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The American Association for Cancer Research and the Lung Cancer Initiative at Johnson & Johnson Announce the Inaugural AACR-Johnson & Johnson Lung Cancer Innovation Science Grant Recipients

3/6/2019

​PHILADELPHIA - The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) and the Lung Cancer Initiative at Johnson & Johnson (LCI) today announced the selection of the inaugural recipients of the AACR-Johnson & Johnson Lung Cancer Innovation Science Grants. The grants represent a new funding opportunity to support exciting research that could one day lead to solutions that prevent, intercept, and cure lung cancer.

“We are proud to welcome these new research teams into our family of AACR grant recipients,” said Yixian (John) Zhang, PhD, senior director of Scientific Review and Grants Administration at the AACR. “Their research is certain to advance our understanding of how lung cancer develops, as well as provide forward-thinking strategies to detect and/or treat the disease at its earliest stages. We are eager to follow their progress and witness firsthand the impact their work will have on the lives of patients in the years to come.”

“Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in the United States and worldwide and Johnson & Johnson is dedicated to transforming the standard of care for this devastating disease,” said Avrum Spira, MD, vice president, global head, Lung Cancer Initiative at Johnson & Johnson.* “The fundamental research undertaken by each of these talented and dedicated research teams has the potential to bring us closer to this important goal.”

Grants will be awarded to the following multi-institutional teams:

  • James V. DeGregori, PhD, professor at the University of Colorado Denver, and Tullia Bruno, PhD, research assistant professor at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, will lead a team focused on examining the role of microenvironment-mediated clonal evolution in lung adenocarcinoma; 
  • Dominique S. Michaud, ScD, professor at Tufts University School of Medicine, Karl T. Kelsey, MD, professor of epidemiology at Brown University, and Elizabeth A. Platz, ScD, professor of epidemiology at Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, will lead a team focused on identifying candidate immune markers for early detection of lung cancer; and
  • Jianjun Zhang, MD, PhD, assistant professor, and John V. Heymach, MD, PhD, professor and department chair, both from The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, and Harvey I. Pass, MD, professor of cardiothoracic surgery at New York University Langone Medical Center, will lead a team focused on understanding immunogenomic and microbiota evolution from premalignancy to lung cancer.


Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death among men and women in United States and it is the most common cause of cancer death worldwide.1 2 The five-year survival rate for lung cancer overall is 18.6 percent, and for metastatic lung cancer, it is a dismal 4.7 percent. Lung cancer deaths account for 25.3 percent of all cancer deaths in the United States. About 6.2 percent of U.S. men and women will be diagnosed with lung and bronchus cancer at some point in their lifetime.

1 National Cancer Institute, Cancer Facts: Lung and Bronchus Cancer.
2 Union for International Cancer Control, Global Cancer Incidence.