Translational Teamwork

SPORE Grant Boosts Leukemia Research

The National Cancer Institute (NCI) has awarded The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute a five-year, $11.5 million Specialized Program of Research Excellence (SPORE) grant to study and treat leukemia.

The SPORE grant represents a milestone for the leukemia program at Ohio State, which is only the second recipient of such an NCI grant directed at leukemia research. Titled “Experimental Therapeutics of Leukemia,” the grant focuses on translational research to improve the understanding of leukemia cause, risk stratification and therapy.

Principal investigator John Byrd, MD, and co-principal investigators Clara D. Bloomfield, MD, and Guido Marcucci, MD, helped plan and apply for this award, which encompasses laboratory and clinical investigation in acute myeloid leukemia, acute lymphoid leukemia and chronic lymphocytic leukemia. The grant team includes several prominent senior investigators at Ohio State who have worked together for years to improve prognostic factors and treatments for acute and chronic leukemias.

“This award will help a team of accomplished cancer researchers engage in bedside and laboratory translational research of adult leukemia with the goal of improving clinical outcomes for patients,” says Michael A. Caligiuri, MD, director of Ohio State’s Comprehensive Cancer Center and CEO of The James. The grant supports five research projects, each led by Ohio State cancer center researchers, including Byrd, Bloomfield, Caligiuri and Marcucci, along with Albert de la Chapelle, MD, PhD, William Blum, MD, Michael Grever, MD, and Robert Lee, PhD.

Accompanying these five projects are five cores that provide a SPORE leukemia tissue bank and services for biostatistics, biomedical informatics, medicinal chemistry and administration and operations. The grant also supports a career development program geared toward young women and minority researchers, and a developmental research program to recruit innovative pilot projects that, if successful, may later become part of the SPORE.

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