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Investigators receive $28M in new research and career development grants

Funding includes ACS Research Professor Award and ACS IMPACT Research Professorship Award.​

The American Cancer Society, the largest non-government, non-profit funding source of cancer research in the United States, has approved funding for $28 million in new Extramural Discovery Science (EDS) research and career development grants. The awards will fund investigators at institutions across the United States starting in July 2024.

"We are very proud to announce these new grant awardees and their critically important research projects,” said Dr. Christina Annunziata, senior vice president, Extramural Discovery Science. “These scientists have dedicated their lives to increasing our understanding of better ways to treat and survive cancer and we look forward to partnering with them in our collective mission to help save lives.”

ACS seeks to improve the lives of cancer patients, families, and caregivers through research, patient services, and advocacy. These awards require fundamental, preclinical, clinical, population, and implementation/dissemination research as well as multidisciplinary team science to tackle the complexities of cancers and cancer care.

“We are excited these grants will fund a range of innovative research across different cancer types,” said Dr. William Dahut, chief scientific officer. “These studies include intervention approaches, and research methodologies that highlight basic molecular research, immunotherapy, preclinical and clinical trials, prospective cohort studies, and even AI and computational machine learning.”

During this grant period, there are two new recipients of the ACS Professor Award and two new recipients of the ACS IMPACT Professorship Award. These are highly prestigious awards for investigators who have made seminal contributions in cancer research. The award also recognizes exceptional track records in leadership, service, and mentoring in cancer research. The ACS IMPACT Professor Award was created to help advise ACS in efforts to address the public health burden of prostate cancer through ACS’ IMPACT initiative – Improving Mortality from Prostate Cancer Together. 

Grantees included the following. Read more details about their work in the ACS press room

ACS Professors

Shuji Ogino, M.D., Ph.D., M.S.
ACS Clinical Research Professor
Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Inc. 
Project Title: “Integrative Transdisciplinary Study of Early-Onset Colorectal Cancer” 

Ann Partridge, M.D., M.P.H. 
ACS Clinical Research Professor
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Project Title: “Clinical Research Professor”  

IMPACT Professorships

Daniel George, M.D.
ACS IMPACT Professorship in Prostate Cancer
Duke University School of Medicine 
Project Title: “Race-based cohort trials to improve outcomes for Black men”

Christopher Haiman, Sc.D. 
ACS IMPACT Professorship in Prostate Cancer
University of Southern California (USC)
Project Title: “ACS IMPACT Research Professorship in Prostate Cancer”   

ACS is also proud to announce two recipients of Mission Boost Stage II grants. The grants are designed to support current and past ACS grantees working to translate their initial basic research into human testing by funding innovative high-risk/high-reward projects.

Mission Boost Stage II Grants

Eben Rosenthal, M.D. 
Vanderbilt University Medical Center
Mission Boost Stage II Grantee
Project Title: “Minimally Invasive Lymph Node Staging in Head and Neck Cancer”
Rosenthal was the previous recipient of a Research Scholar Grant from 2006-2010 and a Stage I Mission Boost Grant from 2021-2023.

Lei Xu, M.D., Ph.D. 
Massachusetts General Hospital
Mission Boost Stage II Grantee
Project Title: “Reprogramming the Tumor Microenvironment to Enhance Immunotherapy”
Xu was the previous recipient of a Research Scholar Grant from 2012-2017 and a Stage I Mission Boost Grant from 2022-2023.

Other research award highlights include:

Biochemistry and Immunology of Cancer Research Program Grants

Silvia Guglietta, Ph.D. 
Medical University of South Carolina 
Research Scholar Grant
Project Title: “Targeting Complement Anaphylatoxin C3a Receptor to Break Immunotherapy Resistance in Colorectal Cancer”

Zhijie ‘Jason’ Liu, Ph.D. 
UT Health San Antonio 
Research Scholar Grant
Project Title: “Enhancer Mechanisms and Interventions in Breast Cancer Endocrine Resistance”

Cell Biology and Preclinical Cancer Research Program Grants

Pavithra Viswanath, Ph.D. 
The Regents of the University of California, San Francisco 
Research Scholar Grant
Project Title: “Developing a Novel Tracer for Imaging Oncometabolic Activity in Cancer” 

Marta Overchuk, Ph.D. 
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill 
Postdoctoral Fellowship Grant
Project Title: “Exploiting the Potential of Photochemically-induced Ferroptosis to De-Escalate Platinum Dose in Metastatic Ovarian Cancer”

Clinical and Cancer Control Research Program Grants

Jennifer McQuade, M.D. 
University of Texas, MD Anderson
Research Scholar Grant
Project Title: “Neoadjuvant ipilimumab/nivolumab + Microbiota-Directed Prebiotic Dietary Intervention to Optimize Immune Response in Melanoma”

Manisha Bahl, M.D., M.P.H. 
Massachusetts General Hospital 
Research Scholar Grant
Project Title: “Unlocking the Black Box: Explainable Artificial Intelligence for Breast Cancer Risk Prediction”


The ACS Extramural Discovery Science program currently supports more than 700 research grants across the cancer continuum at more than 200 institutions. With an investment of more than five billion dollars since 1946, ACS has funded 50 researchers who have gone on to be awarded the Nobel Prize. ACS funds many early career investigators, giving the best and the brightest a chance to explore cutting-edge ideas at a time when they might not find funding elsewhere.

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