News Release: Research , Winship Cancer Institute

Apr. 19,  2010

Winship Cancer Institute Announces Inaugural "Kennedy Seed Grant Research Awards"

The Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University has awarded five faculty members with research grants as part of the inaugural Kennedy Seed Grant Research Awards. Walter J. Curran, Jr, MD, executive director of the Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University, made the announcement today.

The awardees each will receive $50,000 for up to two years to support high-impact cancer research projects. The Kennedy Seed Grant Research Awards are presented to cancer research faculty to support innovative projects, encourage career growth and foster greater collaboration among investigators.

The grants are made possible through a generous gift of $4.7 million from James Kennedy, CEO of Cox Enterprises, and his wife, Sarah. The Kennedys made the gift to Winship to help support innovative cancer research that is not currently supported through other funding sources. These grants are just one component of how Winship will utilize the total gift to advance cancer research.

Additional Winship initiatives include:

  • Recruitment of faculty researchers
  • Support of investigator-initiated clinical trials
  • Further development of Winship's Survivorship Program for patients and their loved ones
  • Mentoring for young physicians and investigators by senior Winship investigators.

"We very much appreciate the Kennedy family's outstanding commitment to supporting cancer research here at Winship," says Curran. "We have further demonstrated the value and importance of this gift through support of these terrific cancer researchers."

Winship established the competitive Kennedy Seed Grant program according to National Institutes of Health grant-scoring guidelines. A review panel of Winship senior-level faculty members reviewed 39 proposals submitted by faculty members who are early in their careers. The five grant recipients are based in five different academic departments in two schools at Emory and represent membership in all four Winship scientific programs.

The Kennedy Seed Grant winners are:

  • Daqing Wu, PhD, assistant professor, Department of Urology
    Project: EPLIN as a master regulator of EMT and metastasis
  • Xingming Deng, PhD, associate professor, Department of Radiation Oncology
    Project: Identification of Bax agonists for development of novel anti-cancer drugs
  • Brian Pollack, MD, PhD, assistant professor, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
    Project: Defining the Impact of Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor Signaling on the Expression of MHC Class II Genes
  • Suresh Ramalingam, MD, associate professor, Department of Hematology and Medical Oncology
    Project: Breath analysis for early detection of lung cancer
  • Carla Berg, PhD, assistant professor, Department of Behavioral Sciences and Health Education
    Project: A Smoking Cessation Intervention for Lung Cancer and Head/Neck Cancer Survivors

Each investigator will present a report on research progress in October, with a final report to be presented in April, 2011.


The Robert W. Woodruff Health Sciences Center of Emory University is an academic health science and service center focused on missions of teaching, research, health care and public service.

Learn more about Emory’s health sciences:
Twitter: @emoryhealthsci

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