Zeynep Gumus, Abhijit Patel, And Kimberly Rieger-Christ Receive LUNGevity Foundation 2014 Early Detection Awards for Lung Cancer Research

LUNGevity Foundation Continues Quest to Find a Noninvasive Method of Diagnosing Lung Cancer Early
Media Contact: 

Aliza Bran
(202) 414-0798

WASHINGTON, DC (July 9, 2014) – LUNGevity Foundation today announced the 2014 recipients of its Early Detection Award for Translational Lung Cancer Research. LUNGevity focuses on propelling forward research for the early detection of lung cancer because early detection has the potential to save thousands of lives.  Each of the three multi-year early detection awards ranges from $100,000 to $250,000 for the first year and is renewable in that amount, based on research progress, for each subsequent year.

LUNGevity’s Early Detection Awards for Translational Research program supports research projects directed at new approaches to improve clinical methods for the detection and diagnosis of primary tumors.

2014 Early Detection Awards for Translational Research were made to:

  • Zeynep Gumus, PhD, Joan & Sanford Weill Medical College of Cornell University, for
    “Identifying germline risk mutations for early-onset and familial non-small cell lung cancer”
  • Abhijit Patel, MD, PhD, Yale University, for
    “Detection of early-stage lung cancers via tumor DNA in blood”
  • Kimberly Rieger-Christ, PhD, Lahey Clinic Foundation, PhD, for
    “Nasal biomarkers for the evaluation of lung nodules found by LDCT screening”

LUNGevity’s Early Detection Awards are in addition to the other 2014 translational awards granted through LUNGevity’s Career Development and Targeted Therapeutics programs.

“Because lung cancer can be symptomless for a long time, many patients do not receive a diagnosis until the disease has spread and treatment options are limited,” said Andrea Ferris, President and Chairman of LUNGevity Foundation. “Improvements in early detection and diagnosis will save lives by identifying more patients at highly treatable stages of the disease. LUNGevity awardees are at the forefront of groundbreaking work that will have a direct impact on early detection.”

LUNGevity’s Scientific Research Program in Early Detection is supported by Janssen Research & Development, LLC; Genentech; and individual donors.

The Foundation works with its Scientific Advisory Board, nineteen prominent scientists and researchers, and additional experts to ensure that grants are awarded to the proposals with the greatest potential for saving lives. Under the guidance of the Scientific Advisory Board, chaired by Dr. Pierre Massion, Professor of Cancer Biology and Professor of Medicine in the Division of Allergy, Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, LUNGevity has become the nation’s premier private grant-making organization funding research for the early detection and effective treatment of lung cancer.


About LUNGevity Foundation  

LUNGevity Foundation is firmly committed to making an immediate impact on increasing quality of life and survivorship of people with lung cancer by accelerating research into early detection and more effective treatments, as well as by providing community, support, and education for all those affected by the disease.  

Our vision is a world where no one dies of lung cancer.

For more information about the grants or LUNGevity Foundation, please visit www.LUNGevity.org.


About Lung Cancer

  • 1 in 14 Americans is diagnosed with lung cancer in their lifetime
  • More than 224,000 people in the U.S. will be diagnosed with lung cancer this year
  • About 60% of all new lung cancer diagnoses are among people who have never smoked or are former smokers
  • Lung cancer kills more people than the next three cancers (colorectal, breast, and pancreatic) combined
  • Only 17% of all people diagnosed with lung cancer will survive 5 years or more, BUT if it’s caught before it spreads, the chance for 5-year survival improves dramatically

 To schedule an interview with Andrea Ferris or an award recipient, please contact Aliza Bran at (202) 414-0798 or abran@susandavis.com