Foundation Support Paves way for Research Grant
After peaking in 2004, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) budget has declined every year in real terms, with only a 1.4 percent increase from 2009 to the present. Such limits have made it increasingly challenging for talented medical researchers to secure funding for their investigations.
In this environment, it is even more impressive that Jacqueline S. Jeruss, MD, PhD, assistant professor of surgery at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, was awarded an NIH K22 Career Transition Award in 2010.
But the award is not merely testament to Jeruss’ research expertise and resourcefulness. She also credits the funding she received from the Lynn Sage Foundation for preparing her to earn this grant.
Named the inaugural Lynn Sage Scholar in 2007, Dr. Jeruss benefitted from the Foundation’s program, “conceived as a means to respond to high priority recruitment and retention needs” at the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University.
By providing funding for bi-annual Lynn Sage Scholar awards, the Foundation helps young researchers gain momentum, building on their most promising discoveries to cultivate a steady stream of funding to sustain their ongoing investigations. This critical first step allows investigators to collect the initial data that ultimately results in their ability to compete successfully for larger, external grants from the NIH and other agencies. Thanks to the “seed funding” provided by the Lynn Sage Foundation to Jeruss early in her career, she was an ideal candidate for this NIH funding.
The NIH Career Transition Awards are granted to outstanding basic or clinical investigators to develop their independent research skills through a two phase program. The award is intended to facilitate the establishment of a record of independent research by the investigator in order to sustain and promote a successful research career.
Jeruss’ NIH grant will be used to investigate “The Oncogenic Significance of Cyclin Overexpression and Smad 3 Tumor Suppression.” The long-term goal of her investigation is to determine how changes in Smad 3 signal transduction affect breast cancer progression to help establish a molecular staging of the disease and to facilitate the discovery of new treatment options.
The Lynn Sage Foundation is committed to the discovery of a cure for breast cancer. By supporting Jeruss’ early efforts and helping to position her for greater NIH awards, their mission has been furthered for years to come.