Press Releases

Uniting Against Lung Cancer Awards Over $1.5 Million in Lung Cancer Research Grants

Published: March 4th, 2014

(New York, NY) - March 4, 2014 - Uniting Against Lung Cancer (UALC) has committed over $1.5 million to support groundbreaking, innovative lung cancer research this year, bringing total funding for lung cancer research to over $11.5 million.

Lung cancer is the nation’s deadliest cancer, responsible for over 220,000 new diagnoses and nearly 160,000 cancer deaths each year. With the support of Partners across the country, UALC funds the critical research that will improve treatment options and find a cure for lung cancer patients. These efforts have led to over $55 million in continued support from federal and public sources, new therapies in clinical trials, and major advances improving treatment for thousands of lung cancer patients.

Recipients of funding are selected by the UALC Medical Committee, comprised of the top physicians and scientists in the field. This year’s grantees are developing new methods for early detection of lung cancer; investigating new targets and novel therapies for both small cell and non small cell lung cancer; and gaining a greater understanding of the origins of lung cancer to find a cure for the nation’s leading cancer killer.

Recipients of UALC funding are:

Collin Blakely, MD, PhD
University of California, San Francisco
Evolution and impact of tumor molecular heterogeneity on response to EGFR-targeted lung cancer therapy
Sponsored by Uniting Against Lung Cancer and Free to Breathe

Emily Cheng, MD, PhD
Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
Targeting the BCL-2 Family in Small Cell Lung Cancer
Sponsored by The Judy & Fred Wilpon Foundation and Tishman Speyer

William Cheung, PhD
Yale University
Treating metastasis by differentiation therapy: Identifying druggable pathways
Sponsored by The Tom Zangas Lung Cancer Foundation and the Mike Pascucci Lung Cancer Association

Curtis Chong, MD, PhD
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Combination screening of targeted therapies as a strategy to understand and overcome resistance to EGFR inhibitors in lung cancer patients
Sponsored by the Marjorie M. Fisher Fund, the Tighe-Hidalgo Foundation, and the Office of Dr. David Hidalgo

Subhajyoti De, PhD
University of Colorado, Denver
Identifying potential driver mutations in gene promoters in a cohort of completely sequenced NSCLC genomes
Sponsored by Elliot's Legacy and Joan's Legacy

Anna Farago, MD, PhD
Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center
Leveraging genetically engineered preclinical models of small cell lung cancer for advanced therapeutic studies
Sponsored by Elliot's Legacy and Joan's Legacy

Christine Fillmore, PhD
Children’s Hospital Boston
Epigenetic inhibitors in personalized therapy for Brg1 and EGFR mutant lung tumors
Joan's Legacy in honor of Meryl Bralower

Zeynep Gumus, PhD
Weill Cornell Medical College
Identification of Constitutional Risk Genes for Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Adenocarcinoma
Sponsored by The Ira Waldbaum Family Foundation and The Malinsky Family Charitable Trust

Sandra Hofmann, PhD
University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
Protein Palmitoyltransferase DHHC5 as a Therapeutic Target for Lung Cancer
Sponsored by Elliot's Legacy and Joan's Legacy

Matthew Niederst, PhD
Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center
Determining the mechanisms of intrinsic and acquired resistance to the 3rd generation EGFR inhibitor CO-1686
Sponsored by Pershing Square Capital Management and Joan's Legacy

Ann Marie Pendergast, PhD
Duke University Medical Center
Novel druggable pathway required for lung cancer progression and metastasis
Sponsored by The Hank Thompson Fund, Lily’s Light, and the Caine Halter Fund for Lung Cancer Research

David Shackelford, MD, PhD
University of California, Los Angeles
Targeting LKB1-deficient non-small cell lung cancer through the NRF2 pathway
Sponsored by Greenlight Capital and The Durst Organization

Takeshi Shimamura, PhD
Loyola University Chicago
BET bromodomain inhibitor resistance in LKB1 deficient mutant KRAS NSCLC
Sponsored by Chicago Lung Run

Ferdinandos Skoulidis, MD, PhD
MD Anderson Cancer Center
Impact of NF1 inactivation on the pathogenesis, signaling circuitry and therapeutic responsiveness of NSCLC in a novel co-clinical trial of targeted therapy.
Sponsored by Elliot's Legacy and Joan's Legacy

Alison Taylor, PhD
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Chromosomal Gains in Lung Squamous Carcinoma
Sponsored by the Nancy Raisman Memorial Fund

To see a complete description of the funded projects and to learn more about supporting UALC Scientific Programs, visit

About Uniting Against Lung Cancer

Uniting Against Lung Cancer is dedicated to funding innovative research that enables patients, smokers and non-smokers alike, to win their battles with lung cancer and live healthy, cancer-free lives years after diagnosis. UALC and its Partners across the country raise awareness and critical funds for lung cancer research. For more information, please visit