NETRF Awards New Research Grants to Twelve Scientists

[BOSTON, MA, February 16, 2023–] The Neuroendocrine Tumor Research Foundation (NETRF) today announced its annual slate of neuroendocrine tumor (NET) research funding awards. The 12 investigators represent some of the most promising scientific projects worldwide, reflecting a diverse range of approaches to improve the understanding and treatment of NETs. This year’s funding totals almost $2M.

“It is impactful and inspirational to be able to bolster the NET researcher community to focus on understanding neuroendocrine cancer,” said Elyse Gellerman, chief executive officer of NETRF. As the leading private global funder of NET research, NETRF has funded two and a half times more NET investigators than the National Institutes of Health (NIH). More often than not, NETRF is the only funding resource available for scientists working to understand this complicated and uncommon cancer.

“NETRF’s support is vital to helping investigators follow pathways to scientific discoveries,” said Gellerman. “With NETRF funding, previous grant recipients have been able to pursue their innovative research and become leaders in their field, bringing us closer to more effective treatments.”

This year, NETRF funded five Investigator Awards, five Pilot Awards and two Mentored Research Awards. The grant recipients in each category are selected through a competitive and rigorous peer-review process.

The innovative projects include understanding how serotonin levels can affect cancer cell growth, evaluating Copper-61, a new compound in development to improve the detection of NETs, characterizing gene expression changes in pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors as they metastasize to other organs, and understanding the role of DNA repair in neuroendocrine tumor cells following treatment.


Seven of the 12 grantees are new to NETRF.

“This is an impressive class of awardees,” said Todd Gilman, president of NETRF’s board of directors.

“Each year we receive more NET research proposals from new investigators, which is very encouraging because it means that neuroendocrine cancer is gaining traction in the research world as a growing field of study,” said Gilman.

Academic institutions in the U.S. receiving NETRF funding include The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center; The University of Chicago; The University of Iowa; Rice University; UPMC Hillman Cancer Center and Boston Medical Center.

Globally, NETRF funded research projects at the University Hospital of Basel, Switzerland; Netherlands Cancer Institute and GROW School for Oncology and Reproduction at Maastricht University in The Netherlands; Sunnybrook Research Institute in Ontario, Canada and The International Agency for Research on Cancer in Lyon, France.

These grants bring the total NETRF research investment to $36 million over 17 years.

Gellerman thanked the many individuals and foundations whose financial gifts support NETRF’s research and education endeavors, including generous funding from the Karpus Family Foundation, ITM Isotope Technologies Munich and the Martha O’Donnell Pagel Fund for Research of Rare Cancer.

“We are grateful to our many partners whose support is critical to the continued growth and potential for breakthrough science in the field of neuroendocrine cancer research,” Gellerman said. “Together, we are determined to drive transformative research towards the development of better treatments for NET patients.”

The Foundation will soon be accepting applications for the 2023 grant cycle. For more details about the awards, including areas of research interest, visit the NETRF website at