#BreakingNews: Susan G. Komen® Invests in the Future of Breast Cancer Research

Kansas Researchers Will Receive More Than $442,000 in New Research Funding

DALLAS, TEXAS – Oct. 1, 2014 – Following through on a commitment to young scientists and clinicians, the Susan G. Komen® organization today announced new grants to more than 50 early-career breast cancer researchers almost half of Komen’s $34.7 million investment in new breast cancer research funding for 2014.

The grants include more than $442,000 in new funding for research at two institutions in Kansas, bringing Komen’s total research investment in Kansas to $8 million since 1982. Seven million of those dollars have been committed to the Greater Kansas City service area specifically.

“Our 2014 grants are intended to ensure continuity in breast cancer research for years to come,” said Komen President and CEO Judith A. Salerno, M.D., M.S.  “With federal research dollars tightening, we’re deeply concerned that a generation of promising breast cancer researchers will be lost to other fields.

“While we fund young researchers, we’re also continuing to grant to established researchers whose work has led to significant progress against this disease,” she said.

Komen is funding nearly $16 million in new grants to early-career researchers – those who are still in training and those at the earliest stages of their research careers. The remaining funds are being granted to leading breast cancer scientists who have already made significant contributions to the field, and to support scientific programs and partnerships that advance Komen’s mission to end breast cancer forever.

Komen is the largest nonprofit funder of breast cancer research, with more than $847 million invested since its founding in 1982. But research is just one aspect of Komen’s mission: since 1982, Komen and its Affiliates have invested more than $1.8 billion in community health outreach and global programs that last year served more than half a million women and men facing breast cancer. More than 80 cents of every dollar Komen spends is devoted to mission programs.

Komen’s Investments in Kansas

Komen’s research program is funded in part by contributions from local Komen Affiliates across the country, which annually contributes 25 percent of net funds raised in their local community to Komen’s research program, with the remaining 75 percent staying in the community to fund community outreach programs.

Since 1994, the Greater Kansas City Affiliate has funded more than $10.5 million to community programs serving local women and men, while contributing more than $3.5 million to Komen research. This past year, Komen Kansas City contributed nearly $700,000 to our local community partnership program  and invested $325,000 in critical research grants

“We’re very proud that the funds we’ve raised in the Greater Kansas City area are not only providing real-time help to our neighbors, but coming back to our local universities and hospitals for research that can save lives,” said Carli Good, Executive Director of the Kansas City Affiliate.

In Kansas, researchers will receive $442,500 to investigate breast cancer metastasis and risk reduction.

  • $180,000 in funding to Rebecca Marquez, Ph.D., of University of Kansas Center for Research to develop a novel therapies for metastatic breast cancer using microRNAs, powerful regulatory molecules that can inhibit the expression of many genes and proteins.
  • $200,000 in continued funding to Komen Scholar Danny Welch, Ph.D., of University of Kansas Medical Center will study the genetic factors in mitochondria that cause some breast cancers to metastasize, but not others. Dr. Welch and team will also further investigate the metastatic-suppressing potential of the KISS1 and BRMS1 genes.
  • $62,500 in continued funding to Komen Scholar Carol Fabian, M.D., of University of Kansas Medical Center will conduct a multi-institutional clinical trial that will study a component of flaxseed, known as lignin, for the prevention of breast cancer in women at high risk. She will also identify new biomarkers of response to lignin to strengthen the biological rationale for using lignin for breast cancer risk reduction.

A full list of Komen’s 2014 research grants can be found here. Grant is awarded when agreement is signed with Komen. A list of community health programs funded by the Komen Kansas City Affiliate can be found here. For more information about Komen’s overall mission investments, please visit komen.org.

About Susan G. Komen®

Susan G. Komen is the world’s largest breast cancer organization, funding more breast cancer research than any other nonprofit while providing real-time help to those facing the disease. Since its founding in 1982, Komen has funded over $847 million in research and provided $1.8 billion in funding to screening, education, treatment and psychosocial support programs serving millions of people in more than 30 countries worldwide. Komen was founded by Nancy G. Brinker, who promised her sister, Susan G. Komen, that she would end the disease that claimed Suzy’s life. Visit komen.org or call 1-877 GO KOMEN. Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.

About Susan G. Komen® Greater Kansas City

Through events like the Komen Kansas City Race for the Cure®, the Kansas City Affiliate has invested more than $13.6 million in local community breast health programs in our 17-county service area and in research throughout the US with our national grants program. Up to 75% of net proceeds generated by the Affiliate stay in the Kansas City region. The remaining income (25%) goes to the national Susan G. Komen Grants Program to fund research. For more information visit KomenKansasCity.org or join the conversation on Facebook at facebook.com/KomenKansasCity, Twitter at @KomenKansasCity or Instagram @KomenKC.

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