Two prominent lung cancer researchers from the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center were recently chosen as two of just sixteen researchers nationwide to receive this year’s crop of $800,000 awards from the Lung Cancer Research Foundation. The announcement was made at the Foundation’s 8th Annual Lung Cancer Awareness Luncheon, which named Dr. Faye Johnson, MD, PhD and Dr. Jonathan Kurie, both of MD Anderson, among the recipients.
Founded in 2005, LCRF has quickly made its mark on lung cancer research, having funded 90 grants—totaling over $4.8 million—for critical research in leading medical institutions in the United States and Canada, most of which has been bolstered by follow-on funding from the National Cancer Institute (NCI). To date, the LCRF is the only non-profit organization dedicated exclusively to providing critical seed funding for cutting-edge scientific research for all cancers of the lung.
Sandra Vassos, Executive Director of the organization, notes that, “This type of support can build proof of concept for researchers to apply for additional grant funding from universities and public sources. LCRF funds research that will make major contributions toward better treatments, screening, and prevention of lung cancer.” The fact that two MD Anderson researchers were awarded LCRF grants this year constitutes a prestigious award for MD Anderson as well, which continues to distinguish itself as staffing the preeminent cancer researchers in the world today.
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Jonathan M. Kurie, M.D., is a professor in the Department of Thoracic/Head and Neck Medical Oncology. Last year, Dr. Kurie received the Potu N. Rao Award for Excellence in Basic Science from MD Anderson. Dr. Faye M. Johnson, M.D., Ph.D., is an Associate Professor in the Department of Thoracic/Head and Neck Medical Oncology, Division of Cancer Medicine, and also serves as an Adjunct Faculty member at The University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences in Houston, Texas. In both 2010 and 2011, Dr. Johnson was a Nominee in Recognition of Mentoring Excellence from MD Anderson Post-Doctoral Association.