ICRF Announces 83 Cancer Research Grants Awarded for 2022-2023

ICRF is pleased to announce a total of 83 cancer research grants - 28 new grants and 55 continuing grants - valued at $4,954,666 will be supported for the 2022-2023 funding year. The new grants include: one Clinic and Laboratory Integration Program (CLIP) Grant co-funded with Cancer Research Institute (CRI), a third Career Development Award (CDA) for a young, Israeli clinician-scientist, co-funded with Conquer Cancer (The ASCO Foundation), two Brause Family Initiative for Quality of Life Grants, and one Special Initiative in Pediatric Cancer Research Grant.

Additionally, two new Research Professorship Grants, ICRF’s most prestigious grant category, have been awarded and two new Project Grants are being sponsored thanks to a generous bequest from the Estate of Jerry Gross, a long-time ICRF supporter. With the 2022-2023 grants, ICRF’s funding has now reached 2,730 grants totaling more than $87.5 million

Among the areas of cancer research sponsored by ICRF in 2022/2023 are studies in blood, brain, breast, colorectal, head and neck, kidney, liver, lung, oral, ovarian, pancreatic, pediatric, prostate and skin cancers; drug development and chemoresistance; cancer stem cells; imaging and early detection; expression, regulation, and mutation of genes; DNA repair; tumor metastasis; obesity and cancer; cannabinoids for cancer treatment and pain management; targeted therapy and immunology; computational biology; cell signaling and cell-cycle control; cancer and bacteria and the tumor microenvironment.

Commenting on the new grants, ICRF President David Abramson said, "Despite the challenges we faced this year, ICRF will fund 83 research grants, enabling Israel's brilliant scientists to investigate new treatments and cures for a broad scope of cancers. We are determined to alleviate the suffering cancer causes by tapping into the innovation and resourcefulness of our ICRF-funded scientists."
Newly Funded Scientists Probe Pediatric, Blood,
Ovarian, Prostate Cancers
September has been designated an awareness month for many different cancer types, including childhood, blood, ovarian, and prostate cancers. Some of ICRF’s newly-funded investigators are conducting research in these areas. Their projects are detailed below.
Dinorah Friedmann-Morvinski, PhD, of Tel Aviv University, the first recipient of the ICRF Special Initiative in Pediatric Cancer Research Grant, is striving to improve treatment strategies for pediatric high-grade gliomas — very aggressive, universally fatal, pediatric brain tumors. One promising modality is genetically modifying the patient’s T cells (a type of cell in our immune system) to express chimeric antigen receptors (CARs) that can recognize and bind to molecules expressed on tumor cells and kill them. This modality has induced long-lasting remission in most patients with B cell malignancies (cancers of white blood cells), including pediatric patients. In this project, she aims to extend the potential of CAR T cell therapy to pediatric brain tumors and to overcome some of the major obstacles to the effectiveness of this strategy.
Liran Shlush, MD, PhD, of the Weizmann Institute of Science, who just received his first ICRF Project Grant, is studying acute myeloid leukemia (AML), a devastating disease, especially among the elderly. It is now known that most AML patients have a long latent period before diagnosis, during which pre-leukemic cells accumulate. Dr. Shlush has shown that specific mutations accumulate in pre-leukemic cells of otherwise healthy individuals. Access to the electronic health records of 3.2 million Israelis allowed him to develop algorithms for AML prediction based on routine clinical information. The goal of his research is to establish that these mutations can be used, not only to predict eventual tumor development, but also as targets for therapies that prevent and treat disease.
Osnat Ashur-Fabian, PhD, of Meir Medical Center, also the recipient of an ICRF Project Grant, is studying drug resistance in ovarian carcinoma, a cancer that ranks fifth in incidence in women. In order to improve treatment outcomes, she believes that a deeper understanding of resistance mechanisms is urgently needed. An enzyme called DIO3 was shown to be involved in ovarian cancer growth. Dr. Ashur-Fabian aims to study the potential role played by this enzyme in ovarian cancer treatment resistance, as well as the impact of inhibiting this enzyme as a novel approach for sensitizing cells to drugs.
Ronit Ilouz, PhD, of Bar-Ilan University, recipient of her first ICRF grant for early career scientists, the Research Career Development Award (RCDA), is studying the molecular and cellular mechanisms of protein kinases (intracellular enzymes that regulate cell growth and proliferation) and how they are deregulated in prostate cancer. Utilizing cutting-edge imaging techniques to map protein locations in the cell with high-resolution microscopy, she aims to identify the specific location of these proteins within the cells surrounding the tumor and the cellular partners with which they interact. This should lead to novel treatments for prostate cancer using specific kinase inhibitors, without causing unwanted side effects.
A breakthrough discovery by an international team of researchers led by ICRF grantee Ronit Satchi-Fanaro, PhD, of Tel Aviv University, promises to make immunotherapy available to all cancer patients. The results of the study were recently published in the Journal for ImmunoTherapy of Cancer and in several other publications. 
ICRF grant recipient Jacob Hanna, MD, PhD, and his genetics team at the Weizmann Institute of Science were the first to create a synthetic mouse embryo model which could eventually become a source of cells, tissues and organs for transplantation. Recently published in the peer-reviewed journal Cell, the breaking news also appeared in other outlets.
Cures for All Childhood Cancers by 2040, Asserts ICRF Researcher
To commemorate Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, ICRF interviews Professor Shai Israeli, MD, Director of the Hematology–Oncology Department at Schneider Children’s Medical Center, about his prestigious ICRF Professorship Grant, which focuses on both lowering the toxicity of cancer therapy and highly resistant leukemias. 
 As a leader in the field of pediatric cancer, can you tell us about the focus of your new five-year grant?
In the 40 years that I have been a physician, there has been a dramatic revolution in the outcome of childhood leukemia. In 1982, when I finished medical school, only 40 percent of children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), the most common cancer in children, were cured. Today, close to 90 percent are cured. By "cured," I mean cured for life! I always say to parents of a child with leukemia that our goal is that their child will become a grandparent; namely, he or she will live a normal life span with normal functioning. Unfortunately, up to 3 percent of children with leukemia die from chemotherapy, and many develop long-term health problems due to the effects of chemotherapy. One of the areas of our research focuses on lowering the toxicity of therapy. A major problem in treating children with leukemia is that it often spreads to the brain. Thus, every child receives toxic chemotherapy or even irradiation to prevent the spread of leukemia. This therapy sometimes damages the brain. Even slight damage is significant for the future life of a child.

Our second area of research focuses on those leukemias that are difficult to cure, such as acute myeloid leukemia (AML). I plan to use the generous funding provided by the ICRF Professorship Grant to attack this problem. Despite curing 90 percent of children with ALL, this is clearly not enough for the 10 percent of parents whose child dies from AML. In research that we hope to publish in the journal, Nature Communications, by the end of the year, we identified a new way to treat highly resistant AML. With ICRF’s support, we will take this research forward and aim to discover a more efficient therapy for AML.

 The combination of better intelligence about the enemy and novel weapons leads me to believe that the overwhelming majority of children with cancer
will be cured within the next two decades.

Professor Shai Izraeli
Conquer Cancer and ICRF Announce Co-Funding of 2022 Career Development Award
Conquer Cancer, the ASCO Foundation, is pleased to announce Orit Kaidar-Person, MD, of Sheba Medical Center as the recipient of the 2022 Conquer Cancer - Israel Cancer Research Fund Career Development Award (CDA).

Dr. Kaidar-Person’s proposed study entitled, "BRILLIANT study: BReast mri-based artificial InteLLIgence to identify high risk areas in residual breast tissue after mAstectomy and recoNsTruction" aims to develop imaging-based (Breast MRI) artificial intelligence models, using the largest database in Israel from the Meirav Center at Sheba Tel Hashomer. This model will assist with the identification of areas at high risk for cancer recurrence after mastectomy and implant-based reconstruction.

"This MRI-based model will highlight, on the patient’s breast images, the areas within the reconstructed breast that are at risk for cancer recurrence. This will help guide the selection and the extent of further treatment such as surgery or radiotherapy to decrease the risks for cancer recurrence. Our new technology should, hopefully, improve outcomes of thousands of breast cancer mastectomy patients worldwide by better identification of recurrence risks and improved options for subsequent treatments," said Dr. Kaidar-Person.

This is the third year of collaboration between Conquer Cancer and Israel Cancer Research Fund to award a CDA supporting high-quality clinical oncology research by an early-career physician scientist in Israel. The CDA is a three-year, $200,000 grant that provides resources to clinical and translational investigators during their initial years of faculty appointment when funding is especially challenging. The grant period starts on September 1, 2022.

“ICRF is thrilled to enhance its grants program by collaborating with Conquer Cancer once again. Our joint effort enables us to expand our funding opportunities to the brightest and most promising cancer investigators in Israel,” noted Beryl Chernov, ICRF National Executive Director.
ICRF Tower of Hope Galas Return to Live Format
Join us for a joyous night of entertainment, science and hope at an ICRF celebration nearest to you. Our honorees will be feted for their extraordinary contributions to their communities and for their support of ICRF.

Stay tuned for monthly updates!

Chicago, IL
September 29
Westin North Shore, Wheeling
Honoree: Richard Edelheit, Retired Partner from RSM US LLP; ICRF Chicago Board of Directors and ICRF International Treasurer
Inspiration Awardee: Lisa Alter Krule, Chicago Director, IsraelNow – Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago
Emcee: Robert S. Johnson, Communications Consultant, former News AnchorWBBM-TV in Chicago

Stamford, CT
October 23
Stamford Marriott Hotel
Honoree: In Memoriam - Alan Kalter, former announcer for the "Late Show with David Letterman"
Master of Ceremonies: Richard Kind, Award-Winning Actor of Stage, Screen, and Television
Panel Discussion: "Mitigating Cancer Risks" with Nicole Boxer, MS, Genetics Counselor; Fran Ginsberg, MD, Gynecologist and Reproductive Endocrinologist; Shara Israel, MD, Internist, Stamford Health; Shari Levine, PhD, Clinical Psychologist
Live Auction to support the Project Grant of Gideon Shreiber, PhD, Weizmann Institute of Science, focusing on chronic lymphocytic leukemia .
New York, NY
October 27
The Harmonie Club
Leadership Honoree: Rob Densen, Founder and CEO of Tiller, LLC, ICRF International Vice Chair and President Emeritus
Inspiration Honoree: Arnold M. Baskies, MD, Surgical Oncologist, former Chairman, American Cancer Society, ICRF International Vice President
Partnership Honoree: Ambassador Asaf Zamir, Consul General of Israel in New York
Chapter Events
9:00 PM
Yoga, Canasta, Mahjong Event in New Jersey

Join fellow ICRF supporters for a fun day of canasta, mahjong, yoga and more at Montammy Country Club in Alpine, New Jersey. The event includes breakfast, lunch, on-site vendors and the opportunity to help make an impactful difference for an important cause. Canasta lessons will be available for new players.
1:00 PM
Bike for the Fight in Toronto

Join ICRF’s 10th annual Bike for the Fight in memory of Howard Anson z"l, on September 18, 1:00 pm and 2:00 pm at SPINCO in Thornhill or Summerhill. Participants and teams will push their limits in the fight against cancer. Assemble your own team or peddle it out on your own! Set your own fundraising goal and watch the thermometer rise! Prizes will be awarded to the top fundraisers and teams.  
7:00 PM
A Night of Games in Chicago

ICRF Chicago presents an evening of mahjong, canasta, bridge and more! Bring your friends and enjoy games, dinner, raffle (everyone wins!) and a silent auction on October 20 from 7:00-10:00 pm at Ravinia Green Country Club in Riverwoods, Illinois. For more information, contact Sandy Rosen, Chicago Director of Development or Leemor Katz, Event Co-Chair
11:00 AM
Naples Charity Fall Golf Classic

Join your ICRF friends and supporters on October 25 from 11:00 am to 8:00 pm to play the exclusive Tiburòn Golf Course at the Ritz Carlton in Naples, Florida, followed by a post-golf cocktail party and concert. Sponsorship packages and discounted hotel accommodations available. All proceeds from this inaugural golf outing support pediatric cancer research. To register or sponsor, click here or email
5:30 PM
Chicago Visions Revolving Tables

The ICRF Chicago Visions Young Leadership Board presents Revolving Tables on October 27 at 5:30 pm. This one-of-a-kind networking event raises awareness and funds for ICRF while providing a unique evening of professional growth, social exchange and great food! For more information and sponsorship opportunities, please contact Ally Marks Greenfield,, 312.716.3263.
7:00 AM
Raise Funds for Team ICRF!
TCS New York City Marathon

We're thrilled to announce that #TeamICRF has secured one additional spot in the 2022 NYC Marathon on Sunday, November 6. Don't miss out on this incredible opportunity to run the iconic NYC marathon while making an impact on the fight against cancer. If you already have an entry spot for the NYC Marathon, you can run as part of Team ICRF and help raise money for life-saving cancer research in Israel. We will set up your fundraising page and provide you with Team ICRF race day gear. Please contact New York Executive Director Alan Herman for more details at
News Roundup
Ways to Support ICRF
Want to get your ICRF fix in between newsletters? Follow us on social media! We're on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram and would love to connect with you there!

See news updates, event announcements, ICRF profiles, and more!