Grant-Funded Cancer Research

Research funding, gifts and grants support Henry Ford Health’s researchers in their work, asking important questions to find new cures for cancer. Grants come from the federal government, corporations, private foundations and nonprofit organizations.

Recent cancer research funding

Our team’s recent awards include:

  • U.S. Department of Defense (DoD): Our researchers have several DoD grants, including investigation of:
    • Prostate cancer markers specific to African-American men: Albert Levin, Ph.D., is conducting research to develop an integrated DNA-based marker that combines genetic and epigenetic changes in prostate tumors into one biomarker. See more about precision medicine cancer research.
    • Targeted therapies for the treatment of prostate cancer: Sahn-Ho Kim, Ph.D., was funded in 2016 to explore the role of androgen receptor in telomere stability and to exploit its role as a new and attractive target to treat castrate-resistant prostate cancer. Find out more about prostate cancer.
    • Genetic markers for prostate cancer in men of different ethnic backgrounds: Nallasivam Palanisamy, Ph.D., received a three-year grant in 2016 to continue studying the difference in tumor markers that appear in African-American and European-American men.
    • AMPK (adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase) and antitumor immunity: Ramandeep Rattan, Ph.D., received a DoD Ovarian Cancer Research Program (OCRP) Translational Pilot Award for her work studying ovarian cancer metabolism. Find out more about gynecologic cancer research.
    • Master regulators that define glioma tumor progression: Houtan Noushmehr, Ph.D. was funded in 2017 to apply high-throughput next-generation sequencing to map all epigenetic changes at the DNA level and then identify the master regulators driving a more aggressive glioma phenotype.
  • National Institutes of Health (NIH): The NIH funds several projects at Henry Ford, including:
    • Gene therapy: NIH has funded the work of Svend Freytag, Ph.D., on gene therapy for more than 30 years. Dr. Freytag has received a total of eight NIH grants, including a five-year P01 award. In 2004, Dr. Freytag received a $9 million grant that the agency renewed in 2008.
    • Tumor imaging: Carri Glide-Hurst, Ph.D., received a five-year R01 grant in 2016 for her work developing magnetic resonance (MR)-only tumor imaging. The grant focuses on pelvic tumors (gynecologic and prostate) and brain tumors. Read more about cancer imaging research.
    • Treatment of glioma: Meser Ali, Ph.D., received a four-year R01 grant in 2016 for his work in temozolomide (TMZ)-based radiation therapy, the sole therapy available for patients with glioblastoma multiforme (GBM). The goal of this research project is to apply the most recent advances in nanotechnology for targeted delivery of vascular disrupting agents with a combination of radiation therapy for real-time monitoring of response to the treatment.
    • Exosomes and platinum-induced peripheral neuropathy: Platinum-based drugs are commonly used to treat cancers, but chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN) is one of the most common complications that often lead to platinum drug dose reductions, compromising efficiency of platinum drugs to suppress tumor progression. Zheng Gang Zhang, Ph.D., has a NCI-funded study of exosomes, nanovesicles that mediate intercellular communication, to investigate the effect of these exosomes on platinum-drug-induced CIPN and to understand how to best avoid these cancer treatment complications.
    • Molecular and statistical evaluation of gliomas: Glioma diagnosis guidelines now rely on tumor DNA changes more than on how the tissue looks under a microscope. Laila Poisson, Ph.D., has a 5-year grant from the NCI to create statistical models to predict therapy response and overall survival under the new diagnosis guidelines using banked glioma tissue and thoroughly annotated clinical data of brain tumor patients. See more about precision medicine cancer research.
    • Optimizing lung cancer screening in diverse populations: Chris Neslund-Dudas Ph.D., is heading up the NCI-funded, “Population-based Research to Optimize the Screening Process (PROSPR)”, study at Henry Ford. The overall goal for PROSPR is to enhance understanding of the implementation and effects of screening as practiced in multiple healthcare environments in the United States.
    • Radiotherapy in the treatment of Brain Tumors: James Ewing, Ph.D., is conducting a NCI-funded study that will use dynamic magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to explore why high-dose radiotherapy is sometimes more effective in brain tumor treatment than conventional fractionated radiotherapy. Read more about brain tumors.
    • Prostate cancer biomarkers: Ben Rybicki, Ph.D., is conducting research on inflammatory biomarkers in early prostate carcinogenesis with his third round of NIH funding that originated in 2000. Dr. Rybicki has previously studied the role of DNA adducts and inflammation in prostate cancer epidemiology. Read more about cancer epidemiology, prevention and control.
  • Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI): Steven Chang, M.D., receives funding from PCORI for his research into patient engagement in head and neck cancer outcomes and survivorship. Find out more about head and neck cancer research.
  • Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer (SBIR/STTR): Fred Valeriote, Ph.D., holds grants in drug discovery and development to seek new anticancer agents. Dr. Valeriote also assists other researchers in navigating the SBIR/STTR application process. Learn more about our cancer research cores and shared resources.

Collaborate with our cancer researchers

We conduct research in nearly a dozen different areas of oncology. If you’d like to contribute, please read more about our research areas of emphasis.

Find a clinical trial

We offer hundreds of clinical trials, through all stages of research. Patients, families and referring physicians can learn more about our clinical trials.


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