New Haven, Conn. — Yale Cancer Center (YCC) is proud to announce the Basser BRCA Initiative grant. The $1 million, three-year gift was awarded to YCC by the Gray Foundation to advance the next generation of cancer therapies. Leveraging research currently being done at Yale to define the fundamental biology and molecular roles of the BRCA cancer susceptibility genes, this gift from the Gray Foundation will enable the development of transformative new therapeutic approaches for patients with BRCA-driven malignancies, which can increase the lifetime risk for cancers including breast, ovarian, pancreatic, prostate and melanoma.
“We are so grateful for the Gray’s generosity,” said Charles S. Fuchs, MD, MPH, Director of YCC. “Our team is in a unique position to drive innovative research in BRCA-related cancers, and funding from the Gray Foundation will provide us with the necessary resources to translate this work into the discovery of new cancer therapies.”
BRCA or the BReast CAncer susceptibility gene is an important target for researchers. BRCA genes, BRCA1 and BRCA2, produce tumor suppressor proteins. These proteins help repair damaged DNA. When either of these genes is mutated, or altered, DNA damage may not be repaired properly. As a result, cells are more likely to develop additional genetic alterations that can lead to breast or ovarian cancer, among other cancers.
“We are thrilled to support the talented team at Yale Cancer Center as they work to uncover therapies for BRCA-related cancers,” said Mindy and Jon Gray, founders of the Gray Foundation. “Through our new strategic grant process, we hope to align and promote collaboration to better understand, treat and ultimately prevent BRCA cancers."
Leading the YCC research team will be Ryan Jensen, PhD, Ranjit S. Bindra, MD, PhD, Megan C. King, PhD, Patricia LoRusso, D., Janie Merkel, PhD, and Craig Crews, PhD.