10 Bladder Cancer Projects Awarded Research Grants by Johns Hopkins Greenberg Bladder Cancer Institute


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The Johns Hopkins Greenberg Bladder Cancer Institute is a collaborative initiative of the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center, the Brady Urological Institute, the Bloomberg School of Public Health, and the School of Medicine. It aims to develop new clinical strategies for combating bladder cancer through intensive, collaborative, and innovative research and awards grants of up to $50,000 each year to encourage young investigators to take on research that advances the science and treatment of bladder cancer and to leverage existing resources and expertise. The grants, renewable for up to 3 years, are awarded in the following areas: genetic and epigenetic approaches; immunotherapy; targeted therapies; patient care, prevention, and screening; and pioneering studies. This is the second year of grant awards for the institute, which started in May 2014.

The awardees include six new projects and four renewed projects.

New Recipients

The new recipients and their projects are:

  • Corinne Joshu, PhD, MPH, Assistant Professor of Epidemiology at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Assistant Professor of Oncology at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center, for “Investigating the Influence of Obesity and Metabolic Perturbations on Bladder Cancer Risk” 
  • Anirudha Singh, PhD, Assistant Professor of Urology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, for “Regenerative Urology: From Micro Ureters to Mini Bladders” 
  • Margaret Knowles, PhD, Professor of Experimental Cancer Research at the University of Leeds, United Kingdom, for “Characterization of Gender-Related Mutation of KDM6A/UTY in Bladder Cancer” 
  • Alexander Baras, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor of Pathology and Urology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, for “Characterization of Neoadjuvant Chemotherapy Response Predictors and the Immunological Microenvironment in Muscle-Invasive Urothelial Carcinoma of the Bladder” 
  • Shawn E. Lupold, PhD, Associate Professor of Urology, Oncology, and Radiation Oncology and Molecular Radiation Sciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, for “Identification and Characterization of Genetic Factors That Contribute to Exceptional Therapeutic Responses in Locally Advanced Bladder Cancer” 
  • Michael Johnson, MD, Instructor of Urology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, for “Rapid Lymphocyte Enrichment and Expansion Using Tumor-Specific Neoantigens in Urothelial Cell Carcinoma”

Renewed Grants

The awardees of renewed grants and their projects are:

  • Trinity Bivalacqua, MD, PhD, Associate Professor of Urology, Surgery, and Oncology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and Director of Urologic Oncology at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center, for “Nanoparticle Approaches to Improving the Immunologic Response to Intravesical Therapy for Nonmuscle-Invasive Bladder Cancer”
  • George Netto, MD, Professor of Pathology, Urology, and Oncology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, for “TERT-Promoter Mutations Assay for Early Detection and Monitoring of Bladder Cancer” 
  • Peter O’Donnell, MD, Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Chicago, for “Genetic Diversity of T-Cell Receptors Impacting Antitumor Effects in Bladder Cancer”
  • Armine Smith, MD, Assistant Professor of Urology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, for “Pilot Study of TRAIL and BCG Combination Therapy in Bladder Cancer”

Applications will be made available online this summer for the next round of funding at http://pilotprojects.onc.jhmi.edu/. ■



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