Breast Cancer Research Initiative

The Breast Cancer Coalition now offers funding for two breast cancer research grants, one a maximum of $25,000 for Pre and Post-Doctoral Trainee/Fellows and the other $50,000 for Faculty Applicants.

Left to right: Barbara Clarke, Cathy Dolan, Alison Currie, Dominique Boller, Elizabeth A. Repasky, PhD., Michael J. Lukey, PhD., Julie Overbeck, Jennifer Gaylord, Jeanne Verhulst, Kathy Simpson, and Holly Anderson

The Breast Cancer Coalition Awards $75,000 in Research Grants and its First Pre/Post-Doctoral Grant

On Wednesday, March 29, The Breast Cancer Coalition of Rochester awarded the $50,000 breast cancer research grant to Elizabeth A. Repasky, Ph.D. Professor of Oncology at Roswell Park Cancer Institute and the first 25,000 Pre/Postdoctoral grant to Michael J. Lukey Ph.D. Post-Doctoral Trainee and Research Assistant in the Department of Molecular Medicine at Cornell University at the Research Initiative Award Ceremony. Last summer the research committee created a $25,000 grant for Pre/Post-Doctoral students. The award offers pre/post-doctoral student an opportunity to test a hypothesis, conduct groundbreaking research, be published and encourage grant involvement among their research colleagues.

Dr. Repasky received a grant to study chronic stress in the promotion of tumor progression in breast cancer. A graduate of SUNY Buffalo Department of Anatomical Sciences with a Ph.D. in Anatomy/Cell Biology Repasky’s research will investigate the role stress has on cancer and its effects on tumor progression.

Dr. Lukey was funded to identify the impact of specific enzymes in the improvement of triple negative outcomes in breast cancer. Lukey’s research will explore the impact of enzymes in triple negative outcomes for breast cancer. A graduate of Chemical and Molecular Biochemistry at Oxford UK, his focus currently is in cellular metabolism and breast cancer metabolism.


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.

The Coalition’s Research Initiative has awarded more than $700,000 to area researchers since 2003. The 2015-2016 application cycle will be the fourth time since 2013 that two award recipients were chosen for funding. These grants, unusual for a nonprofit “grassroots” organization, focus on breast cancer cause, prevention, prevention of metastasis, and cure and are an integral part of the Coalition’s continuing efforts to eradicate breast cancer.   

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

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.