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Wednesday, 30 May, 2018

Wistar Receives Grant from the Jayne Koskinas Ted Giovanis Foundation for Health and Policy to Support the Breast Cancer Research Consortium

The Jayne Koskinas Ted Giovanis Foundation for Health and Policy (JKTG) awarded The Wistar Institute a $840,000 grant, over three years, to support the Jayne Koskinas Ted Giovanis Breast Cancer Research Consortium at Wistar.

The new award furthers the multidisciplinary research projects of two Wistar scientists, Frank J. Rauscher, III, Ph.D., the principal investigator of the award, and Qing Chen, M.D., Ph.D., whose integrated research targets breast cancer and specifically how cancer cells migrate from the primary tumor to form an often deadly metastasis.

“Getting research out of silos is going to change how we treat cancer,” said JKTG Foundation President Ted Giovanis. “We believe collaborative science challenges traditional thinking and can best help us understand tumor development, metastasis and dormancy. Wistar has long been a leader in such innovative research and we’re pleased to continue our work together.”

Rauscher, professor in Wistar’s Gene Expression and Regulation Program, studies the regulation of gene expression in cellular differentiation and homeostasis and how disruption of these mechanisms affects tumor initiation and metastatic progression. Chen, assistant professor in Wistar’s Immunology, Microenvironment and Metastasis Program, focuses on the molecular mechanisms of brain metastasis originating from primary tumors like breast cancer.

Working in collaboration, the scientists will focus their breast cancer research at the mechanisms used by the tumor at the very onset of the metastatic process, and how the primary tumor burden promotes and activates metastasis to distant organs— specifically in the brain. They hope to understand and define the biochemical mechanisms specific to cancer cells that promote metastasis and to find druggable targets to block tumor spread.  

“Why metastasis takes place in breast cancer—in one patient and not another—is still an unknown,” said
Rauscher. “But with the previous help from the JKTG Foundation we now have an understanding of how breast cancer proliferates, migrates, invades, and colonizes the primary tumor. Our future research will define the activities and interplay at the cellular and molecular level with a goal of devising future therapeutics directed at metastasis. It is a great honor to be selected for the further support of our research by the JKTG Foundation, and a tribute to the wisdom and foresight of Ted and the Foundation leadership that continuity of support is maintained in these important research projects.”

About JKTG Foundation The Jayne Koskinas Ted Giovanis Foundation for Health and Policy (JKTG Foundation), a Maryland private foundation dedicated to effecting change in the health care industry for the greater public good, aims to change health care for the better. Funding innovative medical research, data analysis, events and other projects, the Foundation serves as an honest, independent broker of ideas and actions designed to advance both health care and health policy. Visit to learn more.


About The Wistar Institute The Wistar Institute is an international leader in biomedical research with special expertise in cancer research and vaccine development. Founded in 1892 as the first independent nonprofit biomedical research institute in the country, Wistar has long held the prestigious Cancer Center designation from the National Cancer Institute since 1972. The Institute works actively to ensure that research advances move from the laboratory to the clinic as quickly as possible.

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