Department of Defense launches new fight to eradicate breast cancer

April 18, 2001

Breast Cancer Research Program Announces Largest Grant of its Kind for "Innovative" Approaches to Breast Cancer Research

What: The Department of Defense Breast Cancer Research Program (DOD/BCRP) is introducing a new and unique grant concept - the Innovator Awards - to provide accomplished and visionary scholars in any field with the funding and freedom to pursue creative, potentially breakthrough research that could ultimately accelerate the eradication of breast cancer. The $12 million grant program will provide up to $3 million for an individual over a maximum of four years. Inspired by other awards that recognize creative thinking in scientific research, the Innovator Awards offers millions of dollars focused solely on one goal: the eradication of breast cancer.

"Through the Innovator Awards, we hope to tap into the minds of scientists from outside as well as inside the field of conventional cancer and medical research to inspire them to pursue innovative and novel approaches that may significantly contribute to the conquest of breast cancer," said Dennis J. Slamon, M.D., Ph.D. advisory panel chair, DOD/BCRP, chief, Division of Hematology-Oncology, Department of Medicine and director, Clinical and Translational Research, Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, UCLA School of Medicine

Who: Experience in breast cancer research is not required. Recipients may come from academic, government or private sectors, and be scholars in any area of research such as the biological and physical sciences, computer sciences, social sciences, philosophy, economics, mathematics, the humanities and engineering.

Why: To attract innovative and novel concepts that may be found outside conventional research areas to expand knowledge and accomplishments in the prevention, detection, diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer. One out of every eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime and more than 43,000 American women will die from breast cancer in this year alone.

When: A letter of intent must be submitted no later than May 30, 2001, 4:00 p.m. ET. The final applications deadline is June 13, 2001, 4:00 p.m. ET. Recipients will be notified by the end of the year.

How: Complete information about the award and the application process is available at:, or by contacting U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command, 1077 Patchel Street, Fort Detrick, Frederick, Maryland 21702-5024, phone: 301-619-7079

Interviews available with the following DOD/BCRP spokespeople:

· Edward Bresnick, PhD, Advisory Panel Member, DOD/BCRP, Adjunct Professor, BioChemistry, Dartmouth Medical School
· Dennis J. Slamon, M.D., Ph.D., Advisory Panel Member, DOD/BCRP, Chief, Division of Hematology-Oncology, Department of Medicine and Director, Clinical and Translational Research, Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, UCLA School of Medicine
· Frances M. Visco, Esq., Advisory Panel Chair Emeritus, DOD/BCRP, President, National Breast Cancer Coalition
The Breast Cancer Research Program

The Breast Cancer Research Program (BCRP) is an unprecedented partnership that brings together the military, scientists, physicians and breast cancer survivors to promote research directed toward eradicating breast cancer. It is one of over 50 Congressional Research Programs managed by the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command (USAMRMC) office.

The initiative began as a program in fiscal year 1992 to pursue research on breast cancer screening and diagnosis and has since expanded into a broad-based, competitively awarded research program. The work of scientists in the BCRP is intended to both compliment and expand, not conflict with or replace, other funding sources. BCRP awards have increased the knowledge about breast cancer through more than 2,300 scientific journal publications, 1,800 presentations to colleagues and medical professionals and 30 patents and licensures.

Beginning in fiscal year 1992, grassroots advocacy organizations of the National Breast Cancer Coalition have lobbied Congress to appropriate a total of more than $1 billion in funding for peer-reviewed breast cancer research to be managed by the BCRP. As a result of their efforts, the BCRP has expanded to become second only to the National Cancer Institute in the funding of breast cancer research.

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