Susan G. Komen® Invests in the Future of Breast Cancer Research

DALLAS, TEXAS – Oct. 1, 2014Following through on a commitment to young scientists and clinicians, the Susan G. Komen® organization today announced new grants to more than 50 early-career breast cancer researchers almost half of Komen’s $34.7 million investment in new breast cancer research funding for 2014.

The grants include more than $980,000 in new funding for research at two institutions in Michigan, bringing Komen’s total research investment in Michigan to $25.2 million since 1982.

“Our 2014 grants are intended to ensure continuity in breast cancer research for years to come,” said Komen President and CEO Judith A. Salerno, M.D., M.S. “With federal research dollars tightening, we’re deeply concerned that a generation of promising breast cancer researchers will be lost to other fields.

“While we fund young researchers, we’re also continuing to grant to established researchers whose work has led to significant progress against this disease,” she said.

Komen is funding nearly $16 million in new grants to early-career researchers – those who are still in training and those at the earliest stages of their research careers. The remaining funds are being granted to leading breast cancer scientists who have already made significant contributions to the field, and to support scientific programs and partnerships that advance Komen’s mission to end breast cancer forever.

Komen is the largest nonprofit funder of breast cancer research, with more than $847 million invested since its founding in 1982. But research is just one aspect of Komen’s mission: since 1982, Komen and its Affiliates have invested more than $1.8 billion in community health outreach and global programs that last year served more than half a million women and men facing breast cancer. More than 80 cents of every dollar Komen spends is devoted to mission programs.

Komen’s Investments in Michigan

Komen’s research program is funded in part by contributions from local Komen Affiliates across the country that annually contribute 25 percent of net funds raised in their local community to Komen’s research program, with the remaining 75 percent staying in the community to fund community outreach programs.

Since 1998, the Komen Southwest Michigan Affiliate has funded over $1.5 million to community programs serving local women and men, contributing nearly $850,000 to Komen research. This year, Komen Southwest Michigan contributed more than $20,000 to the Susan G. Komen research grants program.

Since 1999, the Komen West Michigan Affiliate has funded $3.5 million to community programs serving local women and men, while contributing $1.1 million to Komen research. Last year, Komen West Michigan contributed approximately $75,000 to this year’s research grants program.

Since 2001, the Komen Mid-Michigan Affiliate has funded more than $3 million to community programs serving local women and men, while contributing more than $1 million to Komen research. This year, Komen Mid-Michigan contributed nearly $100,000 to the research grants program.

“We’re very proud that the funds we’ve raised in West Michigan are not only providing real-time help to our neighbors, but coming back to our universities and hospitals for research that can save lives,” said Jennifer Jurgens, Executive Director of Susan G. Komen West Michigan.

In Michigan, researchers will receive more than $980,000 to investigate breast cancer disparities, treatment and metastases.

  • More than $400,000 to Michele Cote, Ph.D., M.P.A., of Wayne State University to lead a training program for Ph.D. students that will cross-train the individuals in both basic science and epidemiology, uniquely preparing them to build careers focused on ending breast cancer disparities.
  • $180,000 in funding to Mo Li, Ph.D., of the University of Michigan to determine which BRCA1 gene mutations are sensitive to treatment with a class of drugs known as PARP inhibitors, which could have an impact on future treatment options in this high risk population.
  • $200,000 in continued funding to Komen Scholar Daniel Hayes, M.D., at the University of Michigan to develop a device that captures circulating tumor cells (CTCs) and then characterize the CTCs, providing a better insight into the metastatic process and determine which cells in circulation are actually the ones to which therapies should be focused.
  • $200,000 in continued funding to Komen Scholar Lori Pierce, M.D. at the University of Michigan to investigate the clinical application of the tool RadiotypeDx which can distinguish the radiation sensitivity of each patient’s breast cancer. Dr. Pierce and team will also evaluate hundreds of radiotherapy drugs to identify potential therapeutic strategies which may overcome radiation resistance, selecting the top therapeutic strategies for further study in laboratory models of breast cancer.

A full list of Komen’s 2014 research grants can be found here.*

A list of community health programs funded by the Michigan affiliates of Susan G. Komen West Michigan can be found at each affiliate’s website (below).  For more information about Komen’s overall mission investments, please visit:

About Susan G. Komen®

Susan G. Komen is the world’s largest breast cancer organization, funding more breast cancer research than any other nonprofit while providing real-time help to those facing the disease. Since its founding in 1982, Komen has funded over $847 million in research and provided $1.8 billion in funding to screening, education, treatment and psychosocial support programs serving millions of people in more than 30 countries worldwide. Komen was founded by Nancy G. Brinker, who promised her sister, Susan G. Komen, that she would end the disease that claimed Suzy’s life. Visit or call 1-877 GO KOMEN. Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.

About Susan G. Komen’s Michigan Affiliates

Komen West Michigan, Mid-Michigan and Southwest Michigan are independent, local non-profit organizations that are dedicated to combating breast cancer. Seventy-five percent of each affiliate’s net proceeds go towards programs and funding grants to local hospitals and community organizations that provide breast health education, screenings, diagnostics and genetics testing for underserved men and women in their respective service areas.  The remaining 25% funds global, leading-edge research focused on the prevention of, and cures for, breast cancer.

Komen Michigan’s mission is to save lives and end breast cancer forever by empowering people, ensuring quality of care for all, and energizing science to find the cures.


Komen West Michigan:

Service Area – Kent, Ottawa, Muskegon, Newaygo and Montcalm counties.

For more information call 616-752-8262 or visit

Connect with Susan G. Komen West Michigan on Facebook at and Twitter @KomenWestMich.


Komen Southwest Michigan:

Service Area – Allegan, Berrien, Branch, Calhoun, Cass, Kalamazoo, St. Joseph, and Van Buren counties.

For more information, call 877-566-3679 or visit

Connect with Susan G. Komen Southwest Michigan on Facebook at KomenSWMich and Twitter @KomenSWMI.


Komen Mid-Michigan:

Service Area –Clinton, Eaton, Ingham, Jackson, Livingston, Shiawassee and Washtenaw counties.

For more information, call 517-886-4901 or visit

Connect with Susan G. Komen Mid-Michigan on Facebook at KomenMidMich and Twitter @KomenMidMI.