Metavivor Announces 2018 Grant Awards for Metastatic Breast Cancer Research

METAvivor Research and Support announces 17 new grant awards for metastatic breast cancer research totaling $2,350,000. This banner year for grant awards is a result of METAvivor exceeding their Cancer Moon Shot goal of $2 million in research funding. These grants hold promise for future treatments and therapies that may have a significant and positive impact for metastatic breast cancer.
ANNAPOLIS, Md. - Nov. 6, 2018 - PRLog -- METAvivor Research and Support Inc., a non-profit organization dedicated to funding research for Stage IV metastatic breast cancer (MBC), announces seventeen grant awards totaling $2,350,000.  These research grants will enhance the understanding of metastatic breast cancer, and help develop greatly needed therapeutic options to combat this complicated disease. Since its founding in 2009, METAvivor has put 100% of donations into its peer-reviewed research grant program.

Metastatic breast cancer (also known as Stage IV or advanced stage cancer) is the spread of breast cancer to other parts of the body -- most commonly to the bones, liver, lungs and/or brain. Approximately 30% of breast cancer patients metastasize, with the mean survival after diagnosis being 33 months. In the US, only 2-5% of all cancer research funds are dedicated to Stage IV cancer research – yet 99% of all breast cancer deaths are caused by a metastasis.

This is the ninth annual grant cycle funded by METAvivor, and this year, METAvivor is awarding grants from two award programs.  The Early Career Investigator Award program is focused on funding grants for early career metastatic breast cancer researchers, while our Translational Research Grant awards program, is targeted at career metastasis researchers with a total award of up to $200,000 per grant for 2018.

In addition, we are pleased to present the grants based on funds from our donors and fundraisers who have helped METAvivor to achieve and exceed its challenge goal for the Cancer Moon Shot Initiative to fund $2.35 million in research.

Beth Fairchild, President of METAvivor, said, "We are thrilled and humbled that our supporters have helped exceed our Cancer Moonshot goal of funding $2 million in research for stage IV metastatic breast cancer.  Including this year's grant awards, METAvivor has awarded a total of 62 grants totaling over $6,350,000 to cancer metastases researchers for treatments focusing on the already-metastasized patient."

"We hope that these grants, and the vital research that they fund, will move us closer to fulfilling our mission to transform metastatic breast cancer from a terminal disease into a chronic, manageable condition. We would like to thank our donors, fundraisers, research partners, sponsors and the metastatic breast cancer community for their ongoing support and commitment."

Below are the METAvivor 2018 grant recipients:


  • Ana Garrido-Castro, MD, Research Fellow in Medicine. Dana-Farber Cancer Institute "Identifying predictive biomarkers of response to PD-1 inhibition in metastatic triple-negative breast cancer"

  • Gloria Echeverria, PhD, Post-Doctoral Fellow, MD Anderson Cancer Center "Elucidation and functionalization of transcriptomic heterogeneity of established multi-organ metastases in patient-derived xenograft models of triple-negative breast cancer"

  • Dee Lakhani Shravah - MetaBash presents Fransisca Leonard, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow, Godin Lab, Houston Methodist Hospital Research Institute "CRISPR-nanoparticle for macrophage reprogramming: New therapeutic strategy for breast cancer liver metastasis"

  • The Triangle Metsquerade in Loving Memory of Kristie Godwin Rolan presents Sophia Lunt, PhD, Assistant Professor Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Michigan State University "Targeting Sialic Acid Metabolism to Stop Metastatic Breast Cancer"

  • Petrocelli-SWFL Metsquerade presents Mark Headley, PhD, Assistant Member Clinical Research Division Faculty Member Immunotherapy Integrated Research Center, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center "Monocyte Contribution To Lung Metastasis Of Breast Cancer"

  • Monica Hill – Be Bold, Behold presents, Josh Neman, PhD, Assistant Professor Neurosurgery, University of Southern California "Chemotherapy and tau interplay permeabilize BBB and facilitate brain metastasis"

  • Rachel Stewart, DO, PhD, Assistant Professor, University of Kentucky "Characterizing Metastatic Breast Cancer Heterogeneity through Post-Mortem Tissue Collection"

  • The METAribbon Challengers present Julio Aguirre-Ghiso, PhD, Professor, Medicine, Hematology and Medical Oncology, Otolaryngology, Oncological Sciences, Icahn School of Medicine "Targeting Intrinsic and Immune Mechanisms in Persistent Dormant Cancer Cells in Stage IV Breast Cancer"

  • Charles Clevenger, MD, PhD, Carolyn Wingate Hyde Endowed Chair in Cancer Researchm Chair, Department of Pathology, Virginia Commonwealth University "Macrophage-based immunotherapy for eradication of pre-existing breast cancer metastases"

  • Erin Remme Minneapolis Metsquerade presents Dorraya El-Ashry, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, University of Minnesota School of Medicine "Eliminate breast cancer metastasis by targeting the tumor microenvironment"

  • Janet Funk, PhD, Professor Medicine, University of Arizona Cancer Center "Improving immunotherapies for advanced metastatic breast cancer"

  • Drive 4 Stage IV In Memory of Pam King presents Andrei Goga, MD, PhD, Professor, Dept. of Cell and Tissue Biology, University of California San Francisco "Targeting the MYC Pathway in Metastatic Breast Cancer"

  • Erik Nelson, PhD, Assistant Professor, Molecular and Integrative Physiology, University of Illinois "Improving survival in stage IV breast cancer by targeting dormant breast cancer cells in bone"

  • Abby Rappaport presents Axel Schönthal, PhD, Associate Professor of Molecular Microbiology & Immunology, University of Southern California "Targeting an immune-suppressive cholesterol metabolite in the treatment metastatic breast cancer"

  • The Davis-Quinn Northwest Arkansas Metsquerade presents Brad St Croix, PhD, Senior Associate Scientist, National Cancer Institute "Pharmacological inhibition of myocardin-family proteins as a novel strategy to combat metastatic breast cancer"

  • Dihua Yu, MD, PhD, Distinguished Teaching Professor and Deputy Chair, Department of Molecular and Cellular Oncology, MD Anderson Cancer Center "Combating Breast Cancer Brain Metastasis by Blocking CDK5 Driver Kinase Function"

  • Chicago Metsquerade in Memory of Beth Janiak-Geoghegan presents Fiona Yull, PhD, Associate Professor, Vanderbilt School of Medicine "Controlled Opening of the Blood-Brain Barrier to Achieve Therapeutic Access of Trastuzumab in HER2-Positive Brain Metastases"

METAvivor Research and Support Inc. is an Annapolis-based, 501(c)(3), volunteer-led, non-profit organization founded by metastatic breast cancer (MBC) patients in 2009.  Our main focus is to fund critical research that will lead to advances in treatment options, quality of life and survival for patients diagnosed with MBC.  Since 2009, METAvivor has awarded 62 research grants totaling over $6.3 million. METAvivor is the only national organization with a peer-reviewed grant program aimed at exclusively funding MBC research, and 100% of all donations go to fund research.

METAvivor also raises awareness of MBC, provides support for people living with this disease, and offers opportunities for others to help make a difference for the metastatic community. METAvivor has gained a rapidly growing following within the breast cancer community, and has become a leader in its field.

Visit us at, and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Sonya Negley, Executive Director
METAvivor Research and Support, Inc.

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