BCRFA Awards Funds For Two Collaborative Breast Cancer Research Projects in Alabama

The Breast Cancer Research Foundation of Alabama (BCRFA) presented two awards for two-year collaborative breast cancer research projects. One award went to Dr. Gary Piazza of the University of South Alabama Mitchell Cancer Institute and Dr. Clinton Grubbs of the University of Alabama – Birmingham Comprehensive Cancer Center with the second award going to Drs. Joel Berry, Jessy Deshane and Andra Frost of UAB and Dr. Mark Suto of Southern Research Institute.

Proposals from across the state were reviewed in September and the winners were announced at the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center Annual Research Retreat on October 30.

Piazza and Grubbs’ project, “A Novel Wnt/β-Catenin Inhibitor for Breast Cancer,” will focus on developing a promising experimental drug, MCI-030, for breast cancer prevention and treatment and further study its unique mechanism of action involving the suppression of Wnt/β-Catenin signaling.

Berry, Deshane, Frost and Suto’s project, “A Humanized 3D Immunocompetant Model of Breast Cancer for Precision Medicine and Immune Therapy Development” will develop a 3D humanized immunocompetent breast cancer model that will enhance cancer drug development and advance personalized cancer therapy.

The selected projects will each receive $50,000 annually for two consecutive years, totaling $100,000 each over the two- year period. The BCRFA will also continue a second year of support for the inaugural award to Sara Cooper, PhD, of HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology, and Donald Buchsbaum, PhD, of UAB. Cooper and Buchsbaum’s project is characterizing the effects of immunotherapy in breast cancer models and explore new drugs to improve immune system response

The Breast Cancer Research Foundation of Alabama is a nonprofit organization raising funding and awareness for breast cancer research in Alabama.

“Since the organization began in 1996, the BCRFA has invested over $6.75 million in breast cancer research initiatives in Alabama. We are excited to award these two grants supporting collaborative breast cancer research,” stated Beth Bradner Davis, BCRFA executive director.

With these collaboration awards, the Breast Cancer Research Foundation of Alabama hopes to: encourage collaboration among top researchers in Alabama in the field of breast cancer research; help support basic research which can be emerge into translational research; offer financial support to promising breast cancer research in Alabama providing seed money to enable a project to secure additional funding from national providers; and offer hope to those affected by breast cancer and ultimately save lives through breast cancer research.

About the BCRFA

The Breast Cancer Research Foundation of Alabama supports a comprehensive approach to battling breast cancer through support of collaborative and innovative research to help diagnose, treat, prevent and eradicate the disease. Since its inception in 1996, the BCRFA has raised over $6.75 million to fund research at the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center and with their collaborative partners. All funds raised stay here in the state of Alabama, but the research will have a global, life-saving impact. BCRFA.org