Stanford Cancer Institute (SCI) Innovation Award Recipients

August 2019

The Stanford Cancer Institute’s (SCI) mission is to reduce cancer mortality and improve cancer care through comprehensive programs of cancer research, prevention, treatment, education and outreach. To achieve its mission, the leadership and members relentlessly pursue multiple strategic aims which include fostering interdisciplinary basic cancer research, translating scientific discovery into clinical research and optimal patient care, developing improved approaches to the prevention, early detection, precise diagnosis and effective treatment of cancer, and improving the cancer patient experience by developing and validating innovative initiatives in patient-centered care.

In keeping with its core mission, the SCI offers seed grant Innovation Awards to support bold and creative projects focused on the acceleration of basic, translational, clinical and population-based cancer research, and projects focused on specific types of cancer, such as pancreatic, breast and gynecologic cancers.  The SCI recently announced eleven recipients of SCI Innovation Awards for funding beginning in September 2019.  Congratulations to this cycle’s selected projects:

SCI Cancer Innovation Award

  • “Reprogramming Cancer Cells into Antigen Presenting Cells for Cancer Vaccination”; Ravi Majeti, MD, PhD; Paul Wender, PhD; Bob Weymouth, PhD
  • “Identification of Genetic Mutations in Patients With Multiple Primary Melanomas”; Kavita Sarin, MD, PhD; Susan Swetter, MD; Justin Ko, MD, MBA; Shaundra Eichstadt, MD
  • “Pilot study to improve survivorship care related to fertility and family-building after cancer”; Catherine Benedict, PhD; Lidia Schapira, MD; David Spiegel, MD; Jonathan Berek, MD; Allison Kurian, MD; Rubin Alvero, MD; Pamela Simon, NP
  • “A Surgical Window of Opportunity Trial Evaluating a Single Dose of Dostarlimab (Anti-PD-1) on Gestational Trophoblastic Neoplasia as a Model of Immune Marker Response”; Elisabeth Diver, MD

SCI Pancreatic Cancer Innovation Award

  • “Early detection of pancreas cancers through multi-omic circulating tumor DNA profiling”; Daniel King, MD, PhD; Ash Alizadeh, MD, PhD       
  • “Development of a novel immunocompetent and physiologically-relevant mouse model for human pancreatic cancer”; Hiro Nakauchi, MD, PhD     

Stanford Women’s Cancer Center Innovation Award

  • “Profiling and Optimizing Ovarian Cancer Immunotherapy Responses in Patient-Derived Organoid Cultures”; Calvin Kuo, MD, PhD; Brooke Howitt, MD; Amer Karam, MD
  • “Soluble CA-125 in Ovarian Cancer: Functional Implications and Therapeutic Targeting”; Venkatesh Krishnan, PhD; Oliver Dorigo, MD, PhD; Carolyn Bertozzi, PhD
  • “B7-H3 Targeted Microbubble Imaging for Early Breast Cancer Detection in the Radiographically Dense Breast”; Jeremy Dahl, PhD; Ramasamy Paulmurugan, PhD; Amalie Lutz, MD
  • “Targeting Multiple Cancer Types with Autologous iPSC-based Vaccine”; Joseph Wu, MD, PhD; Mark Pegram, MD; Melinda Telli, MD

SCI Nodal Grant Award

The SCI offers a new funding mechanism, which aims to catalyze the planning and execution of multi-PI grants from the National Cancer Institute, including R01s and P01s.  We are pleased to announce our inaugural recipient of this new award.

  • Systems Biology Approach to Dissecting Gamma-Delta T/NK Cell Cytotoxic Antitumor Networks”; Andrew Gentles, PhD; John Sunwoo, MD; Yueh-Hsiu Chien, PhD

The SCI Innovation Awards

The SCI Innovation Awards celebrate the dedication of some of Stanford’s most innovative thinkers.  By supporting the novel ideas and groundbreaking work of the awardees, either as individual or group awards, the SCI enhances investigator potential to find solutions that will alter the future of cancer research and patient care.  Since 2006, the SCI has provided over $13M in research related award funding.

A call for proposal for the next round of SCI Innovation Awards will take place in September 2019 with a funding start date of March 2020.  Proposals can be submitted through the SCI’s new online seed funding intake site.