Brandi Klingerman | December 13, 2017
The Harper Cancer Research Institute (HCRI) has received a $300,000 Institutional Research Grant (IRG) from the American Cancer Society (ACS), which is a renewal of the IRG grant from 2014. The ACS also renewed 12 other IRGs for centers, institutes, and medical schools around the country.
With the IRG funds, as well as additional support provided by the Colleges of Science and Engineering at the University of Notre Dame, the HCRI will again host an internal grant competition for Notre Dame faculty, with two $30,000 grants available per competition cycle.
M. Sharon Stack, Kleiderer-Pezold Professor of Biochemistry and Ann F. Dunne Elizabeth Riley Director of the HCRI, said, “We will use this funding to support six different competition cycles, or 12 internal grants, over the next three years. The goal is to provide early career faculty with the seed funding they need to jump-start their research programs and successfully apply for larger grants. This will allow our researchers to be even more competitive on a national stage.”
This internal grant competition, which began in 2014, has helped several Notre Dame faculty members advance their research programs. For example, Laurie Littlepage, assistant professor of chemistry and biochemistry, used previous funding from the IRG program to support her study of endocrine therapy-resistant breast cancer. Endocrine therapies are used to stop estrogen-receptor-positive tumors, or tumors that use estrogen to grow. However, this type of cancer can develop resistance over time to these treatments. In fact, about 70 percent of breast tumors are estrogen-receptor-positive and of those patients with this type of tumor, the ones who die will have developed resistance to their endocrine therapies.