• January 27, 2022
 UTEP gets portion of $142M grant from Cancer Prevention & Research Institute of Texas

Photo courtesy UTEP

UTEP gets portion of $142M grant from Cancer Prevention & Research Institute of Texas

The Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) this week announced 73 new cancer research and prevention grants totaling over $142 million, and UTEP was among the awardees.

“Today illustrates the powerful return on Texas’ investment in cancer research and prevention,” explained Wayne Roberts, CPRIT’s Chief Executive Officer.  “Not only is the state enhancing its reputation as the center for innovative cancer research with more than 250 preeminent scientists recruited to Texas through our CPRIT Scholar program, but the eight new clinical trial grants will expand Texans’ access to promising cancer treatments.”

Among the grants CPRIT’s Oversight Committee awarded today are two Texas Regional Excellence in Cancer (TREC) Awards to Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center and The University of Texas at El Paso.

CPRIT created the TREC awards to catalyze cancer research recruitment, projects and infrastructure at institutions located more than 100 miles from the traditional cancer research institutions in major metropolitan areas of the state.

CPRIT also approved three first-time grant awards for projects to build a clinical trial network (The University of Texas M.D. Cancer Center) and increase the number and diversity of Texans participating in cancer clinical trials (Baylor College of Medicine and The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center).

Together with the five Early Clinical Investigator Awards announced today, CPRIT committed more than $13 million in 2021 to increase Texans’ access to innovative cancer treatments.

Two institutions received their first CPRIT cancer research grants: The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (Core Facility grant) and Southern Methodist University (High Impact/High Risk grant).  Texas Southern University garnered its first cancer prevention grant for a breast cancer screening project; the institution has received more than $5.4 million in CPRIT cancer research grants since 2018.

The projects approved today include 62 academic research grant awards, nine prevention awards, and two product development research awards awarded to 24 institutions and companies across the state.

These awards will expand access to clinical trials, incubate innovative cancer research, support the state’s emerging biotechnology industry, provide needed cancer screenings for underserved Texans and recruit outstanding cancer researchers to Texas.

In addition to the first time and new award recipients announced, CPRIT marked an important milestone in its unprecedented effort to bring outstanding cancer researchers to Texas.

With the approval of 12 recruitment awards, CPRIT is responsible for attracting more than 250 of the most promising scientists and clinicians at all stages of their careers to 21 institutions throughout the state since 2009.

About the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas

To date, CPRIT has awarded $2.9 billion in grants to Texas research institutions and organizations through its academic research, prevention and product development research programs. CPRIT has recruited 237 distinguished researchers, supported the establishment, expansion or relocation of 43 companies to Texas, and generated over $5.7 billion in additional public and private investment. CPRIT funding has advanced scientific and clinical knowledge and provided 7.4 million life-saving cancer prevention and early detection services reaching Texans from all 254 counties. On November 5, 2019, Texas voters overwhelmingly approved a constitutional amendment to provide an additional $3 billion to CPRIT for a total $6 billion investment in cancer research and prevention.

Learn more at https://cprit.texas.gov/. Follow CPRIT on TwitterFacebook, and LinkedIn.

AWARDED RESEARCH GRANTS

Core Facility Support Awards – Twelve grants totaling $43,099,721

Baylor College of Medicine 

  • Proteomics and Metabolomics Core Facility (Dean Edwards) – $3,977,681
  • The Adolescent and Childhood Cancer Epidemiology and Susceptibility Service (ACCESS) for Texas (Michael Scheurer) – $4,000,000

Rice University

  • The Genetic Design and Engineering Center (GDEC): A CPRIT Core Facility (Gang Bao) – $4,000,000

Texas A&M University System Health Science Center

  • The GCC Microphysiological Lead Optimization and Toxicity Screening Facility (Clifford Stephan) – $3,973,083

Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center

  • North Texas Clinical Pharmacology Cancer Core (William Putnam) – $2,965,226

 The University of Texas at Austin

  •  Targeted Therapeutic Drug Discovery and Development Program (Kevin Dalby) – $3,989,441

 The University of Texas at San Antonio

  • Center for Innovative Drug Discovery: Expansion of a Highly Productive Shared Cancer Drug Discovery Resource for Texas (Stanton McHardy) – $3,087,131

The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston

  • A Preclinical Development Core for Large-Molecule Therapeutics (Qingyun Liu) – $3,999,999

The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio

  • High-Parameter Analysis, Sorting, and Imaging Flow Cytometry Shared Resource (Michael Berton) – $3,645,500

 The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston

  • Data Management and Analysis Core for Comparative Effectiveness Research on Cancer in Texas (Yong-Fang Kuo) – $2,936,731

The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley 

  • Integrated Cancer Research Core (ICRC) (Subhash Chauhan) – $2,525,000

The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center

  • North Texas Multimodal Small-Animal Imaging Core Facility (Anke Henning) – $3,999,929

Clinical Trials Network Awards – One grant totaling $3,000,000

The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center 

  • Building a Clinical Trial Network for Texas Community Affiliates (Michael Overman) – $3,000,000

Early Clinical Investigator Awards – Five awards totaling $7,442,391

The University of Texas at Austin

  • Targeting Src Homology-2 Domain-Containing Phosphatase to Overcome Resistance to Immune Checkpoint Blockade in Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinoma (Kyaw Aung) – $1,443,367

The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio

  • Early Clinical Investigator Award (William Kelly) – $1,499,985

The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center  

  • CPRIT Early Clinical Investigator Award (Moran Amit) – $1,499,042
  • CPRIT Early Clinical Investigator Award (Carl Gay) – $1,499,997

The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center

  • Targeting Altered Metabolism in IDH-Mutant Glioma (Kalil Abdullah) – $1,500,000

 High Impact/High Risk Research Awards – Twenty-eight grants totaling $6,995,235

Baylor College of Medicine 

  • Improving CAR T-Cell Therapy of T-ALL by Cotargeting Additional Antigens (Maksim Mamomkin) – $250,000
  • Exploring the Biological Basis of Ethnic and Social Disparities in Pediatric Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia Outcomes (Jeremy Schraw) – $249,999

Baylor University  

  • Virulence Modulation of Helicobacter pylori, the Strongest Risk Factor for Gastric Cancer (Christopher Kearney) – $248,938

The Methodist Hospital Research Institute 

  • Leveraging Glioma Stem Cell Electrophysiology for Therapy (Robert Rostomily) – $248,028
  • Overcoming Myeloma Resistance to Proteasome Inhibitors (Qing Yi) – $250,000

Rice University

  • Cytokine Factories for the Treatment of Mesothelioma (Omid Veiseh) – $250,000

Southern Methodist University

  • Role of Aberrant Translational Quality Control in Tumorigenesis of Glioblastoma  (Zhihao Wu) – $249,272

Texas A&M University

  • Engineered Enteric Nerve-Perineural Invasion Models to Improve Predictive Preclinical Screens in Early-Stage Colorectal Adenocarcinoma (Shreya Raghavan) – $250,000

Texas A&M University System Health Science Center 

  • Therapeutic Inhibition of Cholangiocarcinoma Progression by Targeting Tumor-Lymphatic Cross Talk (Sanjukta Chakraborty) – $250,000
  • Tunable Epigenetic Remodeling to Modulate CAR T-Cell-Based Immunotherapy (Yubin Zhou) – $250,000

The University of Texas at Arlington

  •  Novel Tumor-Specific Bioactive Nanoparticles for Cancer Therapy (Kytai Nguyen) – $249,999

The University of Texas at Austin

  • Targeting Mitochondrial NAD+ in Leukemias (Xiaolu Cambronne) – $250,000
  • Dissecting Therapeutic Immunomodulation of Gut Microbiome on Colorectal Cancer (Hyun Jung Kim) – $250,000
  • Antibodylike Therapeutics That Target Polyclonal T Cells to CMV-Positive Glioblastomas (Jennifer Maynard) – $250,000

The University of Texas at Dallas

  • Magnetomechanical Modulation of Blood-Brain Barrier Permeability (Zhenpeng Qin) – $250,000

The University of Texas at El Paso

  • Rapid Point-of-Care Detection of Ovarian Cancer Biomarkers Using a Common Thermometer for Low-Resource Settings (Xiujun “James” Ki) – $249,999

The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston  

  • Antibody-Drug Conjugate Combination Treatment for Targeting Colorectal Cancer Cell Plasticity (Kendra Carmon) – $250,000
  • Synergy Between Epigenetic Reprogramming and Wnt Inhibition to Enhance Neuroendocrine Tumor Radionuclide Therapy (Jeffrey Frost) – $249,999
  • Single-Cell Proteomics to Dissect Intratumor Heterogeneity (Sheng Pan) – $250,000

The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio 

  • Targeting Lymphotoxin Beta Receptor in Sensory Neurons for Control of Chemotherapy-Induced Neuropathic Pain (Alexei Tumanov) – $249,996
  • Deciphering BRCA1-BARD1 E3 Ligase Activity in Genome Maintenance and Tumor Suppression (Weixing Zhao) – $250,000

The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center

  • Identification of Collateral Lethal and Synthetic Lethal Targets in Pancreatic and Colorectal Cancers (Ronald DePinho) – $249,994
  • Multiplex CRISPR Genetic Modeling of Polypharmacology for Precision Medicine (Traver Hart) – $250,000
  • Development of TCR-Based Immunotherapies Targeting Hotspot EGFR Mutations for the Treatment of Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer (Alexandre Reuben) – $250,000

The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston 

  • Protein Degradation of CDK9 for Treatment of Drug-Resistant Mantle Cell Lymphoma (Jia Zhou) – $250,000 

The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center

  • Treating Metastatic Cancer Using Microbubble-Assisted Ultrasound-Guided Immunotherapy of Cancer of Cancer (MUSIC) (Jacques Lux) – $249,011
  • High-Throughput Discovery of Anticancer Protein Degraders (Uttam Tambar) – $250,000

 The University of Houston

  • Novel Pharmacodynamic Assay to Predict Response to CDK4/6 Inhibitor Therapy (Meghana Trivedi) – $250,000

Texas Clinical Trials Participation Program Awards – Two grants totaling $2,999,327

Baylor College of Medicine

  • Dan L. Duncan Comprehensive Cancer Center Harris Health Clinical Trials Financial Support Project (Martha Mims) – $1,500,000

The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center

  • Enhancing Access to and Diversity in Cancer Clinical Trials Through a Financial Reimbursement and Outreach Program (David Gerber) – $1,499,327

Texas Regional Excellence in Cancer Awards – Two grants totaling $11,881,670

Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center

  • Texas Regional Excellence in Cancer Developmental Therapeutics Center at TTUHSC (Charles Reynolds) – $5,999,936

The University of Texas at El Paso

  • UTEP/UTMDACC Partnership for Hispanic Cancer Disparities Research (Marc Cox) – $5,881,734

Recruitment of Rising Stars Awards* – Two grants totaling $7,998,389

  • Yong Lu, PhD, Recruitment to The Methodist Hospital Research Institute from Wake Forest School of Medicine – $3,998,389
  • Tian Zhang, MD, Recruitment to The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center from Duke University Medical Center – $4,000,000

Recruitment of First-Time, Tenure-Track Faculty Members Awards* – Ten grants totaling $19,999,309

  • David Braun, MD, PhD, Recruitment to The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute – $2,000,000
  • Seungwon “Sebastian” Choi, PhD, Recruitment to The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center from Harvard Medical School – $2,000,000
  • Kyle Eagen, PhD, Recruitment to Baylor College of Medicine from Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine – $2,000,000
  • Xia Gao, PhD, Recruitment to Baylor College of Medicine from Duke University School of Medicine – $2,000,000
  • Javier Garcia-Bermudez, PhD, Recruitment to The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center from The Rockefeller University – $2,000,000
  • Jason George, MD, PhD, Recruitment to the Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station from The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center – $1,999,309
  • Edward J. Grow, PhD, Recruitment to The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center from the University of Utah – $2,000,000
  • Chad W. Johnston, PhD, Recruitment to Baylor College of Medicine from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology – $2,000,000
  • Shih-Han Lee, DrPh, Recruitment to The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center – $2,000,000
  • Yuan Pan, PhD, Recruitment to The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center from Stanford University – $2,000,000

* Recruitment grants awarded indicate only approval to negotiate offers; at the time of release candidates have not accepted offers.

AWARDED PREVENTION GRANTS

Dissemination of CPRIT-Funded Cancer Control Interventions Awards – Three grants totaling $899,960

Baylor College of Medicine

  • Application of mHealth Technologies to Improve Latino Childhood Cancer Survivor Engagement and Use of Evidence for Personalized Follow-Up Care and Screening (David Poplack) – $299,982 

The University of Texas at Austin

  • Dissemination of a Mailed Stool Testing Program for Colorectal Cancer Prevention in Underserved Communities in Texas (Michael Pignone) – $300,000

University of Houston

  • Taking Texas Tobacco Free: Dissemination to and Implementation Within Agencies Serving Texans Experiencing Homelessness (Lorraine Reitzel) – $299,978

 Evidence-Based Cancer Prevention Services Awards – One grant totaling $1,000,000

Texas Southern University 

  • Texas Southern University Breast Cancer Screening and Prevention Center (Veronica Ajewole) – $1,000,000

Expansion of Cancer Prevention Services to Rural and Medically Underserved Populations Awards – Two grants totaling $4,497,017

Baylor College of Medicine

  •  Strengthening Safety Net Health Systems to Improve Cervical and Colorectal Cancer Screening and Follow-up among the Medically Underserved (Jane R. Montealegre) – $2,497,029

The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston

  • Vaccinating Medically Underserved Women Against HPV: Expansion of Clinical Services to Increase Access (Abbey Berenson) – $1,999,988

Tobacco Control and Lung Cancer Screening – Three grants totaling $4,999,604

Baylor College of Medicine

  • Expansion of the Lung Cancer Screening and Tobacco Control (LCTC) Network to Rural and Medically Underserved Populations (Roger Zoorob) – $1,999,664

Texas A&M University System Health Science Center

  • Increasing Accessibility to Smoking Cessation and Lung Cancer Screening Services for Low-Income/Uninsured Texans (Jason McKnight) – $999,947

The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center

  • A Regional Expansion of Lung Cancer Screening and Patient Navigation (E-LSPAN) (Keith Argenbright) – $1,999,993

AWARDED PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT RESEARCH GRANTS

Texas Company Product Development Awards – Two grants totaling $27,565,207

Dialectic Therapeutics, Inc. 

  • Clinical Development of DT2216, a First-in-Class APTaD™ for Cancer Therapy (Joshua Sills) – $14,449,638

Marker Therapeutics, Inc. 

  • Efficacy of a Multi Tumor Associated Antigen Specific T Cell Therapy in AML Patients following Allogeneic Stem Cell Transplant (Juan Vera) – $13,115,569

To date, CPRIT has awarded $2.9 billion in grants to Texas research institutions and organizations through its academic research, prevention and product development research programs.

CPRIT has recruited 237 distinguished researchers, supported the establishment, expansion or relocation of 43 companies to Texas and generated over $5.7 billion in additional public and private investment.

CPRIT funding has advanced scientific and clinical knowledge and provided 7.4 million life-saving cancer prevention and early detection services reaching Texans from all 254 counties.

On November 5, 2019, Texas voters overwhelmingly approved a constitutional amendment to provide an additional $3 billion to CPRIT for a total $6 billion investment in cancer research and prevention.

Learn more via this link. Follow CPRIT on TwitterFacebook, and LinkedIn; for our previous Cancer coverage, click here.

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FOR THE RECORD: A previous version of this story incorrectly included TTUHSC El Paso as one of the schools awarded grant money; TTUHSC in Lubbock was the correct school. We apologize for any confusion.

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