News: Susan G. Komen® Invests in the Future of Breast Cancer Research

Missouri Researchers Will Receive Nearly $900,000 in New Research Funding

DALLAS, TEXAS – Oct. 1, 2014 – Following through on a commitment to young scientists and clinicians, the Susan G. Komen® organization today announced new grants to more than 50 early-career breast cancer researchers – almost half of Komen’s $34.7 million investment in new breast cancer research funding for 2014.

The grants include nearly $900,000 in new funding for research at Washington University in St. Louis, bringing Komen’s total research investment in Missouri to more than $22 million since 1982.

“Our 2014 grants are intended to ensure continuity in breast cancer research for years to come,” said Komen President and CEO Judith A. Salerno, M.D., M.S. “With federal research dollars tightening, we’re deeply concerned that a generation of promising breast cancer researchers will be lost to other fields.

“While we fund young researchers, we’re also continuing to grant to established researchers whose work has led to significant progress against this disease,” she said.

Komen is funding nearly $16 million in new grants to early-career researchers – those who are still in training and those at the earliest stages of their research careers. The remaining funds are being granted to leading breast cancer scientists who have already made significant contributions to the field, and to support scientific programs and partnerships that advance Komen’s mission to end breast cancer forever.

Komen is the largest nonprofit funder of breast cancer research, with more than $847 million invested since its founding in 1982. But research is just one aspect of Komen’s mission: since 1982, Komen and its Affiliates have invested more than $1.8 billion in community health outreach and global programs that last year served more than half a million women and men facing breast cancer. More than 80 cents of every dollar Komen spends is devoted to mission programs.

Komen’s Investments in Missouri

Komen’s research program is funded in part by contributions from local Komen Affiliates across the country, which annually contribute 25 percent of net funds raised in their local community to Komen’s research program, with the remaining 75 percent staying in the community to fund community outreach programs.

Since 1999, the Susan G. Komen® St. Louis Affiliate has funded more than $29 million to community programs serving local women and men, while contributing more than $9 million to Komen research. Komen St. Louis contributed nearly $600,000 to this year’s research grants program.

“We’re very proud that the funds we’ve raised in the St. Louis region are not only providing real-time help to our neighbors, but also are coming back to our universities and hospitals for research that can save lives,” said Komen St. Louis Executive Director Helen Chesnut.

In Missouri, Washington University researchers will receive nearly $900,000 to investigate breast cancer treatment resistance.

  • $450,000 in funding to Jieya Shao, Ph.D., to understand how mutations in the estrogen receptor (ER) gene cause the receptor to become active without estrogen or amplify production of the ER protein – either of which may drive therapy resistance.
  • Almost $450,000 in funding to Christopher Maher, Ph.D., to investigate the mechanism of resistance to hormone therapy, particularly with regard to the potential impact of a newly identified class of genes called long intergenic non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs), by studying patients enrolled in two aromatase inhibitor clinical trials.

A full list of Komen’s 2014 research grants can be found here. Grant is awarded when agreement is signed with Komen.

A list of community health programs funded by the Komen St. Louis Affiliate can be found here.

For more information about Komen’s overall mission investments, please visit

For more information about Komen St. Louis, please visit

About Susan G. Komen®

Susan G. Komen is the world’s largest breast cancer organization, funding more breast cancer research than any other nonprofit while providing real-time help to those facing the disease. Since its founding in 1982, Komen has funded over $847 million in research and provided $1.8 billion in funding to screening, education, treatment and psychosocial support programs serving millions of people in more than 30 countries worldwide. Komen was founded by Nancy G. Brinker, who promised her sister, Susan G. Komen, that she would end the disease that claimed Suzy’s life. Visit or call 1-877 GO KOMEN. Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.

About Susan G. Komen® St. Louis

The mission of Komen St. Louis is to save lives and end breast cancer forever by empowering people, ensuring quality care for all and energizing science to find the cures. Komen St. Louis is dedicated to meeting the breast health needs of the women, men and families in its 17-county Missouri/Illinois service area. Through events like the Susan G. Komen St. Louis Race for the Cure® and other year-round fundraising opportunities, Komen St. Louis has invested more than $39 million in the fight against breast cancer. Seventy-five percent of the net funds raised here stays in the St. Louis community to fund breast health screening, education and patient navigation programs. The remaining 25 percent goes toward groundbreaking breast cancer research programs in St. Louis and beyond. Visit or call 314.569.3900. Connect with Komen St. Louis on Facebook and Twitter.


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