Science researcher C. David Allis is head of the Laboratory of Chromatin Biology and Epigenetics at Rockefeller University, and he has been awarded a $1 million grant from the Starr Cancer Consortium. As the leader of one of five cancer research teams from New York City based members of the consortium, Allis was one of 27 people to submit a grant application and a member of one of five collaborative cancer research teams selected as a winner. The Starr Cancer Consortium gave out a total of $5 million dollars over two years.
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Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center cell engineering researchers and their clinician colleagues have been in the news recently for a successful experimental cell therapy. Called targeted immunotherapy, a patient's T cells are genetically altered in the lab, then reintroduced with the directive to target and kill cancer cells. The treatment was carried out on a group of adults who all suffered from a rapidly progressing form of leukemia that had not responded to chemotherapy. All five went into remission after the novel cell treatment, and three have stayed that way for a number of months. Results of the ongoing clinical trial appeared in the March 20 online edition of the journal Science Translational Medicine, along with an article in the New York Times.
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Of the eleven scientists just announced as winners of the new Life Sciences Breakthrough Prize, four of them have their labs within a block or two of each other in Manhattan: two at Rockefeller University, one at Weill Cornell Medical College, and one at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. The prize, given to recognize past achievement in research aimed at curing disease and extending human life, comes with $3M to allow each of those researchers the freedom and flexibility to pursue even more groundbreaking work in the future. The founding sponsors of the prize are tech entrepreneurs Sergey Brin (Google) and Anne Wojcicki, Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook) and Priscilla Chan, Art Levinson (Apple), and Yuri Milner (venture capitalist). The 11 winners this year will serve on the board to choose 5 winners each in subsequent years.
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The Clinical & Translational Science Center (CTSC) headquartered at Manhattan's Weill Cornell Medical College has just received a $49.6M renewal of its 5-year grant by the NIH's National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) in order to continue its work. Launched seven years ago, the the CTSC set out to realize the successful integration of inter-institutional resources among neighbors on York Avenue and the immediate area. The resulting cluster of New York's East Side institutions forms a unique and cohesive biomedical complex collectively dedicated to accelerating the clinical application of basic science discoveries.
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