Scientific Review and Grants Administration

Scientific Review and Grants Administration — 
Advancing Cancer Science through Vital Funding

The next great advances in cancer research will be achieved only if scientists receive essential research funding. The cancer community has entrusted the AACR with the stewardship of such grant funding for over two decades. Since 1993, the AACR has administered nearly $300 million in research support, providing scientific oversight as well as expert peer review and grants administration that is fast, flexible, rigorous, and transparent.

$60 million
Was awarded in 2015 to fund the research of six new "Dream Teams" through the AACR's partnership with SU2C.

Scientists received essential research funding in 2015 through 44 additional grants totaling $8 million.

$6.75 million
Will be awarded over the next five years through the NextGen Grants for Transformative Cancer Research Program. This exciting new program, initiated by AACR Past President Carlos L. Arteaga, MD, FAACR, will provide early-career investigators with the resources they need to conduct creative, paradigm-shifting cancer research that will catalyze major breakthroughs in the field.

Was awarded to nine postdoctoral fellows for basic cancer research through an unprecedented expansion of the Basic Cancer Research Fellowship Program. The AACR emphasizes the critical importance of basic research as the foundation of future translational and clinical breakthroughs for cancer patients.

Grant Mechanisms
(% Total Grants Disbursed)

Organ/Disease Type
(% Total Grants Disbursed)

THE AACR AND STAND UP TO CANCER: Accelerating progress

Fostering innovative and collaborative cancer science requires innovative and collaborative funding mechanisms. The AACR is proud to serve as the Scientific Partner of Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C), a groundbreaking movement to accelerate the pace of translational cancer research, get new therapies to patients quickly, and save lives.

As an initiative of the Entertainment Industry Foundation, SU2C focuses the industry’s resources to increase awareness of the urgent need for cancer research and raise needed funds. The AACR works with SU2C’s blue-ribbon Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC) to conduct rigorous, competitive peer review, identifying the most promising research projects to fund and providing expert scientific oversight for those projects. The committee is composed of highly accomplished clinical researchers, senior laboratory researchers, and physician-scientists from the AACR membership as well as patient advocates experienced in grant review and clinical trials. The chairperson of the committee is Nobel Laureate Phillip A. Sharp, PhD, FAACR, and Arnold J. Levine, PhD, FAACR, and William G. Nelson, MD, PhD, serve as vice-chairpersons.

Since SU2C’s inception in 2008, the AACR has worked with SU2C to launch and administer 19 Dream Teams and two Translational Research Teams of top researchers addressing specific problems in cancer, as well as 26 Innovative Research Grants to individual, early-career investigators to support high-risk projects that also have a high level of potential impact on the prevention or treatment of cancer. As part of its oversight, the AACR organizes an annual SU2C Scientific Summit at which Dream Teams and Innovative Research Grant Recipients report on their progress and brainstorm opportunities for new collaborations and accelerated research.

In addition to fostering collaboration among scientists, SU2C fosters collaboration among funders, working with leading cancer organizations worldwide to co-sponsor high-impact research. For example, in 2015 SU2C and the AACR launched Dream Teams focused on ovarian cancer, with the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund Alliance and National Ovarian Cancer Coalition; on lung cancer, with the American Cancer Society; on colorectal cancer, with the Dutch Cancer Society; on pancreatic cancer, with Cancer Research UK and The Lustgarten Foundation; on cancer stem cells in brain cancers, with Genome Canada, Canadian Institutes of Health Research, and Ontario Institute for Cancer Research; and on breast cancer, with the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation with support from CIBC, and the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research. With the support of these organizations, SU2C and the AACR are breaking down barriers to progress and building the teams that will solve the cancer problem.

SU2C Scientific Advisory Committee

Phillip A. Sharp, PhD, FAACR

Arnold J. Levine, PhD, FAACR
Vice Chairperson

William G. Nelson, MD, PhD
Vice Chairperson

Julian Adams, PhD

Frederick R. Appelbaum, MD

Elizabeth H. Blackburn, PhD, FAACR

Richard B. Gaynor, MD

William N. Hait, MD, PhD, FAACR

Lee J. Helman, MD

Waun Ki Hong, MD, FAACR

William G. Kaelin Jr., MD, FAACR

Michael B. Kastan, MD, PhD

Richard D. Kolodner, PhD, FAACR

Guillermina Lozano, PhD

Tak W. Mak, PhD, FAACR

Cecil B. Pickett, PhD

Laura K. Shawver, PhD

Ellen V. Sigal, PhD

David A. Tuveson, MD, PhD

SU2C Funding Partners

Melanoma Research Alliance

Prostate Cancer Foundation

Cancer Research Institute

St. Baldrick’s Foundation

Dutch Cancer Society KWF

Cancer Research UK

Lustgarten Foundation

Farrah Fawcett Foundation

American Cancer Society

Ovarian Cancer Research Fund Alliance

National Ovarian Cancer Coalition

Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation

Genome Canada

Canadian Institute of Health Research

Ontario Institute for Cancer Research

Van Andel Research Institute