Susan G. Komen awards 900.000 US$ to support VHIO research aimed at advancing insight in breast cancer

Barcelona, 23 September, 2015.– Susan G. Komen has awarded two Vall d´Hebron Institute of Oncology (VHIO) researchers with Career Catalyst Research (CCR) Grants to support three years´ research. Josep Villanueva, Principal Investigator of VHIO´s Tumor Biomarkers Group, will head the project Diagnostic and Therapeutic implications of extracellular HMGA1 in Breast Cancer, and Violeta Serra, Principal Investigator of Experimental Therapeutics at VHIO will carry out research on Targeting PI3K and CDK4/6 in breast cancer: integrative biomarkers of response.

Recognizing projects that promise to advance insight in breast cancer, these Komen CCR grants, amounting to 450.000$ each, aim to foster promising breast cancer early-career researchers for three years of ´protected time´ for scientific career development under the guidance of a Mentor Committee. Since Komen was founded in 1982 up until now, only 3 of these particular Komen grants had been awarded to Spanish scientists – funding totaling at 474.991$. In this most recent call two of these most coveted awards have recognized the talent of VHIO researchers — testament to the quality and excellence of cancer science carried out at VHIO.

It is through this Komen support that Violeta Serra´s Experimental Therapeutics Group will identify patients that may be successfully treated with PI3K and CDK4/6 inhibitors which will lead to increased efficacy of therapy, minimize side effects, and ultimately reduce mortality from breast cancer.

Josep Villanueva´s Tumor Biomarkers Group will lead research into basal-like and triple negative breast cancers that are known to affect younger patients, tend to be particularly aggressive tumor types with a very high incidence of metastasis. More specifically, his team will study the HMGA1 protein whose overexpression is correlated with the appearance of metastasis and a shorter patient survival rate.

Founded in 1982 in the United States, Susan G. Komen is a non-for-profit organization dedicated to fueling research aimed at identifying and delivering cures for breast cancer while providing assistance for women and men facing the disease today. Its prestigious grants have financed some of the most pioneering studies at international level and have led to significant advances in our understanding of the mechanisms of breast cancer, as well as better equip us in the fight against the disease.


For more information:

Amanda Wren · Director of Communications, the Vall d’Hebron Institute of Oncology (VHIO) · Tel. +34 695 207 886

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