NETRF Awards Eleven Research Grants to Study Neuroendocrine Cancer

U.S. & International Scientists to focus on drug therapies, radiopharmaceuticals, and progression of NETs

[BOSTON, MA, January 17, 2024–] The Neuroendocrine Tumor Research Foundation (NETRF) today announced its newest neuroendocrine tumor (NET) research grant recipients. The eleven investigators receiving awards are studying the most promising scientific approaches to understanding and treating NETs. Funding for these eleven grants totals $1.91 million.

“We are excited to provide essential funding to these talented scientists and their innovative projects to advance the search for cures for neuroendocrine cancer,” said Elyse Gellerman, NETRF’s chief executive officer. “We fund researchers who are committed to unraveling the mysteries of NETs because this is how we will make progress against this disease,” she said.

As the leading global funder of NET research, NETRF funds two and a half times more NET investigators than the National Institutes of Health. More often than not, NETRF is the only funding resource available to scientists who want to dedicate their research to this complicated and uncommon cancer.

“The strength of NETRF’s growing and evolving scientific network lies in the passion, expertise, and dedication of those who form its foundation,” said Anna Greene, PhD, NETRF’s director of research. “This collaborative environment empowers researchers to exchange ideas, share insights, and collectively work toward breakthroughs that have the potential to transform the landscape of NET research and, ultimately, patient care,” she added.

In this new group of grantees, NETRF is funding five Investigator Awards, four Pilot Awards and two Mentored Research Awards, all focusing on basic and translational science. Eight of the eleven awardees are first-time grant recipients of NETRF. The grant recipients are selected through a competitive and rigorous scientific peer-review process.

The new awardees will focus on these themes in neuroendocrine cancer research:

  • Creating new NET models to enhance our understanding of tumor biology and drug testing capabilities
  • Investigating the development and progression of NETs
  • Identifying new biological pathways that may be targeted with drug therapies
  • Researching a novel radiopharmaceutical
  • Examining the immune landscape of NETs to explore potential vaccine therapies

Academic institutions in the U.S. receiving NETRF funding include The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston; The University of California, San Francisco; The University of Michigan; and The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.

Globally, NETRF will fund research projects at Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute, part of Sinai Health, Toronto, Canada; European Molecular Biology Laboratory, Barcelona, Spain; Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden; The International Agency for Research on Cancer, Lyon, France; Technical University of Munich, Munich, Germany; BC Cancer, Provincial Health Services, Vancouver, Canada; and The Institute of Cancer Research, London, United Kingdom.

The 2023 grants bring the total NETRF research investment to $37.6 million since the Foundation was established in 2005.

“NETRF’s support is critical in championing investigators’ efforts to identify and develop scientific pathways toward essential discoveries that can change the course of a NET patient’s cancer journey,” said Todd Gilman, president of NETRF’s board of directors.

“With NETRF funding, previous grant recipients have pursued their innovative research, bringing us closer to more effective treatments, and they have become leaders in the field,” he added.

Gellerman thanked the many individuals and foundations whose financial gifts support NETRF’s research and education programs, including generous funding from The Carol DeBacker Charitable Trust, Elaine Nord, Laura and Lew Moorman, and NETRF’s 2023 Giving Tuesday donors.

Read more about the 2023 research awardees and NETRF’s funded research here.