Breast Cancer Research Initiative

The 2015-2016 Request for Proposals (RFP) is now available.

The Request for Proposals (RFP) for the Coalition’s 2015-2016 Breast Cancer Research Grant Initiative are due at the Coalition at 1048 University Avenue by 5:00pm 12.31.15


To help complete your application, click on the checklist link below.

To see our grant history follow this link: Grant History 2003 to present

The Breast Cancer Coalition of Rochester is pleased to announce the award of its 2014-2015 $50,000 research grant to Zhenjiang Yao, MD, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of Rochester Medical Center.

Alison Currie, Patti Cataldi, Zhenjiang Yao, MD and Holly Anderson

Alison Currie, Patti Cataldi, Zhenjiang Yao, MD and Holly Anderson


Dr. Yao received his grant on Tuesday, March 24, 2015 and will “Study the Effects of an IAP Inhibitor on Breast Cancer Bone Metastases.”  Bone is a common site for the spread (metastasis) of breast cancer. The subsequent tumor growth and bone break-down can result in severe pain, fractures, and spinal cord compression and paralysis if metastases occur in the spine.

Current approved treatment for bone metastases inhibits bone break-down but does not improve patient survival as it does not target cancer cells. Dr. Yao has found that treatment with a small molecule compound that degrades “Inhibitor of Apoptosis Proteins” (IAP) causes cell death in certain breast cancer cell lines. In addition, this compound simultaneously prevents bone loss while stimulating bone formation to help repair the affected bone. Dr. Yao will investigate treatment with this compound to kill breast cancer cells, prevent the growth of established bone metastases, and stop the development of new metastases. Dr. Yao is striving to develop an “all-in-one” drug strategy to prevent breast cancer bone metastasis and maintain healthy bone.

Zhenjiang Yao, MD, Patti Cataldi, Gokul M. Das, PhD, Alison Currie, Kelley Madden, PhD, Ryan Dawes and Holly Anderson. It was so nice for current and past recipients to meet.

Background: The Coalition is committed to supporting and furthering breast cancer research. Four focus areas have been prioritized: cause, prevention, prevention of metastasis, and cure. Coalition grant money is intended for use as “seed money” to fund innovative new projects with potential to yield significant medical breakthroughs. Through our funding, recipients gain the opportunity to generate the preliminary data required to apply for larger grants from major institutions such as the Department of Defense and the National Institute of Health. The Research Advisory Board, a diverse group of researchers, scientists, clinicians, and survivor advocates, keeps the research program up to date, reviews and scores proposals, and makes funding recommendations to the Board of Directors.

Grant History: The Coalition’s research grant program began in 2003 with a single grant of $25,000. The Coalition suspended its Research Initiative in 2008 to join the New York State Health Research Science Board (HRSB) grant process. For a variety of reasons, the Coalition withdrew from the HRSB and re-launched its Research Grant Initiative for the 2012 -2013 fiscal year. To date, twelve research grants totaling more than $525,000 have been awarded.   

Service-area-mapApplicant Eligibility (see map):

Researchers affiliated with for-profit and non-profit institutions based in Western and portions of Central New York  are eligible to apply. The funds awarded must be spent within the calendar year of the date of the grant and remain in the specified geographic area; however, travel to attend professional conferences is encouraged.

More Information:

For more information about future grant opportunities, please email Dominique Boller, Research Administrator:




You may view photos from our 2013 press conference for the 2013 Research Grant by visiting Ria Tafani’s website here.

You may view photos from our 2007 press conference for the 2007 Research Grant here.