Prof. Yechezkel Barenholz and Prof. Alberto Gabizon of the Faculty of Medicine developed Doxil, an anti-cancer drug approved for the treatment of Kaposi's sarcoma, ovarian cancer, multiple myeloma and breast cancer.  (Photo by Nati Shohat/Flash90)
Prof. Yechezkel Barenholz and Prof. Alberto Gabizon of Hebrew University-Hadassah Medical School developed Doxil, an anti-cancer drug approved for the treatment of Kaposi’s sarcoma, ovarian cancer, multiple myeloma and breast cancer. Photo by Nati Shohat for Hebrew University

The Israel Cancer Research Fund (ICRF) announced 94 new grants, totaling $3,453,332, for the 2014/2015 funding year at The Barbara S. Goodman Annual Scientific Awards evening in New York recently.

Among the areas of cancer research directly sponsored by ICRF in 2014/2015 are studies in bone, brain, breast, colorectal, gastrointestinal, liver, lung, kidney, bone  marrow transplantation, ovarian, pancreatic, prostate, and uterine cancers; anti-cancer drug mechanisms, multi-drug resistance, and target therapy.

“Israel has the world’s largest concentration of international scientists and physicians but insufficient funds to sponsor all of the vital cancer research projects. With ICRF’s continued support of all areas of cancer research, I believe that many of the cures for cancer will likely come from Israel’s outstanding scientific community,” said ICRF Chairman Kenneth E. Goodman, who sponsored the annual award and donor recognition evening named in memory of his wife, Barbara S. Goodman, who lost her battle to pancreatic cancer.

The mission of the Israel Cancer Research Fund is to harness Israel’s scientific talent to find a cure for cancer.  Since awarding its first grants in 1977, the ICRF has now funded 2,115 grants valued at a total of $52,361,664.

ICRF grantees have earned distinguished honors including the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, the G.H.A. Clowes Award from the American Association for Cancer Research, The  Gairdner International Award,  the Lasker Award in Basic Medical Research and the Israel Prize.  ICRF-funded research has helped lead to the development of life-saving drugs such as Gleevec, Doxil and Velcade; the discovery of the location and chemical nature of the p53 tumor-suppressor gene; and the identification of the “Philadelphia Chromosome,” the first abnormal chromosome found in leukemia.

“We are very proud of the scientific awards that have been granted this year, especially because our funding has reached a record high for 2014 -2015.  We are also pleased to pay  tribute to the contributors to ICRF who have funded the five major research grants categories, as well as honor the recipients of our President’s, Chairman’s and Trustee’s awards for significant unrestricted gifts to ICRF,” said Eric Heffler, national executive director of ICRF.

ICRF grants are chosen by a 26-member Scientific Review  Panel composed of world renowned scientists from the US and Canada.