Researchers at Baylor College of Medicine have received a total of $7,814,833 from the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) for seven new grants supporting individual investigators in pediatrics, computational biology, and prevention and early detection.

The grants awarded to Baylor advance CPRIT’s mission to grow the cancer-fighting ecosystem in Texas at its institutions of higher education and to continue to attract the world’s best minds to advance cancer research within the state.

“This round of CPRIT grants will allow physicians and researchers within the NCI-designated Dan L Duncan Comprehensive Cancer Center to further their study of cancer in a range of applications,” said Dr. Kent Osborne, professor and director of the Duncan Cancer Center. “Cancer care requires research and treatment from multiple disciplines, and these grants are crucial in advancing those efforts.”

In the category of individual investigator awards, Dr. Ken Scott, associate professor of molecular and human genetics at Baylor, was awarded $875,757 for his project, “Preclinical Analyses of NAD Kinase as a Redox Vulnerability for the Treatment of Pediatric Cancer.”

Baylor earned three grants in individual investigator research for cancer in children and adolescents, including:

Molecular Epidemiology and Somatic Alterations Driving Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia in Down Syndrome” to Dr. Karen Rabin, associate professor of pediatrics – oncology, for $1,200,000.

High Throughput Combinatory Drug Screening for Pediatric Medulloblastomas With a Dysregulated EZH2 Pathway” to Dr. Xiao-Nan Li for $1,198,726. Li is an associate professor of pediatrics – oncology at Baylor and a member of Texas Children’s Cancer Center.

Mechanisms of Notch Dysregulation in Pediatric Osteosarcoma” to Dr. Brendan Lee, professor and chairman of molecular and human genetics at Baylor, for $1,110,480. Lee holds the Robert and Janice McNair Endowed Chair in Molecular and Human Genetics.

Baylor’s Dr. Zhandong Liu received an individual investigator research award for computation biology totaling $889,679 to support his research, “Development and Validation of a Network-guided, Multi-objective Optimization Model for Cancer Data Analysis.” Liu is an assistant professor of pediatrics – neurology.

Two additional individual investigator awards were given to Baylor in the category of prevention and early detection, including:

Developing Effective Epigenetic Biomarkers to Identify Individuals with High Risk of Cancer” to Dr. Robert Waterland, associate professor of pediatrics – nutrition and molecular and human genetics, for $1,052,089.

Genetic epidemiology and Molecular Basis of Cancer Predisposition in Pediatric Rhabdomyosarcoma” to Dr. Philip Lupo, assistant professor of pediatrics – oncology, for $1,488,105.

CPRIT began supporting Texas researchers, organizations and institutions through grants in 2009 and has awarded $1.67 billion to date, with an overall commitment of $3 billion in support of cancer research, prevention and product development research programs.