S.C. Researchers Receive $630,000 in Funding

The 2015 research grants expand Komen’s ongoing commitment to funding early-career scientists, that is, recent graduates and those trying to establish independent research careers. This group has been especially hard hit by real-dollar declines of as much 25 percent in federal research funding over the past decade.

The grants include $630,000 in new funding for research at the University of South Carolina and Medical University of South Carolina, bringing Komen’s total research investment in South Carolina to $1,540,000 since 1982.

Adam Soloff, Ph.D.

Adam Soloff, Ph.D., of Medical University of South Carolina will receive $450,000 for pre-clinical testing of a novel vaccine that induces highly specialized cells within the immune system to seek out cancer cells in combination with a new investigational drug, anti-PD-L1, which blocks the ability of cancer cells to hide from the immune system. If successful, this treatment strategy could not only kill existing breast cancer cells, but also produce long-term immune memory that will prevent breast cancer recurrence.

Martina McDermott, Ph.D., of University of South Carolina Martina McDermott, Ph.D.will receive $180,000 to determine whether the addition of a newly developed drug that targets a protein called CDK8 to ER and HER2-targeted therapies will increase the response to treatment and prevent the development of drug resistance.

This year’s research slate brings Komen’s total research investment to more than $889 million since 1982, the largest of any nonprofit, and second only to the U.S. government.

Grants from Komen’s nearly $36 million research portfolio – including more than $17.6 million in grants awarded to early-career investigators – span the entire cancer continuum from prevention to treatments for aggressive and metastatic disease.

Komen’s research program is funded in part by contributions from Komen’s nationwide network of Affiliates, including Komen Lowcountry, which direct 25 percent of locally raised funds to Komen’s national research program. The remaining 75 percent of net funds are invested into community outreach programs that serve local women and men facing breast cancer. Since 2001, Komen Lowcountry has invested more than $2.5 million in research.

Information about National and Global Research Programs

Thanks to the generosity of our donors and supporters, we’re funding lifesaving research in all areas of breast cancer, from basic biology to prevention to treatment and to survivorship. And with continued support, this scientific research will address some of the most pressing issues in breast cancer today:

  • Identifying and improving methods of early detection
  • Ensuring more accurate diagnoses
  • Developing new approaches to prevention
  • Enabling personalized treatments based on breast cancer subtypes and the genetic make-up of a tumor

Click here to read more about some of the programs that are fulfilling this promise.
Click here to learn more about current research funding opportunities.

Clinical Trials

Clinical trials are one of the final stages of a long and careful cancer research process. They can only take place after satisfactory information has been gathered from laboratory research, including cell cultures and animal models. Even the most promising scientific findings must first be proven to be safe and effective in clinical trials before they can be used as standard treatment. The cancer treatments that are used today were developed and tested in clinical trials. Through our research grants, we have supported more than 450 clinical trials.

For more information about the clinical trials we are funding, click here.
To learn more about clinical trials, click here.