The V Foundation for Cancer Research Announces Record-Breaking Year for Research Funding

Nearly $43 Million Awarded to 73 Research Teams

CARY, NC (November 20, 2023) – The V Foundation for Cancer Research, a top-rated cancer charity, announced a record-breaking year of cancer research funding.  In its 30th year, the V Foundation awarded nearly $43 million in grants to 73 research teams from prestigious cancer centers. This is the highest amount the V Foundation has granted in any single year, bringing the organization’s total to over $353 million granted since its founding in 1993.


“Our mission is to fund game-changing research and all-star scientists to accelerate Victory Over Cancer® and save lives,” said Shane Jacobson, Chief Executive Officer at the V Foundation. “And we are in full acceleration mode. Thanks to our dedicated supporters, 25% of the money we’ve raised for cancer research since we began 30 years ago has been generated in the last three years alone. This means more scientists are pursuing bold ideas, leading to new targeted therapies and cancer treatments of the future.”

Outstanding accomplishments, new programs and breakthroughs initiated over the last year include:

  • A Grant of Her Own: The Women Scientists Innovation Award for Cancer Research, a new grant program established as a unique gender-specific grant designed to address inequities in cancer research funding. $8 million was invested in the groundbreaking work of 11 women scientists who are leading the charge in cancer research. This program is designed to counter historical disparities between female researchers and their male colleagues, including lower start-up funding and fewer grant awards from federal funding at all points in their careers.

“This funding is incredibly vital for the establishment of our research program. It allows us to explore new cancer research avenues, access cutting-edge technologies, and continue our work toward finding solutions for the devastating impact of cancer,” said Christina Glytsou, Ph.D., a 2023 A Grant of Her Own recipient. “What is really special about this award is that it highlights the significance of empowering women in the field of science.”

  • A peak year for the Dick Vitale Pediatric Cancer Research Fund, allowing the V Foundation to offer a unique second call for applications from researchers focused on childhood cancers. In just the past year, the fund has granted over $16.9 million, bringing the V Foundation’s lifetime total to more than $84 million awarded to pediatrics.
  • A new partnership with the Jeff Gordon Children’s Foundation (JGCF). With a $1.5 million commitment from JGCF paired with a match from the V Foundation, $3 million was awarded as part of a special All-Star Grant program to three V Foundation-funded researchers who have shown incredible promise in their pediatric studies.
  • Breakthrough progress and discoveries by V-funded researchers, including:
    • Matthew Galsky and his team at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, who developed a study to examine the outcomes of a type of chemotherapy for patients with muscle invasive bladder cancer. Most treatments require the partial or full removal of the bladder (a cystectomy), but Dr. Galsky’s trial hopes to give patients a treatment option that achieves a complete response without cystectomy. This study could change patient care and quality of life in a significant way.
    • Maayan Levy and her team at University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine / Abramson Cancer Center, who published new information about microorganisms that live in the gut and their connection to overall health. From these findings, Dr. Levy has shifted her focus from simply studying the types of bacteria in the gut, to examining how they are spatially arranged, which may help in early cancer detection, risk assessment and personalizing treatments.

“Through an incredible show of generosity by V Foundation supporters, we’ve not only achieved our highest grant award year, but we’ve also significantly increased the amount granted to each project. With this increase, we’re ensuring researchers have the resources they need to accelerate their understanding of this disease and save more lives,” said Susanna Greer, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer at the V Foundation. “As we look toward the future, we know there is still significant work to be done to eliminate this disease, and we’re confident that we’re funding the brightest minds in science to reach that goal.”

Researchers funded by the V Foundation have collectively, throughout their careers, been connected to over 900 clinical trials and have received over 5,000 additional grants that have generated over $19 billion in additional research dollars.

“It’s an honor to support world-class scientists who are changing the future of cancer research,” said Evan Goldberg, Board Chair of the V Foundation. “We seek out bold ideas and projects most likely to move the needle in this field, and most importantly, save lives. The momentum and support for the V Foundation mission is growing every year. It’s inspiring to see the work we’re doing to advance research and breakthroughs.”

The V Foundation holds 12 consecutive 4-star (highest) ratings from Charity Navigator, America’s largest evaluator of charities, making the foundation among the top 2% of all charities evaluated. The V Foundation is also a GuideStar Platinum Transparency rated charity.

To learn more or to donate, please visit


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 University basketball coach and ESPN commentator. The V Foundation has funded over $353 million in game-changing cancer research grants nationwide through a competitive process strictly supervised by a world-class Scientific Advisory Committee. Because the V Foundation has an endowment to cover administrative expenses, 100% of direct donations is awarded to cancer research and programs.  The V team is committed to accelerating Victory Over Cancer®. To learn more, visit


For Immediate Release

Media Contact: 
Alexandra Paterson

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