The Basser Research Center for BRCA 2014 Grant and Global Prize Winners

Committed to the support of cutting edge research in basic and clinical sciences to advance the care of individuals living with BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations, the Basser Research Center for BRCA has announced the recipients of $6.9 million in research grants and the 2014 Basser Global Prize.

"Homologous Hope," created for Basser Research Center for BRCA by internationally renowned artist Mara G. Haseltine

Basser Grants

The University of Pennsylvania's Basser Research Center for BRCA has announced the latest recipients of the Basser research grants, which help fund projects aimed at advancing the care of patients living with BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations through team collaboration. The grants were awarded to nine teams and total $6.9 million.

In addition to awarding grants to four Penn Medicine teams from an array of disciplines, the Basser Center is also pleased to announce the first round of funding under the Basser External Research Grant Program, a new and unique funding mechanism for projects outside of Penn Medicine.

Five external teams from across the nation were awarded grants. These projects demonstrate the potential for translation into clinical practice and were awarded to investigators at the following institutions: University of Texas, MD Anderson Cancer Center, Johns Hopkins University, Fox Chase Cancer Center, and Drexel University College of Medicine.

“The projects funded under this latest round of grants are at the forefront of BRCA-related cancer research, and will help bring targeted therapies to a new level,” says Susan Domchek, MD, executive director of the Basser Research Center for BRCA and the Basser Professor of Oncology at the Abramson Cancer Center. “BRCA research has come so far since the initial discovery twenty years ago, and working in collaboration with colleagues across the nation, we are making strides every day toward providing better care for these high-risk patients.”

Projects range from identifying new vaccines and therapies for patients at increased risk for breast and ovarian cancers to improving access to genetic testing for individuals in underserved communities.

"Homologous Hope," inspired this Global Prize trophy

Basser Global Prize

Twenty years after the identification of the BRCA1 gene, the University of Pennsylvania's Basser Research Center for BRCA honored the geneticist credited with its discovery with the second annual Basser Global Prize.

Mary-Claire King, PhD, American Cancer Society Research Professor of Genetics and Medicine at the University of Washington, has been a pioneer in the development of experimental and bioinformatics genomics tools to study common, complex human diseases and health conditions. As part of the award, King will give the keynote address at the 2015 Basser Research Center for BRCA Scientific Symposium.

“We're very excited to honor Dr. King's accomplishments in BRCA-related research, particularly as this year marks twenty years since the initial cloning of the BRCA1 gene,” says Dr. Domchek. “The identification of BRCA1 was the first critical step in work to improve outcomes for individuals with inherited susceptibility to breast cancer. Supporting research projects that are similarly devoted to the prevention and treatment of BRCA-related cancers is a primary mission of the Basser Center.”

Read more in a recent press release highlighting the 2014 Basser Global Prize.

About the Basser Research Center for BRCA

In 2012, the Basser Center was established through a $25 million gift from Penn alumni Mindy and Jon Gray in memory of Mindy Gray's sister Faith Basser, who died of ovarian cancer at age 44. The External Grant Program was made possible by an additional gift of $5 million made earlier this year by Mindy and Jon Gray. The Basser Global Prize, a marquee component of the center, was established by Shari Basser Potter and Leonard Potter to honor a visionary scientist who has conceptually advanced BRCA1/2 related research that has led to improvements in clinical care.

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The Focus on Cancer blog discusses a variety of cancer-related topics, including treatment advances, research efforts and clinical trials, nutrition, support groups, survivorship and patient stories.

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