NEW YORK, October 11, 2022 – The Cancer Research Institute (CRI) and Israel Cancer Research Fund (ICRF ) have partnered to award and co-fund, respectively, a Clinic and Laboratory Integration Program (CLIP) grant to support the promising immunotherapy research of Yifat Merbl, PhD, of the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel.
The CLIP grant, providing $200,000 in research funding over two years, was established by CRI to fund investigators who are exploring critical topics at the intersection of laboratory and clinical research. This collaboration builds on another partnership that supported immunotherapy research conducted in Israel – The Immunotherapy Promise – between CRI, the leading funder of immunotherapy research internationally, and ICRF, North America’s largest nonprofit dedicated to supporting cancer research in Israel and the largest non-governmental funder of Israeli cancer research.
Professor Merbl’s project, “Controlling Proteasomal Degradation for Enhancing Anti-Tumor Immunity,” hopes to characterize the proteasome degradation landscape in melanoma, aiming to gain insight into the mechanisms of immune evasion and lack of patient response to immunotherapy. This approach should ultimately lead to a novel system to target proteasome degradation in order to improve cancer treatment.
While immunotherapy first emerged as a form of FDA-approved cancer treatment in the late 1980s, it is only within the past decade that this class of therapy has begun to deliver significant survival benefit to more cancer patients, bringing it to the forefront of public attention. New immunotherapeutic approaches have been shown in clinical trials to effectively treat patients with bladder, head and neck, kidney, and lung cancers as well as leukemia, lymphoma, and melanoma, with clinical trials under way for more than 25 other types of cancer.
“The Cancer Research Institute and Israel Cancer Research Fund have teamed up again to bring philanthropic support of immunology research to scientists in Israel who are working to harness the immune system’s power to fight all types of cancer, and this latest joint initiative furthers our shared goal of finding effective answers to cancer to save more lives and cure as many cancer patients as possible,” said Jill O’Donnell-Tormey, PhD, CEO and director of scientific affairs at the Cancer Research Institute.
Commenting on the partnership, David Abramson, president of ICRF said, “We know how crucial immunotherapy is in the area of cancer research and our unique partnership with the Cancer Research Institute has the potential to yield breakthrough discoveries in the field. It is our hope that many more Israeli scientists will benefit from our collaboration with CRI.”
Cancer Research Institute
Israel Cancer Research Fund
About the Cancer Research Institute
The Cancer Research Institute (CRI), established in 1953, is the world’s leading nonprofit organization dedicated exclusively to transforming cancer patient care by advancing scientific efforts to develop new and effective immune system-based strategies to prevent, diagnose, treat, and eventually cure all cancers. Guided by a world-renowned Scientific Advisory Council that includes four Nobel laureates and 27 members of the National Academy of Sciences, CRI has invested $500 million in support of research conducted by immunologists and tumor immunologists at the world’s leading medical centers and universities and has contributed to many of the key scientific advances that demonstrate the potential for immunotherapy to change the face of cancer treatment. To learn more, go to https://www.cancerresearch.org/.
About Israel Cancer Research Fund
ICRF, a 501(c)(3) organization, is the largest charitable organization outside of Israel solely devoted to supporting cancer research in Israel. Grants issued by ICRF have gone to hundreds of researchers at two dozen leading research institutions, universities, and hospitals across Israel. The efforts of Israeli cancer researchers have resulted in significant cancer breakthroughs which were vital in the development of breakthrough cancer drugs, including Doxil, Gleevec, and Velcade. To learn more, go to https://www.icrfonline.org/.