Press Releases

John D. Minna, MD of UT Southwestern Medical Center Receives 2013 Caine Halter Hope Now Award

Published: November 20th, 2013

(New York, NY – November 18, 2013) – Uniting Against Lung Cancer (UALC), one of the nation’s largest private funders of innovative lung cancer research, has named Dr. John Minna, MD of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas the recipient of the 2013 Caine Halter Hope Now Award.

The Hope Now Award, sponsored by the family of Caine Halter, is an annual award recognizing the efforts of research labs developing novel treatment options for lung cancer patients and survivors. Dr. Minna received a grant of $25,000 to be used to further his advances in lung cancer research.

Brian Williams and local news anchor Bill Ritter presented the award to Dr. Minna at the Joan’s Legacy: Uniting Against Lung Cancer 11th Annual Strolling Supper with Blues and News in New York City.  The annual gala had a record breaking year, with over 700 attendees.

“Dr. Minna is considered by many to be one of the founders of modern lung cancer research,” said Linda Wenger, UALC’s Executive Director.  “We are inspired by the pioneering work he is doing in his lab as well as his personal commitment to making a difference for patients battling lung cancer.”

Dr. Minna is the Director of the Hamon Center for Therapeutic Oncology Research at UT Southwestern. He has authored nearly 600 research articles, and has trained over 60 young scientists to be lung cancer researchers. Dr. Minna’s work has focused on understanding the molecular pathogenesis of lung cancer and developing personalized medicine for lung cancer patients. Currently, Dr. Minna is working with a cross-institutional team of scientists to discover all of the “acquired vulnerabilities” in lung cancer and their associated predictive molecular signatures.

“This honor from Uniting Against Lung Cancer and the Caine Halter Fund will help us characterize these totally new targets and work towards developing new drugs that can be used to treat lung cancer patients,” said Dr. Minna. “Support from organizations like Uniting Against Lung Cancer is making these advances a reality.”

Caine Halter was a non-smoker whose life was taken by lung cancer in 2007 after a valiant thirteen month battle. Inspired by his courage and grace, Caine’s family and friends committed to raising funds for lung cancer research in his honor, so that others diagnosed may have a fighting chance to live. Over the last five years, the Halter Family has raised over $900,000 to directly fund critical lung cancer research through Uniting Against Lung Cancer’s Scientific Programs.

Lung cancer is the nation’s deadliest cancer, and will kill nearly 160,000 Americans this year, as many as ­colon, breast, pancreatic and prostate cancers combined. Yet it receives less federal research funding per death than any of the other major cancers.

Uniting Against Lung Cancer (UALC) is dedicated to funding innovative research and raising awareness to find a cure for lung cancer. We have been joined by like-minded groups across the country to raise funds for groundbreaking research. Since 2003, we have awarded over $10 million to academic investigators, leading to over $55 million in follow-on funding, new researchers entering the field and scientific progress that is already impacting lung cancer patients.