ACS Announces more than $2.1 Million in Western New York Grants

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Four New Grants This Year Will Support Cancer Research and More at Roswell Park and UB

Amherst, NY (May 17, 2011) - It’s a significant investment in Western New York and the fight against cancer.

The American Cancer Society, the largest non-government, not-for-profit funding source of cancer research in the United States, has awarded has awarded 4 grants totaling $2,168,000 to researchers at Roswell Park Cancer Institute and the University at Buffalo. The grants are among 94 national research and training grants totaling $46,633,000 in the first of two grants cycles for 2011.

For more than 60 years, the American Cancer Society has funded research and training of health professionals to investigate the causes, prevention, and early detection of cancer, as well as new treatments, cancer survivorship, and end of life support for patients and their families.

" Western New York is blessed to have to have such cancer research jewels as UB and Roswell in our backyard,” said Gretchen Leffler, regional vice president of the American Cancer Society. “In the next two months thousands of local will volunteers and walk in our Relay For Life events. Their support allows us to continue our work and make these cancer-fighting investments in the community. Our continued investment in research to help us better understand, prevent, find, and treat cancer will help us to lead the way to a tomorrow with better treatments, new early detection tests, more cures...and more birthdays."

The ACS has been a truly vital funding source for Western New York cancer researchers, and we’ve been able to count on their support for a long time, said Michael J. Ciesielski, PhD, Assistant Professor of Neurosurgery at Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI), one of three RPCI staff members to receive grants from the ACS in this round of funding. The grant I received will help us to develop a promising vaccine that uses the body’s own immune system to treat the most common form of brain cancer. Through this program, the ACS is accelerating true bench-to-bedside science in historically underfunded areas of cancer research.

“We are very pleased that the ACS recognized Professor Lally’s important work on the psychological adjustment that women experience just following receipt of a breast cancer diagnosis," said Alexander N. Cartwright, Vice President for Research, University at Buffalo.  "Professor Lally’s novel approach – in developing an Internet-based format which will privately reach women quickly after receiving their diagnosis – could positively impact the successful treatment of women with breast cancer. We also credit the American Cancer Society’s Mentored Research Scholar Grant program for its efforts in supporting beginning investigators to become independent researchers.  These programs are essential for training our next generation of clinical scientists or cancer control and prevention researchers.”

American Cancer Society grants are being awarded to:

•    $729,000 to Dr. Graham Warren of Roswell Park Cancer Institute for Pathways Critical to Nicotine Mediated Decreases in Cancer Therapy Response effective 1/1/11
•    $720,000 to Dr. Michael J. Ciesielski of Roswell Park for Anti-glioma Immunotherapy Using the Survivin Molecular Mimic, SVN53-67/M57 effective 7/1/11
•    $707,000 to Dr. Robin Lally of the University at Buffalo for Internet-based Psychoeducation to Promote Initial Breast Cancer Adjustment effective 7/1/11
•    $12,000 to Susan Sharcot of Roswell Park for Master's Training Grant in Clinical Oncology Social Work effective 7/1/11

Since its founding in 1946, the American Cancer Society’s extramural research grants program has devoted more than $3.5 billion to cancer research. It has funded 44 researchers who have gone on to win the Nobel Prize. Locally the American Cancer Society will have nearly $7 million in cancer research and education grants active in Western New York as of July 1st.

Selecting the Researchers
American Cancer Society research grant applications are ranked on the basis of merit by one of several discipline-specific Peer Review Committees, each of which is composed of 12 to 25 scientific advisors or peers who are experts in their fields. The Council for Extramural Grants, a committee of senior scientists, recommends funding based on the relative merit of the applications, the amount of available funds, and the Society's objectives. No member of the American Cancer Society's Board of Directors or National Assembly may serve on a Peer Review Committee or as a voting member on the Council for Extramural Grants.

The Council for Extramural Grants also approved 94 research grant applications that could not be funded due to budgetary constraints. These “pay-if” grants represent work that passed the Society’s multi-disciplinary review process, but go beyond the Society’s current funding resources. The grants serve as an important reminder that there continues to be promising research that cannot be funded with current resources.

Additional Resources:
List of American Cancer Society Cancer Research Grants Active in WNY [8 kb pdf]
Cancer Research and the American Cancer Society
Helping Women Cope with Cancer Diagnosis (UB Reporter)
Roswell Park Cancer Institute
University at Buffalo

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About the American Cancer Society
The American Cancer Society combines an unyielding passion with nearly a century of experience to save lives and end suffering from cancer. As a global grassroots force of more than three million volunteers, we fight for every birthday threatened by every cancer in every community. We save lives by helping people stay well by preventing cancer or detecting it early; helping people get well by being there for them during and after a cancer diagnosis; by finding cures through investment in groundbreaking discovery; and by fighting back by rallying lawmakers to pass laws to defeat cancer and by rallying communities worldwide to join the fight. As the nation’s largest non-governmental investor in cancer research, contributing more than $3.4 billion, we turn what we know about cancer into what we do. As a result, more than 11 million people in America who have had cancer and countless more who have avoided it will be celebrating birthdays this year. To learn more about us or to get help, call us any time, day or night, at 1-800-227-2345 or visit cancer.org.