Scientists Supported by The V Foundation Leverage Additional Funds for Transformative Cancer Research

The V Foundation for Cancer Research, one of the nation’s leading cancer research funding organizations, is pleased to highlight the work of several V Scholars as they continue to make advancements in cancer research.  The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) recently announced the four recipients of its inaugural NextGen Grants for Transformative Cancer Research, three of which have previously received V Scholar grants.  The V Foundation and its V Scholars have also been active in the National Cancer Moonshot Initiative by moderating and participating in numerous panels. This new initiative aims to make cancer therapies available to more patients, while also improving the ability to prevent the disease and detect it at an early stage.


“We are so proud of our V Scholars.  As a group, they represent the future of cancer research and the drivers of outcomes that will lead to the eradication of cancer,” said Susan Braun, CEO of The V Foundation.  “As individuals, they are smart and compassionate and dedicated.  Our grants are a tribute to their outstanding research as well as a catalyst for their future work.”


First honored at the AACR Annual Meeting earlier this year, the recipients of the NextGen Grants will each receive $450,000 over a three-year period.  The NextGen Grants were designed to stimulate highly innovative research from talented young investigators, paralleling the mission of The V Foundation’s V Scholar Grant program that identifies and furthers the careers of promising young researchers developing an independent laboratory. The V Foundation has leveraged more than $1 billion in funding for researchers from other sources by providing young scientists with a competitive edge at the start of their career.


“I am delighted to see major organizations like The V Foundation and the American Association for Cancer Research come together to support our young scientists,” said Scientific Advisory Committee member Nancy Davidson.  “The scientific opportunities have never been better for investment in our next generation of cancer researchers—they truly are the faces of our quest for a future without cancer.”


In addition to funding the best scientists nationwide, The V Foundation has recently been engaged in the National Cancer Moonshot Initiative.  Braun was a participant of Vice President Biden’s roundtable discussion at Duke Cancer Institute earlier this year and was a moderator for another Cancer Moonshot panel with leaders from North Carolina’s three comprehensive cancer centers.  Additionally, Nancy E. Davidson, MD, president of the AACR, director of the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute and member of The V Foundation’s world-renowned Scientific Advisory Committee, moderated a Congressional Briefing in June to describe the Cancer Moonshot and this critical time in cancer research.  Four of the five panelists asked to lead the Congressional Briefing’s conversation were V Scholars.  Capturing a national audience earlier this month at the ESPY Awards airing on ESPN and ABC, Vice President Biden reinforced the importance of funding cancer research prior to introducing Craig Sager, beloved sideline reporter bravely battling leukemia, as this year’s Jimmy V Perseverance Award winner.


“ESPN could not be more pleased to see the collaboration between The V Scholars and Vice President Joe Biden’s National Cancer Moonshot Initiative continue to grow,” said Kevin Martinez, Vice President Corporate Citizenship at ESPN.  “As a proud supporter of The V Scholar Summit, which convenes some of the best and brightest young scientists across the U.S., we will continue the fight against cancer, as one team.”


Named for the late Jim Valvano, legendary NC State basketball coach and ESPN commentator, The V Foundation has awarded more than $150 million in cancer research grants to institutions nationwide since its founding in 1993.  The V Foundation and ESPN recently announced the third annual ESPY Week generated more than $3.9 million for cancer research through various fundraising initiatives including a new $1.25 million partnership with the Scott Hamilton CARES Foundation.  Among the highest-rated nonprofits by Charity Navigator, America’s largest and most-utilized independent charity evaluator, The V Foundation has a strict adherence to sound fiscal management and transparency, awarding 100 percent of direct donations and net proceeds of events to cancer research.


Editor’s Note: A list of the V Scholars who received NextGen Grants and participated in the National Cancer Moonshot Initiative Congressional Briefing follows.


About The V Foundation for Cancer Research

The V Foundation for Cancer Research was founded in 1993 by ESPN and the late Jim Valvano, legendary North Carolina State basketball coach and ESPN commentator.  Since 1993, the Foundation has funded more than $150 million in cancer research grants nationwide.  It awards 100 percent of all direct cash donations to cancer research and related programs.  Due to generous donors, the Foundation has an endowment that covers administrative expenses.  The Foundation awards peer-reviewed grants through a competitive awards process vetted by a world-renowned Scientific Advisory Committee.  For more information on The V Foundation or to make a donation, please visit


AACR NextGen Grants for Transformative Cancer Research Recipients


2016 AACR NextGen Grant for Transformative Cancer Research
Paul A. Northcott, PhD, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Memphis
“Integrative functional genomics of recurrent childhood medulloblastoma”

2015 V Scholar
2016 AACR-Bayer NextGen Grant for Transformative Cancer Research
Andrew Hsieh, MD, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle
“The translation apparatus and mRNA dynamics in cancer”

2015 V Scholar
2016 AACR-Takeda Oncology NextGen Grant for Transformative Cancer Research
Nikil Wagle, MD, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston
“Overcoming resistance to combined ER and CDK4/6 inhibition in breast cancer”

2015 V Scholar


National Cancer Moonshot Initiative Congressional Briefing Participants


Kara A. Bernstein, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics

University of Pittsburgh Medical School

2014 V Scholar


Christine M. Lovly, M.D., Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Medicine, Division of Hematology-Oncology

Assistant Professor of Cancer Biology

Vanderbilt University School of Medicine

2015 V Scholar


Paul A. Northcott, Ph.D.

St. Jude Faculty, Department of Developmental Neurobiology

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

2015 V Scholar


Jose G. Trevino, II, M.D.

Assistant Professor, Department of Surgery

University of Florida College of Medicine

2015 V Scholar