Pelotonia Idea Grants To Fund Ohio State Cancer Research

August 12, 2010

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ten teams of scientists at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC-James) are each receiving two-year, $100,000 Pelotonia Idea Grants to fund “high-risk, high-reward” cancer research projects.

The grants are funded with a portion of the $4.5 million raised last year during the inaugural Pelotonia grassroots cycling tour to benefit cancer research at OSUCCC-James.

This year’s first ever Pelotonia Idea Grants will allow investigators to engage in a variety of cancer research projects, such as the early detection and prevention of pancreatic cancer; tests to determine the most effective therapies for triple-negative breast cancer; a look the role of heredity in cancer development and possible new prevention and treatment strategies, and the development of a new drug to fight breast cancer and leukemia.

“Quantum leaps in science are frequently made by thinking ‘outside of the box’ often with little or no preliminary data, but funding for the early pursuit of such initiatives is very hard to obtain in the current budget climate,” said Dr. Michael Caligiuri, director of the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center and chief executive officer of the James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute.

“The Pelotonia Idea Grants will provide seed funding for ideas that can lead to critical preliminary data, new collaborations, and ultimately discovery – and that, in turn, can in turn lead to breakthroughs in science, prevention, and treatments, and to larger grants,” Caligiuri said.

The second annual Pelotonia is scheduled for Aug. 20-22. For more information, visit

Below is a list of 2010 Pelotonia Idea Grant recipients, along with the titles of their research projects:

  • Victor Jin, Tim Huang: “Microenvironmental influences on AKT1-regulated transcriptome in tumorigenesis”

  • Mark Bloomston, Lanchun Lu, Wendy Frankel, Zhilin Hu: “Optical coherence tomography imaging of precancerous pancreatic lesions”

  • Electra Paskett and Mira Katz: “E-health program to reduce obesity in Appalachia”

  • Nancy Lill, Charlie Shapiro, Weiqiang (John) Zhao: “CBL and EGFR in triple negative breast cancers”

  • Jianqiang Wu: “STAT3 in neurofibroma tumorigenesis and therapy”

  • James DeWille, Gustavo Leone: “Genomic analysis of primary tumor lesions as an approach to early chemoprevention”

  • Denis Guttridge, Ching-Shih Chen: “NF-?B inhibition cancer therapy”

  • Christopher Weghorst, Steven Clinton, Yael Vodovotz, Steve Schwartz: “Chemopreventive effects of strawberries on the modulation of the cigarette smoke-altered transcriptome in human oral mucosa”

  • Peter Houghton: “Understanding resistance mechanisms to MEK inhibitors in BRAF activated juvenile pilocytic astrocytomas (JPA)”

  • Don Benson, Steven Devine, Pierluigi Porcu, John Byrd, Robert Baiocchi: “PD-1 blockade enhance natural killer cell cytotoxicity against multiple myeloma: Determining molecular mechanisms and in vivo efficacy”

The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute ( is one of only 40 Comprehensive Cancer Centers in the United States designated by the National Cancer Institute. Ranked by U.S. News & World Report among the top cancer hospitals in the nation, The James is the 180-bed adult patient-care component of the cancer program at The Ohio State University. The OSUCCC-James is one of only seven funded programs in the country approved by the NCI to conduct both Phase I and Phase II clinical trials.

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Eileen Scahill
Medical Center Public Affairs and Media Relations

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