CPRIT Awards Over $20M to UT Southwestern and UT Dallas to Fight Cancer

The Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas approved over $90 million in new cancer research and prevention grants at its quarterly meeting near the Texas Capitol on Wednesday—and $20.6 million in potentially game-changing grants are headed to North Texas.

The Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas approved over $90 million in new cancer research and prevention grants at its quarterly meeting near the Texas Capitol on Wednesday—and $20.6 million of that money is coming to North Texas.

Researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center received 10 different grants totaling $14.6 million to advance everything from breast cancer and lung cancer screening to “deep learning models” to facilitate T-cell receptor therapies. (See below for the full list of UTSW grant recipients.)

At UT Dallas, a single grant of $6 million was awarded. According to the Dallas Morning News, that $6M will go toward recruiting synthetic chemist Rudi Fasan from the University of Rochester in New York. Fasan previously worked with 2018 Nobel Prize winner Frances Arnold at Cal Tech.

“Fasan’s recruitment will contribute substantially to UT Dallas’ goal of advancing its Center of Excellence in Reaction Discovery and High-Throughout Synthesis,” CPRIT Chief Scientific Officer Michelle Le Beau told the DMN. “And his natural-product-like libraries and molecular discovery platforms will provide key resources for the cancer community in Texas to support basic cancer research and the development of novel cancer therapeutics.”

$20.6M is just part of $90M awarded across Texas

The North Texas grants are just part of $90 million awarded by CPRIT this week for 40 projects from across Texas

“Today’s grants are an illustration of how CPRIT is fulfilling the original promise made to Texans at our founding,” CPRIT CEO Wayne Roberts said in a statement. “From recruitment and prevention grants to boosting the development of cancer research in critical areas of Texas, today’s awards strengthen Texas’s position as a national leader in cancer research.”

In addition to the Dallas grantees, the funding will support a wide range of innovative research and prevention efforts at major research hubs in San Antonio and Houston, as well as in in rapidly developing cancer research programs in El Paso and the Rio Grande Valley.

UT Southwestern grant recipients

Here are the recipients at UT Southwestern who received grants from CPRIT this week:

Keith E. Argenbright  $2,500,000             
Community Expansion and Re-engagement for Breast Cancer Screening and Patient Navigation

David Gerber  $1,922,312
Integrated lung cancer screening and tobacco cessation in an urban safety-net system

Mamta Jain  $2,499,616  
Screen, Treat, or Prevent (STOP) Hepatocellular Cancer-Hepatitis C (HCC-HCV):  Expansion to All Adults

Lance S Terada  $1,049,994             
Autophagy and Tumor Endothelium

Rodney Infante  $1,050,000      
Changes in Tumor Microenvironment that Promote Cachexia

Zhenyu Zhong  $1,049,997     
Investigating the mechanism of NLRP3 inflammasome hyperactivation during hepatocellular carcinoma development

Guanghua Xiao  $1,303,815     
Integrate whole slide imaging and genomic data to study pediatric rhabdomyosarcoma  

Samuel McBrayer  $1,048,465    
Development and evaluation of lanosterol synthase inhibitors in preclinical GBM models

 Tao Wang   $1,199,997   
Developing knowledge guided deep learning models to predict the binding between T cell receptors and neoantigens for facilitating TCR-T therapies

 Ram S Mani  $1,049,641  
Characterization of 3D Genome Organization and Transcriptional Regulation in Prostate Cancer

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