Grant-Funded Cancer Research

Research funding, gifts and grants support the Henry Ford Cancer Institute’s researchers in their work asking important questions to find new cures for cancer. Grants come from the federal government, corporations, private foundations and nonprofit organizations.

In 2016, our researchers received $35 million in external grants.

Recent cancer research funding

Our team’s recent awards include:

  • U.S. Department of Defense (DoD): Our researchers have several DoD grants, including investigation of:
    • Prostate cancer markers specific to African-American men: Albert Levin, Ph.D., is conducting this research, in partnership with a California-based genotyping company. See more about precision medicine cancer research.
    • Genetic markers for prostate cancer in men of different ethnic backgrounds: Nallasivam Palanisamy, Ph.D., received a three-year grant in 2016 to continue studying the difference in tumor markers that appear in African-American and European-American men.
    • AMPK (adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase) and antitumor immunity: Ramandeep Rattan, Ph.D., received a DoD Ovarian Cancer Research Program (OCRP) Translational Pilot Award for her work studying ovarian cancer metabolism. Find out more about gynecologic cancer research.
  • National Institutes of Health (NIH): The NIH funds several projects at Henry Ford, including:
    • Gene therapy: NIH has funded the work of Svend Freytag, Ph.D., on gene therapy for more than 30 years. Dr. Freytag has received a total of eight NIH grants, including a five-year P01 award. In 2004, Dr. Freytag received a $9 million grant that the agency renewed in 2008.
    • Tumor imaging: Carri Glide-Hurst, Ph.D., received a five-year R01 grant in 2016 for her work developing magnetic resonance (MR)-only tumor imaging. The grant focuses on pelvic tumors (gynecologic and prostate) and brain tumors. Read more about cancer imaging research.
    • Treatment of glioma: Meser Ali, Ph.D., received a four-year R01 grant in 2016 for his work in temozolomide (TMZ)-based radiation therapy, the sole therapy available for patients with glioblastoma multiforme (GBM). The goal of this research project is to apply the most recent advances in nanotechnology for targeted delivery of vascular disrupting agents with a combination of radiation therapy for real-time monitoring of response to the treatment.
    • Making better nutrition choices: Gwen Alexander, Ph.D., is conducting research on ways to engage and support improved dietary choices for young adults, ages 21 through 30, as they navigate a more independent life stage. They will use new communication media and evaluate an age-targeted online dietary behavioral change program. By effecting positive nutrition behavioral changes in this understudied and vulnerable population, the goal is to reduce disease risk and ultimately build lasting healthy dietary habits to help the next generation -- their children. Read more about cancer epidemiology, prevention and control.
    • Prostate cancer biomarkers: Ben Rybicki, Ph.D., is conducting research on inflammatory biomarkers in early prostate carcinogenesis with his third round of NIH funding that originated in 2000. Dr. Rybicki has previously studied the role of DNA adducts and inflammation in prostate cancer epidemiology. Read more about cancer epidemiology, prevention and control.
    • A novel anticancer drug: A team received a five-year R01 grant in 2016 to target the posttranslational modification pathway of small ubiquitin-like modifier-1 (SUMO1) that drives the progression of human glioblastoma. To target this cancer pathway, the group identified the SUMO1 inhibition compound (SMIC1) in screening of NCI pharmacologic compounds. To develop SMIC1 as a new anticancer drug, the team will examine the mechanisms of SMIC1 action and the activity and therapeutic effects of SMIC1 in treating in vitro and in vivo glioblastoma models.
  • Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI): Steven Chang, M.D., receives funding from PCORI for his research into patient engagement in head and neck cancer outcomes and survivorship. Find out more about head and neck cancer research.
  • Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer (SBIR/STTR): Fred Valeriote, Ph.D., holds grants in drug discovery and development to seek new anticancer agents. Dr. Valeriote also assists other researchers in navigating the SBIR/STTR application process. Learn more about our cancer research cores and shared resources.
  • Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation (Race for the Cure®): Lisa Newman, M.D., MPH, has received several grants from the Komen Foundation for her exploration of breast cancer in diverse populations. Find out more about breast cancer genetics and disparities research.

Collaborate with our cancer researchers

We conduct research in nearly a dozen different areas of oncology. If you’d like to contribute, please read more about our research areas of emphasis.

Find a clinical trial

We offer hundreds of clinical trials, through all stages of research. Patients, families and referring physicians can learn more about our clinical trials.

Contact us for more information
Learn more about cancer research at Henry Ford.