The Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) has granted seven awards totaling $23,000,000, which will be used by different academic facilities to hire top scientists. The grants were awarded through CPRIT’s academic research program and are expected to attract seven new cancer specialists to the region, as announced by the institute in a press release. Among the scientists, there are two distinguished senior researchers.
The awarding of the seven grants was determined through CPRIT’s research review process, recommended by the Scientific Review Council and ratified by the Oversight Committee (OC). “Over the last six years, CPRIT funding has made it possible to recruit nearly 100 of the top cancer scientists in the world to Texas research institutions,” stated CPRIT’s CEO Wayne Roberts. “With these latest grants, we’re well on our way to assembling the finest cluster of cancer expertise in the country.”
Thanks to the academic research program grants, five first-time, tenure-track faculty members were invited to join academic facilities in Texas. $2,000,000 in funding was awarded for the recruitment of Dr. Charles Lin, PhD, from the Dana-Farber Cancer to Baylor College of Medicine, while another $2,000,000 were awarded for the recruitment of Dr. Leng Hand, PhD, from the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center to the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center.
Dr. Jan Erzberger, PhD, was recruited from the Eidgenossische Technische Hochschule (ETH) Zurich to the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center with the support of a $2,000,000 grant. Also to be added to the faculty at the UT Southwestern Medical Center are Dr. Kendra Frederick, PhD, from the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research, who received a $3,000,000 grant, and Dr. Peter Douglas, PhD, from the University of California, Berkeley, who was granted a $2,000,000 award.
In the area of established investigators’ recruitment, two $6,000,000 grants were awarded to support the recruitment of Dr. Frank McKeon, MD, PhD, who will leave the Genome Institute of Singapore (GIS) to join the University of Houston, as well as Dr. Yang-Xin Fu, MD, PhD, from the University of Chicago, who is expected to join the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center.
CPRIT’s Oversight Committee also elected a new presiding officer, Pete Geren, who will replace William Rice. The term of the former OC presiding officer expired and will be replaced by Geren, who is also the President of the Sid W. Richardson Foundation and served between 2001 and 2009 as Special Assistant to the Secretary of Defense, Acting Secretary of the Air Force, Under Secretary of the Army and Secretary of the Army in the U.S. Department of Defense.
Since Geren will leave the position he occupied as vise presiding officer, Will Montgomery became the new vice presiding officer. Currently a partner at Jackson Walker LLP, Montgomery specializes in commercial litigation and arbitration. The committee also decided to re-elect Amy Mitchell, a cancer survivor and real estate attorney, as the OC’s secretary. All three joined CPRIT’s OC in 2013.