Susan G. Komen awards Mayo Clinic $600,000 to develop breast cancer vaccine


The Susan G. Komen Foundation recently awarded The Mayo Clinic Jacksonville $600,000 to develop a vaccine to prevent breast cancer.

Komen Scholar Keith Knutson, Ph.D. will use the grant to develop the vaccine by identifying proteins present only in tumor cells that will trigger an immune response.

“We are so thankful for our friends, family and neighbors who fight alongside us, helping to reduce the number of breast cancer deaths in North Florida, both on the ground and through research,” said Delores Wise, executive director of Komen North Florida.

The grant was part of nearly $33 million in new research grants announced by Susan G. Komen, the world’s leading breast cancer organization. Grants were made to facilities in seven countries and 23 states. In addition to the Mayo Clinic Jacksonville, the University of Miami’s Miller School of Medicine and the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer and Research Institute received grants of $180,000 and $450,000, respectively, to fund other treatment and prevention research. Since 1982, Florida research facilities have received more than $14 million from Susan G. Komen. 

“For nearly 35 years our organization has been a leader in the fight to end breast cancer, changing how people think about, talk about and treat this disease,” said Komen President and CEO Judy Salerno, M.D., M.S. “Not only will these grants accelerate our understanding of key areas in breast cancer research, but they include funding for early-career investigators.”

The grants are part of Susan G. Komen’s goal to reduce breast cancer deaths in the United States by 50 percent over the next decade.

“As federal research dollars become increasingly difficult to secure, these awards give promising young researchers an opportunity to establish their careers, and help ensure breakthrough breast cancer research continues for years to come,” Dr. Salerno added. “Their work is essential to achieving our vision of a world without breast cancer.”

Grants funded in this round by Susan G. Komen include 38 grants focused on stopping metastatic breast cancer; 15 grants exploring novel treatments for aggressive forms of the disease; 21 grants aimed at advancing techniques for detecting primary and recurrent breast cancer; and 12 grants to identify the causes of breast cancer disparities and test ways to overcome barriers to care.