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Last modified: Tuesday, October 28, 2008

IU School of Medicine researchers earn Susan G. Komen for the Cure grants

Oct. 28, 2008

INDIANAPOLIS -- Faculty members of the Indiana University School of Medicine have been awarded research grants from Susan G. Komen for the Cure. John Foley, David Gilley and Hiromi Tanaka are among recipients of an unprecedented $100 million in grants Komen awarded to American and international scientists.

Simon Cancer Center

IU Simon Cancer Center

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Foley, assistant professor in the IU School of Medicine's Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology and a researcher with the IU Simon Cancer Center, received a $463,499 grant for his research in breast cancer cell resistance to drugs and how that may lead the cancer to develop elsewhere.

Komen presented Gilley, assistant professor in the IU School of Medicine's Department of Medical and Molecular Genetics and a researcher with the IU Simon Cancer Center, with a $600,000 grant to study breast tumor formation in cancer stem-like cells.

Hiromi Tanaka,of the IU School of Medicine's Department of Medical and Molecular Genetics, was awarded a $450,000 grant for her research focusing on a simple blood test to identify genetic marker alterations for very early detection of breast cancer.

"Our researchers continue to contribute to national efforts to reduce the burden of breast cancer," said Dr. Stephen Williams, the director of the IU Simon Cancer Center and HH Gregg Professor of Oncology with the IU School of Medicine. "They are making discoveries in their laboratories, and in turn, are helping to make real differences in the care of patients here and elsewhere."

Komen's pledge represents the largest commitment to breast cancer research funding by a single non-profit organization and will be distributed among 81 universities and hospitals in 27 states and five countries. The grants will be channeled toward research efforts offering the highest likelihood of producing results for patients during the next decade.

The Indianapolis Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure played an integral role in raising funds to support the research initiatives. Through the local Race for the Cure and other fundraising events, the Indianapolis Affiliate contributed more than $800,000 toward the national research pledge.

"The Indianapolis Affiliate provides opportunities for everyone to help make a significant difference in the fight against breast cancer," said Dana Curish, executive director of the Indianapolis Affiliate. "Everyone who supports our work by volunteering or participating in an event like the Komen Indianapolis Race for the Cure can feel good about meeting breast health needs within the community we serve while helping to move Susan G. Komen for the Cure closer to our mission of a world without breast cancer."