Research Programs

11617.13741Every major advance in the fight against breast cancer in the last three decades has been touched by Susan G. Komen® funding. Komen has provided more money for breast cancer research and community health programs than any entity besides the U.S. government.

A minimum of 25 percent of the net income from each domestic Affiliate, including Komen Puget Sound, supports the Komen Research Grant Program, which funds groundbreaking breast cancer research, meritorious awards and educational and scientific conferences around the world.

Komen’s Scientific Advisory Board guides our research focus, identifying the most promising areas of research and the critical questions that need to be answered. The Komen Scholars, along with members of Komen’s Advocates in Science, through a highly structured peer review process, help identify the most promising projects for funding. With the guidance of these experts, Komen invests every research dollar as carefully and conscientiously as possible.

Komen-Funded Research in Puget Sound

In September 2016, Komen announced grants totaling $800,000 in new funding for research at the University of Washington and Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, bringing Komen’s total research investment in Washington state to $11,480,427 since 1982.

Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center

  • Candice Grzelak, Ph.D., will receive $180,000 to understand why breast cancer has a tendency to spread to the liver, why breast cancer cells in the liver stay quiet for long periods of time, and what triggers them to awaken and grow once again. Understanding this process will allow the design of new therapeutic approaches for metastatic breast cancer.
  • Komen Scholar Benjamin Anderson, M.D., will receive $200,000 to assess breast health care needs in low- and middle-income countries. This work will identify unmet needs and provide partner countries and organizations with information and the tools needed to implement resource-appropriate interventions and improve breast care and outcomes for women in their countries.

The University of Washington

  • Komen Scholar Mary L. “Nora” Disis, M.D., will receive $400,000 to develop a vaccine to block inflammation in obese, fatty tissue with the goal of reducing the incidence of breast cancer in obese women.
  • Komen Scholar Julie Gralow, M.D., will receive $20,000 to bring together medical experts, researchers, patients, policymakers and other key stakeholders to discuss opportunities for increasing inclusion of breast cancer patients with bone-only metastasis in clinical trials. Bone metastasis patients are currently under-represented in clinical trials. The meeting will provide an open forum to discuss current knowledge and challenges associated with metastatic breast cancer in the bone, and come to consensus around solutions and opportunities moving forward.

Learn more about Komen Research Grants.