The Shmunis Family Innovation Award supports the bold and creative research of Stanford cancer researchers with award funding of $50,000-$100,000 per project to develop and test potential new therapeutic drug candidates that could lead to early phase clinical trials and transformative new treatments for patients. This award was made possible by a generous gift from The So Inclined Philanthropic Foundation, the Family Foundation of Vlad and Sandra Shmunis.
Vlad and Sandra Shmunis are deeply committed to cancer research. Cancer is a disease that has unfortunately touched their family and far too many other families around the world. Their goal is to help make an impact by advancing research and bring new cancer therapies – and hope - to cancer patients and families.
Advancing new cancer treatments hinges on the success of a robust research and drug development program. Now more than ever, research and discovery are accelerating at a rapid pace. The SCI is focused on empowering researchers to pursue high-risk, high-reward drug development projects.
SUBMISSION DEADLINE: Closed
Steven Corsello, MD, Assistant Professor of Medicine (Oncology), was awarded a $50,000 Shmunis Family Innovation Awards in Cancer Therapeutics award for his project entitled “Harnessing an E3 ligase for pancreatic cancer therapy.” Dr. Corsello is a physician-scientist and medical oncologist, and his laboratory operates at the intersection of functional genomics and chemical biology with the goal of advancing novel molecular mechanisms of cancer inhibition to clinical use.
Pancreatic cancer is a devastating disease: 5 years after diagnosis, only 11% of patients are alive. New strategies are urgently needed—but developing a new drug from scratch can take upwards of a decade, with disappointing historical success rates. To enable the discovery of new therapeutic opportunities at scale, Dr. Corsello employed a pooled method to efficiently test thousands of existing drugs for their ability to kill hundreds of diverse models of human cancer. Candidate drug mechanisms were elucidated with functional genomic screens. He discovered E3-targeting compounds with potent activity against pancreatic cancers. Through the support of the Shmunis Family Innovation Awards in Cancer Therapeutics award and a collaborative effort across the Stanford Cancer Institute, Dr. Corsello aims to determine the mechanism-of-action and therapeutic potential for E3-targeting compounds using the latest laboratory methods. The success of this project will elucidate a new cancer vulnerability and enable a pancreatic cancer clinical development program.
2022 Spring Cancer Therapeutics Awardees
“A novel engineered protein therapeutic for treatment of lung adenocarcinoma” Cochran, Jennifer
“Improving genome editing technologies to enable chimeric-antigen receptor macrophage (CHARM)-based cellular therapy in cancer” Bhatt, Ami; Bassik, Michael; Bintu, Lacramioara
“Biomarkers of immune response in solid tumor patients treated with a novel checkpoint inhibitor combination” Chen, Chris; Satpathy, Ansuman