Komen Empowers University of PA Researchers with $535,000

Susan G. Komen Invests $34.7 Million in Breast Cancer Research in 2014 – Bringing the Organization’s Total Research Investment to More that $847 Million 

Following through on a commitment to young scientists and clinicians, the Susan G. Komen organization recently announced new grants to more than fifty early-career breast cancer researchers – almost half of Komen’s $34.7 million investment in new breast cancer research funding for 2014. As part of the most recent grants, three researchers from the University of Pennsylvania received funding totaling $535,000 to investigate breast cancer biology, screening, risk reduction and treatment.

“Our 2014 grants are intended to ensure continuity in breast cancer research for years to come,” said Komen President and CEO Judith A. Salerno, M.D., M.S.  “With federal research dollars tightening, we’re deeply concerned that a generation of promising breast cancer researchers will be lost to other fields.  While we fund young researchers, we’re also continuing to grant to established researchers whose work has led to significant progress against this disease.”

“We are thrilled to see over one-half-million dollars return here to Philadelphia… Komen adheres to a rigorous grant review process, and this funding further demonstrates the integrity, promise and vital work being done at the University of Pennsylvania,” said Elaine I. Grobman, CEO, Susan G. Komen Philadelphia®. “With 25% of our local fundraising contributing to the Komen Research Grant program, the entire Komen Philadelphia community can take great pride in the part we’ve played in helping to drive progress through research.”

The three University of Pennsylvania researchers receiving Komen grants in 2014 are as follows:

  • $180,000 in funding to Brad Keller, Ph.D., to investigate the biology of breast density by establishing links between the mammographic appearance of the dense breast tissue and its corresponding biology at the tissue-level. This work could ultimately allow physicians to more accurately identify those women who are most likely to develop breast cancer due to their breast density, and lead to improvements in identifying women who would benefit from alternative imaging techniques for breast cancer, including MRI.
  • $180,000 in funding to Raymond Acciavatti, Ph.D., to test a method of seeing and interpreting small calcifications that are sometimes found during digital breast tomosynthesis (3-D mammography) using an imaging technique known as “super-resolution” in order to reduce the number of patients recalled for additional tests due to an inconclusive mammogram, and detect calcification earlier.
  • $175,000 in continued funding to Komen Scholar Susan Domchek, M.D., to determine the long-term impact of surgical risk reduction strategies that individuals with BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene mutations may choose to undergo. Dr. Domchek will investigate how surgeries such as preventive mastectomy or oophorectomy affect mortality and quality of life.

Komen is funding nearly $16 million in new grants to early-career researchers – those who are still in training and those at the earliest stages of their research careers. The remaining funds are being granted to leading breast cancer scientists who have already made significant contributions to the field, and to support scientific programs and partnerships that advance Komen’s mission to end breast cancer forever.

Komen is the largest nonprofit funder of breast cancer research, with more than $847 million invested since its founding in 1982. But research is just one aspect of Komen’s mission: since 1982, Komen and its affiliates have invested more than $1.8 billion in community health outreach and global programs that last year served more than one-half million women and men facing breast cancer. More than 80 cents of every dollar Komen spends is devoted to mission programs.


About Komen

Susan G. Komen is the world’s largest breast cancer organization, funding more breast cancer research than any other nonprofit while providing real-time help to those facing the disease. Since its founding in 1982, Komen has funded over $847 million in research and provided $1.8 billion in funding to screening, education, treatment and psychosocial support programs serving millions of people in more than 30 countries worldwide. Komen was founded by Nancy G. Brinker, who promised her sister, Susan G. Komen, that she would end the disease that claimed Suzy’s life.

About Susan G. Komen Philadelphia®

Susan G. Komen Philadelphia® is part of Susan G. Komen, the world’s largest grassroots network of breast cancer survivors and activists fighting to save lives, empower people, ensure quality care for all and energize science to find the cures. In the past 24 years, Komen Philadelphia has distributed over $52.5 million in grants to local organizations, funded approximately 150,000 mammograms for women in need in its service area, and contributed approximately $21.5 million to breast cancer research. Through grants and Komen Philadelphia outreach initiatives targeting a diversity of communities, the organization empowers people in the breast cancer movement in a 15-county service area embracing: Adams, Berks, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Lancaster, Lebanon, Lehigh, Montgomery, Philadelphia and York counties in Pa.; Kent, New Castle and Sussex counties in Del.; Camden County, N.J. Outreach ranges from mammograms, clinical exams, diagnostic services and treatment for women in need, to education, counseling and other forms of support, to programs for breast cancer survivors.


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