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March 2, 2007

Prostate Cancer Foundation honors four from U-M

SANTA MONICA, Calif. – The Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF) has awarded $6.1 million to 63 research investigators, including four from the University of Michigan, in its 2006 Competitive Awards Program.

Prostate Cancer Foundation LogoWinners from the University of Michigan are: Arul M. Chinnaiyan, M.D., PhD, the S. P. Hicks Endowed Professor of Pathology, and professor of urology, at the U-M Comprehensive Cancer Center; Robert D. Loberg, PhD, research assistant professor of urology and of internal medicine in the U-M Division of Hematology/Oncology; Russell S. Taichman, DMD, DMSc, a professor in the Department of Periodontics and Oral Medicine in the U-M School of Dentistry; Shaomeng Wang, PhD, professor of internal medicine and pharmacology, Medical School; professor of medicinal chemistry, College of Pharmacy; and co-director of the Molecular Therapeutics Program at the U-M Comprehensive Cancer Center.

The Competitive Awards Program is an innovative venture-style research funding program that provides financial support to high-impact research projects with the greatest potential to improve survival and reduce side effects and death for men with advanced prostate cancer. The awards are granted to projects in a variety of areas including biomarkers, genetics and genomics, nutrition, cancer immunotherapy, new drug discovery and survivorship. 

“The PCF Competitive Awards Program concentrates funds entrusted to us by our donors into the most strategic science,” said Stuart Holden, M.D., medical director of the PCF. “This year, we received more than 420 applications from 22 countries and were able to provide a record 63 projects a decisive boost in funding.”

With its model of drawing new investigators around the globe to the field and enabling investigators to attract additional significant investment, the Competitive Awards Program has played a unique role in the area of prostate cancer research. To date, more than $81 million has been awarded through the Competitive Awards Program, allowing individual investigators to focus their efforts on discovering new ideas and new pathways for prostate cancer treatment strategies.

“We at the PCF are proud of our role in advancing scientific and medical understanding of this disease and identifying new approaches to defeating it,” said Jonathan W. Simons, MD, chief executive officer and president of the PCF. “The PCF continues to leverage and invest every resource available to advance our mission to end death and suffering from prostate cancer.”

Prostate cancer is the most common non-skin cancer in the United States, striking one in six men. In 2007 alone, more than 218,000 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer and more than 27,000 men will die of the disease. Baby boomer men are turning 60, bringing increasing numbers of men into the highest-risk zone for the disease. As a result, the number of new cases over the next decade is expected to increase to more than 300,000 annually.

Information on each award can be found at

Written by the Prostate Cancer Foundation


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