Today, all of us at the Meso Foundation are extremely excited to share with you the 2013 grant awardees. The peer-review process is now complete, and the top five projects will receive a total funding of $500,000. With the completion of the 2013 grant process, the Meso Foundation’s total funding awarded to mesothelioma research is now $8.7 million!
The grant application process began in April of 2013 and yielded 49 research proposals in the area of mesothelioma research. The Foundation’s Science Advisory Board, which is comprised of 18 world-renowned mesothelioma experts, evaluated and ranked all proposals through a peer-review process modeled after the National Cancer Institute. The top five proposals to come out of this intense peer-review process will receive funding of $100,000 each for a total of half a million dollars.
The grant recipients include Marc De Perrot, MD, of the University Health Network for his project “Optimizing the radiation approach to mesothelioma with immunotherapy”; Christian Ottensmeier of the University of Southampton for his project “Evaluating the effect of immunity on outcomes of patients with mesothelioma”; Tao Dao, MD, PhD, of the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center for his project “Specific immunotherapy for mesothelioma by use of bi-specific TCR-like antibody“; Usha Pendurthi, PhD, of the University of Texas Health Science Center at Tyler for her project “Endothelial Cell Protein C Receptor Attenuates Mesothelioma Progression”; and Elisa Giovannetti, MD, PhD, of the VU University Medical Center for her project “Novel lactate dehydrogenase inhibitors for the treatment of mesothelioma.”
The focus of the five projects is varied, as they all attempt to combat mesothelioma through different mechanisms. One of the projects, in particular, seeks to demonstrate that combining immunotherapy with ‘high intensity/fewer doses of radiation’ (which alone appear to have immunotherapeutic effects), increases tumor reduction compared to each therapy alone. Another project funded seeks to target a protein receptor in the mesothelioma cells that regulates the life cycle of the cell itself, the purpose of which is to stop tumor growth.
As Mary Hesdorffer, NP, states, “All five of these projects are remarkable and hold much promise in their ability to add to our currently limited arsenal for treating mesothelioma.” She speaks for everyone at the Meso Foundation as she continues, “I am very proud of the life-saving work our mesothelioma researchers are doing.”
For complete descriptions of the funded projects, visit curemeso.org/grants2013.