Sarcoma Foundation of America Announces 2024 Research Grant Awards

DAMASCUS, Md. – July 11, 2024 – Sarcoma Foundation of America (SFA) announced the recipients of its 2024 SFA Research Grant Program, awarding $800,000 to advance sarcoma research. The fourteen research grants awarded represent the best, most promising research toward advancing our understanding of and finding a cure for sarcoma, a cancer that arises in the body’s soft tissue and bone. All proposals are peer reviewed and carefully selected by members of SFA’s Medical Advisory Board. The final selections are listed at the end of this document.

“SFA takes pride in being the foremost supporter of private research within the sarcoma community,” said Brandi Felser, Chief Executive Officer of SFA. “These grants represent our best hope for closing the research gap that keeps sarcoma treatment and care behind other cancers and reaching a world where no one has to die from sarcoma.”

Sarcoma is a form of cancer that grows in bone or connective soft tissue such as muscles, blood vessels, or nerves. Scientists have identified more than 100 distinct subtypes of sarcoma. Many of these are aggressive, difficult to diagnose, and lack effective treatment options. While sarcoma makes up only about 1 percent of adult cancers it accounts for 15 to 20 percent of childhood cancers.

Since its inception, SFA has invested more than $20 million in sarcoma research through its research grant program and collaborative research projects. More information on SFA’s research efforts can be found at https://www.curesarcoma.org/sarcoma-research/research-grants-policy/.

Sarcoma Foundation of America 2024 Research Grants

$50,000 Saint Louis Cure Sarcoma 6K Research Award
Samantha Bevill, PhD
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Boston, MA, United States
“Tumor-specific PROTACs that exploit amplified MDM2 in dedifferentiated liposarcoma”

$50,000 Technoblade Memorial Research Award
Joseph Crompton, MD, PhD
University of California, Los Angeles
Los Angeles, CA, United States
“Reversing exhaustion of anti-sarcoma T cells”

$50,000 Richard and Valerie Aronsohn Memorial Research Award
Josephine Dermawan, MD, PhD
Cleveland Clinic
Cleveland, OH, United States
“Genomic and spatial landscapes of leiomyosarcoma with germline pathogenic variants”

$50,000 Michael Pedrick Memorial Research Award
Daniel K Ebner, MD, MPH
Mayo Clinic
Rochester, MN, United States
“Carbon-ion radiotherapy for enhancing treatment response to osteosarcoma”

$50,000 Sarcoma Foundation of America Research Award
Fiona Freeman, PhD
University College Dublin – National University of Ireland
Dublin, Ireland
“Using 3D bioprinting technologies to create an organ-on-chip device for osteosarcoma and its surrounding bone microenvironment: A platform for drug discovery and therapeutic innovation”

$50,000 Chris Langbein Memorial Research Award
Rick Haas, MD PhD
Netherlands Cancer Institute-Antoni van Leeuwenhoek Hospital (NKI-AVL)
Amsterdam, Netherlands
“ ‘SCOPES’, towards a reduced treatment burden for soft tissue sarcoma patients”

$150,000 Richard and Valerie Aronsohn Memorial Research Award
Adrian Marino-Enriquez, MD, PhD
University College Dublin – National University of Ireland
Dublin, Ireland
“Maximizing responses to DNA damage-inducing therapies in LMS”

$50,000 Tirath Family Research Award
David Shultz, MD PhD
University Health Network
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
“Hypoxia-associated multiomic changes in myxofibrosarcoma and undifferentiated pleomorphic sarcoma”

$50,000 John O’Brien Memorial Research Award
Mike Stacey, PhD
Old Dominion University
Norfolk, VA, United States
“Mitochondrial epigenetic processes and transfers in chondrosarcoma cancers with mutant idh2”

$50,000 Steven Vanover Memorial Research Award
Danh Truong, PhD
University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center
Houston, TX, United States
“Identifying EWS::WT1 control and the utility of neogenes in desmoplastic small round cell tumors”

$50,000 Sarcoma Foundation of America Research Award
Sarah Watson, MD, PhD
Institut Curie
Paris, France
“CD24: A new therapeutic target in dedifferentiated liposarcoma”

$50,000 2023 Giving Tuesday Donors Research Award
Lindy Zhang, MD
Johns Hopkins University
Baltimore, MD, United States
“The immunomodulatory effects of RAS signaling pathway inhibitors in MPNST”

$50,000 Ben Tolkan Memorial Award
Sujatha Venkataraman, PhD
University of Colorado Denver, AMC and DC
Aurora, CO, United States
“Targeting Ewing sarcoma using a novel CAR T cell therapy”

$50,000 Don Harp Memorial Research Award
Poul Sorensen, MD, PhD
BC Cancer, part of the Provincial Health Services Authority
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
“Functional validation and targeting of ENPP1 in Ewing sarcoma”

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About the Sarcoma Foundation of America

The Sarcoma Foundation of America (SFA), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charitable organization, is an advocate for increased research to find new and better therapies with which to treat patients with sarcoma. The organization raises money to privately fund grants for sarcoma researchers and conducts education and advocacy efforts on behalf of sarcoma patients. For more information, please visit www.curesarcoma.org.

About Sarcoma

Sarcoma is a rare cancer in adults (1 percent of all adult cancers) but rather prevalent in children (15-20% of all childhood cancers). At any one time, 200,000 patients and their families are struggling with sarcoma. Every year, nearly 17,370 new cases are diagnosed and more than 7,200 people die from the disease.