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Susan G. Komen organization announces 30 grants

Susan G. Komen, the world’s leading breast cancer organization, has awarded 30 new grants to researchers at 18 leading institutions in the U.S. and Canada. The $14 million in grants support the organization’s mission to end breast cancer through funding two key focus areas: research to better detect and treat stage IV (metastatic) breast cancer and research to eliminate disparities in breast cancer outcomes.

“We are extremely proud to be able to continue our legacy of leading investments in breast cancer research, especially in light of the challenges all nonprofits faced raising funds during this pandemic year,” said Paula Schneider, president and CEO of Susan G. Komen and a breast cancer survivor. “This investment reinforces our commitment to funding innovative science from some of the leading minds in breast cancer research while also developing the next generation of scientists at a time when we have never needed them more.”

Komen’s research grant funding focuses on:

■ Supporting leaders in the field of breast cancer research.

■ Building the next generation of breast cancer researchers to lead the field.

■ Improving the detection, prevention and treatment of metastatic breast cancer.

■ Addressing disparities in breast cancer care and outcomes.

Investing in the next generation of breast cancer researchers has long been a priority for Komen. Since 2008, the organization has invested more than $110 million to support 250 early-career scientists.

This year’s grant slate includes seven Career Catalyst awards focused on using liquid biopsies to improve treatment, detection and understanding of metastatic breast cancer. These grants will help unlock the potential of liquid biopsy as a simpler, more timely way to monitor cancer progression, monitor the cancer’s response to treatment and improve patient outcomes and quality of life.

“Applying the latest molecular biology technology to the major problem of evolving resistance to cancer therapy through innovative use of so-called ‘liquid biopsies’ is an approach poised to alter how we treat, and beat, dangerous breast cancers,” said George Sledge, M.D., Komen’s chief scientific adviser.

Komen is also committed to increasing the number of researchers focused on breast cancer disparities. Through Komen’s TREND (Training Researchers to Eliminate Disparities) program, grants to the University of Chicago, the Ohio State University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill will continue to support the training and career development of young researchers from diverse backgrounds who are looking to dedicate their careers to understanding and eliminating disparities in breast cancer care and outcomes.

With the emerging leader and training grants, Komen’s new investments include awards to some of the world’s leaders in the field through its Komen Scholars program. The funds will support research on a range of issues.

Komen has invested about $1.1 billion in research in the nearly 40 years since its founding, the largest collective investment of any breast cancer nonprofit and second only to the U.S. government.

Visit komen.org for a full list of this year’s research grants.

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