Breast Cancer Research Initiative
The Breast Cancer Coalition is seeking proposals for its 2023 Breast Cancer Research Grant Initiative. Researchers affiliated with research institutions in Western and portions of Central New York are welcome to apply.
The Breast Cancer Coalition annually offers a maximum of 2 breast cancer research grants:
- $50,000 for FACULTY Researchers, and
- $25,000 for PRE- and POST-DOCTORAL Trainees/Fellows (The Pamela Delp Polashenski M.D. Breast Cancer Research Trainee Grant).
The grants are awarded with the potential to yield significant medical breakthroughs in the cause and prevention of breast cancer, prevention of metastasis, and cure.
Since 2003, the Coalition has awarded $1,001,125 to researchers in Upstate and Western New York. Click the buttons below to download the RFP.
Click the buttons below to download the 2023 Grant RFP.
Please contact Research Administrator, Silvia Gambacorta-Hoffman firstname.lastname@example.org or (585) 473-8177.
About the Research Grant
The Pamela Delp Polashenski M.D. Breast Cancer Research Trainee Grant is newly established and will be offered annually to pre- and post-doctoral trainees/fellows this year and beyond.
Dr. Polashenski, past Eastern Region Chief Medical Officer of Rochester Regional Health and internal medicine physician, was first diagnosed with breast cancer at age 47 and quickly became involved with the Breast Cancer Coalition. A beloved wife, mother, and physician, she served on our Board of Directors and Research Advisory Board, and was committed to all efforts of our Advocacy Committee. Upon learning that her breast cancer had metastasized, Pam joined Common Ground, our networking group for those living with metastatic breast and/or gynecologic cancer. She leaves a lasting legacy in every aspect of our mission.
About the Research Initiative
Funding research is a Coalition Pillar. We are 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 focus on 4 breast cancer research areas prioritized by the Coalition:
- Prevention of Metastasis
Coalition grant money is intended for use as “seed money” to fund innovative 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.
The Research Advisory Board is a diverse group of researchers, scientists, clinicians, and survivor advocates. They keep the program up to date, review and score proposals, and make funding recommendations to the Board of Directors.
2022 Grant Recipient
This year, the Coalition is supporting a young researcher with the newly established Pamela Delp Polashenski M.D. Breast Cancer Research Trainee Grant.
Sangwoo Park, a PhD candidate/student at Cornell University will receive a grant of $25,000 to support his project, “Overcoming the Glycocalyx Barrier to Engineered Cellular Therapeutics.”
Cancer cells construct a thin barrier around them called the glycocalyx, which protects them from detection and destruction by the body’s immune cells. Muc 1, a major component of the glycocalyx, is overexpressed in most breast cancers. Through his research, Park found that changes in the cancer cells’ glycocalyx thickness, even as small as 10 nanometers, could significantly affect how “Natural Killer” (NK) cells of the immune system attack cancer cells. The objective of his proposal is to develop engineering strategies to equip NK cells with glycocalyx-editing enzymes that can remove the glycocalyx from cancer cells, while providing these NK cells with structurally engineered chimeric antigen receptors (CAR) that can better penetrate the glycocalyx barrier and destroy cancer cells.
Park was serving in the Korean military as a firefighter when he witnessed the devastation of stage 4 lung cancer while transporting a patient to the hospital. He felt powerless; there was nothing he could do for the patient besides providing comfort. That day, he decided to contribute to society through cancer research. After his military service, Park studied physical science under Professor Tae-Young Yoon, where he worked on breast cancer and lung cancer research. He graduated with a B.S. in Physics from the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, Deajeon, South Korea.
After his graduation, Sangwoo joined Professor Matthew Paszek’s group at the Robert Frederick School of Chemical and Biomechanical Engineering at Cornell University to pursue a degree in Biophysics while continuing his breast cancer research. He expects to receive a Ph.D. in Biophysics in Fall 2023.