an aggressive form of hematologic malignancy. This work may lead to the identification of new therapeutic approaches to overcome this resistance, contributing to improved outcomes for patients.
Science of the Patient Grants
The AACR and The Mark Foundation are supporting innovative research focused on understanding the influence of the biology of the patient on the genesis, development, treatment, and survivorship of cancer. Recipients of the new AACR-Mark Foundation for Cancer Research “Science of the Patient” Grants will be announced later this year.
The Pershing Square Sohn Prize for Young Investigators in Cancer Research is awarded annually to promising early career, New York City-area cancer research scientists. The Mark Foundation has partnered with the Pershing Square Sohn Cancer Research Alliance to support Dr. Ben Greenbaum, a quantitative biologist using new computational approaches to model the immune system-tumor interface and analyze highly complex immunotherapy data to achieve insights that will improve predictions of response and enable more patients to benefit from these treatments.
The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, The Mark Foundation, and The Paul G. Allen Frontiers Group partnered to launch the Blood Cancer Discoveries Grant Program, a new grant program designed to encourage basic research, technological innovation, and informatics pipeline development that can lead to an understanding of blood cancer disease mechanisms, the development of improved methods for detecting and monitoring cancer progression, and the identification of novel therapeutic targets. The first recipients from this grant program were announced in July 2020.
We’ve partnered with Emerson Collective on Proof of Concept Venture Grants: funding that aims to support oncology research projects at the intersection of academic research and commercial development. These are research project with specific, well defined outcomes leading to a commercializable therapeutic aimed at improving the lives of cancer patients.