Breast Cancer Research Initiative

The Breast Cancer Coalition annually offers a maximum of two breast cancer research grants: $25,000 for Pre-Doctoral Trainees or Post-Doctoral Fellows and $50,000 for Faculty Applicants

From left: Debra Kusse, Chair, Board of Directors; 2018 grant recipients Dr. Scott Coonrod and Arash Latifkar; Holly Anderson, Executive Director; Helene Snihur, Research Administrator

Scott Coonrod, PhD,
and Arash Latifkar have been announced as the recipients of the Coalition’s 2018 Research Grants.

Coonrod, the Judy Wilpon Professor of Cancer Biology at the Baker Institute for Animal Health, College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University, was awarded the $50,000 Faculty Grant. His proposal is titled “Role of PAD-2 in ER-DNA Binding and Endocrine Resistance.”  Coonrod’s project will explore the mechanisms driving estrogen receptor alpha (ER) signaling and endocrine resistance and investigate the role that the ER co-factor peptidylarginine deiminase 2 (PAD2) plays in the process. The research will advance understanding of how resistance to the drug tamoxifen, which is used to treat ER+ breast cancer, may develop.

Latifkar, a Graduate Research Assistant in the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology at Cornell University, was awarded the $25,000 Pre-and-Post-Doctoral Grant to support his proposal, “Determining how down regulating Sirtuin 1 expression in breast cancer generates a secretome that promotes invasion and metastasis.”  Latifkar has discovered that breast cancer cells with low levels of the Sirtuin 1 protein secrete factors that enable cells to break free from their primary sites and enter the blood stream to spread to new sites and undergo metastasis. His research will provide novel insights into the underlying mechanisms of metastatic breast cancer.

About the Research Initiative:

The Coalition is committed to supporting and furthering breast cancer research. The Research Initiative, unusual for a nonprofit “grassroots” organization,  is an integral part of the Coalition’s continuing efforts to eradicate breast cancer.

The grants are intended to focus on four breast cancer research areas prioritized  by the Coalition:

  • Cause
  • Prevention
  • Prevention of Metastasis
  • Cure

Coalition grant money is intended for use as “seed money” to fund innovative new projects with the potential to yield significant medical breakthroughs. Through our funding, recipients are given 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.

Service-area-mapApplicant Eligibility:

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.

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.

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

Additional Information:

For more information about future grant opportunities, please email the Coalition at:


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