Press Releases

Stand Up to Cancer Recognizes Two Uniting Against Lung Cancer Researchers

Published: April 6th, 2011

Uniting Against Lung Cancer (UALC) Grant Recipients Win $1.5 Million in Follow On Funding For Their Innovative Research

Uniting Against Lung Cancer, a leading funder of innovative lung cancer research, is proud to announce that two of its past grant awardees were among the 13 winners of the 2011 Stand Up To Cancer Innovative Research Grants.

Uniting Against Lung Cancer first awarded grants to Eric Alejandro Sweet-Cordero, M.D., of Stanford University in 2007 and Angelique Whitehurst, Ph.D. of The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2009, as seed money for their innovative research in lung cancer. Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C), established by leaders in the film and media industries, is also acknowledging the vital work of these scientists in the fight against cancer by supporting their work with follow on funding in the form of direct research grants.

This year, SU2C funded 13 researchers whose work identifies complex mechanisms that cause cancer to occur and spread, awarding each of them $750,000 over three years to continue their research projects. Dr. Sweet-Cordero and Dr. Whitehurst progressed through an extensive, multi-step evaluation process, and their innovative research promises to improve and save the lives of cancer patients.

Lung cancer is the #1 cancer killer in the United States and five-year survival rates have remained unchanged at 15%. Dr. Sweet-Cordero’s research specifically addresses lung cancer and he and his team are developing new, more effective methods of chemotherapy. Dr. Whitehurst’s research will help identify tumor-specific proteins that cause cancer cells to grow, allowing scientists to kill cancer cells while leaving healthy cells intact.

“The UALC award was instrumental in getting our lung cancer research off the ground at a time when it was hard to get funding from other sources,” said Dr. Sweet-Cordero. “Thanks to this support, we have now been able to get other grants to fund our research including grants from the NIH and the SU2C foundation. Our grant from the SU2C will support research directed at finding ways to make chemotherapy more effective against lung cancer.”

“Uniting Against Lung Cancer is fantastic for young investigators because it allows them to get funding for projects when just starting out, creating research programs that will be committed to specifically studying lung cancer long term,” said Dr. Whitehurst. “UALC’s commitment to innovative research and young investigators gives a real conceptual and practical launch to the careers of young lung cancer scientists.”

“These awards are another indication of the critical importance of Uniting Against Lung Cancer’s grants, especially at a time of federal cutbacks on cancer and biomedical research,” said Linda Wenger, UALC Executive Director. “Our grants provide start up funds for scientists like Dr. Sweet-Cordero and Dr. Whitehurst, enabling them to conduct their cutting-edge projects that will result in new targeted treatments and save lives.”

For more information about Uniting Against Lung Cancer research grants and lung cancer awareness initiatives, visit us online or call us at 212-627-5500.

For more information about Stand Up To Cancer visit