METAvivor Announces 2023 MBC Research Awards

BY METAvivor


METAvivor Research and Support announces 13 new grant awards to research investigators for metastatic breast cancer research totaling $4.6 million. Metastatic or stage IV breast cancer is the only breast cancer that is terminal.

METAvivor Research and Support Inc., a non-profit organization dedicated to funding research for stage IV metastatic breast cancer (MBC), announces 13 new grant awards totaling $4,600,000.  The metastatic breast cancer research grants are intended to enhance the understanding of metastatic breast cancer, help improve current treatments and develop greatly needed therapeutic options to combat the complicated disease. Since its founding in 2009, METAvivor has put 100% of donations into its peer-reviewed research grant program.

“METAvivor increased the grant award amounts due to inflation and higher costs of research. We also encouraged the scientists to develop research in target areas that have the possibility of becoming new treatments for those diagnosed with MBC. The research grants hold promise for new discoveries  that will transition metastatic breast cancer from a terminal disease to one that is survivable and manageable with a good quality of life,” said Jamil Rivers, president of METAvivor.

Metastatic breast cancer (also known as stage IV or advanced stage cancer) is the spread of breast cancer to other parts of the body -- most commonly to the bones, liver, lungs and/or brain. Approximately 30% of early stage breast cancer patients metastasize, with the mean survival after diagnosis being 33 months. In the U.S., only 2-5% of all cancer research funds are dedicated to metastatic breast cancer research – yet 98% of all breast cancer deaths are caused by a metastasis. 

METAvivor is awarding grants for the research cycle in three award categories:  The Early Career Investigator Award program is focused on funding grants for early career metastatic breast cancer researchers and the awards are for $200,000. The Translational Research Award is intended for career metastasis researchers and is $450,000. The Advisor’s Award is also targeted toward career metastasis researchers who directly work in an advisory capacity with METAvivor with total awards of up to $200,000. per grant. 

The 13 grants that METAvivor is funding in this grant cycle, bring the grand total of metastatic breast cancer-specific research awards to $33,500,000.00. “We are humbled by the generosity of our donors who continue to keep metastatic breast cancer research at the forefront of their giving and fundraising,” said Rivers. 


METAvivor’s Metastatic Breast Cancer Early Career Research Grant Awards

Kathleen McEnnis, PhD  Mesenchymal stem cells as platinum nanoparticle delivery system for metastatic breast cancer treatment   New Jersey Institute of Technology,  Newark, NJ - Presented by #LightUpMBC Ambassadors in memory of Nola Addante and all lives lost too soon to MBC

Stefania Morganti, MD  Tracking minimal residual disease via circulating tumor DNA in patients with HER2+ metastatic breast cancer and exceptional response to therapy  Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston MA – Presented by the Philadelphia METAvivor Gala in memory of Kerry O'Riordan McAdam and in honor of Jacqueline Beck

Naiara Perurena, PhD, PharmD   Developing combinatorial therapeutic strategies for metastatic HER2+ breast cancer Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA – Presented by the Minneapolis Metsquerade In Memory of Lindsay Block 

Angelina Regua , PhD   Understanding and overcoming resistance of breast cancer brain metastases to RET inhibition, The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, Houston, Texas - Presented by Tonya’s Hope In Memory and Honor of Tonyia Lucas


METAvivor’s Metastatic Breast Cancer Advisors Research Award

Jill Bargonetti, PhD   Targeting Breast Cancer Metastasis by Combination Inhibition of CXCR4 and MDM2/MDM4 - City University of New York at Hunter College, New York, NY - Presented in honor of Caroline McIntyre and in memory of Sandy Gagliardi, members of Living with MBC Support Group in DENJPA      


METAvivor Metastatic Breast Cancer Translational Research Awards

Swarnali Acharyya,PhD Targeting S100A9 signaling to treat therapy-resistant brain metastases in HER2+ breast cancer - Columbia University Irving Medical Center (CUIMC) City of New York – Presented by The Met Gala Santa Clarita in honor of Amy Steffe Lohmann and Eva Miranda Crawford

Changyan Chen, PhD  Repurposing Bryostatin-1 (a Protein Kinase C Inhibitor-Based Drug) for Treating Metastatic Breast Cancer  Northeastern University, Boston MA – Presented by #LightUpMBC Ambassador Team In Memory of Jessica Moore

Monica Fornier, MD  A pilot study of the efficacy and safety of the sclerostin-inhibitor romosozumab as a bone-modifying agent for patients with metastatic breast cancer to bones, and osteoporosis or osteopenia with high risk of fracture - Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY - Presented in memory of Mrs. Holli Hoelscher Simon 

Rinath Jeslesohn, MD Integrative multi-omics and immune profiling with machine learning for optimization of treatment in metastatic hormone receptor positive breast cancer - Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, MA – Presented by the Philadelphia METAvivor Gala in memory of Kerry O'Riordan McAdam and in honor of Jacqueline Beck

David Kamson, MD, PhD  A Translational Observational Biorepository and Management Study In Patients with Leptomeningeal Metastasis: The BIOLEPT Study - Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at the Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, MD – Presented by Jacqueline Vranicar - In memory of Lindsay Block

Efi Kokkotou, MD, PhD, DSc Repurposing a Melanin-concentrating hormone (MCH) antagonist for the treatment of metastatic breast cancer - Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, MA – Presented by the Minneapolis Metsquerade

Mathew Cherian, MBBS Sulfatase 2 inhibition to intensify chemotherapy and immunotherapy responses in metastatic triple-negative breast cancer - The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center, Columbus, OH – Presented by the The Meadowbrook Country Club Rally For The Cure Fundraiser in memory of Elizabeth Stevens

Funda Meric-Bernstam, MD Optimizing TROP2-targeted antibody-drug conjugate therapy in metastatic breast cancer - The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX – Presented By Jacquelyn Vranicar and Jacquelyn and Lindsay’s METAvivor Team in memory of Kelsey Granowski



METAvivor Research and Support Inc. is an Annapolis-based, volunteer-led, non-profit organization founded by metastatic breast cancer (MBC) patients in 2009.  The organization’s main focus is to fund critical research that will lead to advances in treatment options, improved quality of life and survival for patients diagnosed with MBC.  Since 2009, METAvivor has awarded 216 research grants totaling $33,500,000. METAvivor is the only national organization with a peer-reviewed grant program aimed at exclusively funding MBC research, and 100% of all donations go to fund research. 

METAvivor also raises awareness of MBC, provides support for people living with this disease, and offers opportunities for others to help make a difference for the metastatic community. METAvivor has gained a rapidly growing following within the breast cancer community, and has become a leader the metastatic breast cancer community.

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