An Exciting and Memorable Spring
By Silvia Gambacorta Hoffman
2022 marks a milestone for the Coalition. This is the year our Research Initiative surpassed one million dollars in grant funds awarded to researchers in our region!
A panel of ten members of the Coalition’s Research Advisory Board and eleven survivor-advocates from our Research Committee gathered on April 25, 2022 to review this year’s grant applications, submitted from researchers throughout our region. These proposals came from the University of Rochester, Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, Cornell University in Ithaca, and Upstate Medical University in Syracuse.
Each reviewer was assigned two or three proposals to evaluate. In addition, they read the remaining proposals in order to assign an Overall Impact Score to the all the projects being considered for funding. The Coalition adopted the scoring system of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in 2021, in which proposals are judged by an Overall Impact Score system. The panel met for the whole day to discuss and score thirteen research proposals. They then selected the projects they felt should receive grant awards, and their recommendations were subsequently submitted to the Coalition’s Board of Directors for consideration.
Review Day was educational, productive, and filled with excitement. A survivor-advocate who took part in the process for the first time wrote, “Thank you, this was a wonderful experience. I learned a great deal and look forward to future work.”
The Coalition is grateful to the 2022 Review Panel for their gift of time and for their dedication: Marc Antonyak, Ph.D., from Cornell; Gokul Das, Ph. D., from Roswell Park; Scott Gerber, Ph.D., from the University of Rochester; Chi-Chen Hong, Ph.D., from Roswell Park; Kelly Hume, DVM, DACVIM, from Cornell; Kelley Madden, Ph.D., from Brockport Research Institute: Helene McMurray, Ph.D., from the University of Rochester; M Saeed Sheikh, M.D., Ph.D., from Upstate Medical University; Rachael Turner, M.D., Ph.D., from the University of Rochester; and Robert Weiss, Ph.D., from Cornell. We are also grateful to the survivor-advocates who sat on the panel: Wendy Bachhuber, Gunhilde Buchsbaum, Alison Currie, Stacy Forrett, Wendy Gottorf, Nancy Gramkee-Cuer, Jill Gress, Nancy Johnson, Judi Stewart, Christina Thompson, and Jeanne Verhulst. A special thanks to Alison Currie for being our scribe in addition to reviewing proposals. Holly Anderson, Executive Director served as moderator. Special thanks to Michelle Lindsay who provided technical support.
A second energizing and unforgettable event of spring 2022 was the Coalition’s trip to Washington, D.C., for the National Breast Cancer Coalition (NBCC) Advocate Leadership Summit. Here we attended presentations on topics such as the financial toxicity and complexity of cancer care, the need to bring more affordable drugs with scientifically proven efficacy into the market, the effect of screening on survival, an update on the Artemis Project (the NBCC research project to end breast cancer), and many other informative workshops. On our last day, we went to Capitol Hill to meet our national representatives and advocate for $150 million in research funding through the Department of Defense Breast Cancer Research Program and for the Metastatic Breast Cancer Access to Care Act.
Our Research Committee is open to those who wish to join a dynamic group of informed survivor-advocates working to end breast cancer. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.