Seed Grant Updates

April 7, 2015

The Center for Advanced Digestive Care provides grant funding for pilot projects by researchers at WCMC and beyond. The CADC recently closed submissions for its fourth round of pilot grants, also known as SEED grants. Here is an update on two investigations funded by earlier rounds of grant funding:

  • Todd Evans, PhD. received a CADC SEED grant to investigate therapeutic targeting of pancreatic cancer cells. Addressing pancreatic cancer’s high resistance to therapy, and the scarcity of effective drugs for the treatment of advanced pancreatic cancer, the aims of this study were to isolate pancreatic cancer tumor initiating cells expressing a specific embryonic progenitor marker, and then to identify drugs which have the potential to target pancreatic cancer tumor initiating cells. Despite an early setback in identifying progenitor cells, the project led to the effective development of several lines of drug resistant cancer cells which will help model stem cells that fail to be targeted by standard treatments. More information from this ongoing study will be reported in future issues.
  • Dr. Samie Jaffrey, M.D., Ph.D. led a pilot project focusing on the inhibition of mRNA demethylation as an alternative to standard therapeutic strategies for IBD. The goal was to assess if inhibiting the FTO enzyme would have anti-inflamatory effects. However, FTO has traditionally been difficult to work with, due to the cumbersome assay. The project was successful in developing and optimizing a simple assay for FTO, which would allow for high throughput screening and use in IBD models. While the project suffered a slight delay early on, work continues and should allow for testing in IBD models in the future.

The CADC is pleased to announce the fifth round of funding for pilot research projects. We encourage those who did not receive funding in the first rounds to reapply. This funding period will involve two tiers and bridge funding for previous pilot project grant recipients.

View the RFA and more information on how to apply. Deadline for submission is September 18, 2015.

Please contact Bridget McClure at 212-746-5578 with any questions.