Komen for the Cure

Komen gives $2 million to research at UNC, Duke

Posted October 1, 2014 6:00 a.m. EDT
Updated October 1, 2014 8:12 a.m. EDT

— The Susan G. Komen Foundation announced grants worth more than $2 million Wednesday to fund breast cancer research programs at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Duke University.

Komen raises money nationwide and distributes it back through local affiliates such as Komen North Carolina to the Coast. Over the course of 32 years, those investments have totaled nearly $31 million in North Carolina, affiliate executive director Pam Kohl said.

The programs and investments are as follows:

Nearly $450,000 to Dr. Zachary Hartman at Duke to determine if triple negative breast cancer grows and spreads throughout the body along paths of inflammation.

$175,000 to Dr. Kimberly Blackwell at Duke who is comparing gene mutations in primary triple negative breast tumors to those that are present in a reappearance of the initial tumor.

$450,000 in funding to Dr. Michael Emanuele at UNC whose work with proteins will help to identify possible therapeutic targets that promote cancer growth, with a focus on finding novel therapies for triple negative breast cancer.

$200,000 to Dr. Lisa Carey at UNC who is developing a method to rapidly assess the genetic traits of the primary breast tumor and compare it to those found elsewhere in the body.

$200,000 to Dr. Neil Spector at Duke who is working to identify the different mechanisms involved in therapeutic resistance.

$175,000 to Dr. Gerard Blobe at Duke who is investigating whether loss of the transforming growth factor-beta receptor, TβRIII, a protein on the cell surface whose normal function is to inhibit breast cancer formation, is responsible for a decrease in the stiffness of a cancer cell.

$175,000 to Dr. Claire Deesat UNC who is building a strategic infrastructure that will encourage greater numbers of patients with metastatic breast cancer to enroll in narrowly focused Phase 1 clinical trials.

More than $50,000 in funding to Dr. Shelton Earp at UNC to carry out Phase III of the Carolina Breast Cancer Study (CBCS) – the largest population-based study of breast cancer in African-American and Caucasian women.

$35,000 to Dr. Kim Lyerly at Duke to conduct a workshop designed for scientists and consumer advocates to discuss new approaches to developing or enhancing agents for the diagnosis, treatment, or prevention of cancer.