Brian D. Novis Research Grants

Brian D. Novis

In 1995, the IMF established the Brian D. Novis Research Grant program in memory of its co-founder. The grants are awarded annually to promote research into all areas of myeloma in an effort to improve patient outcomes. To date, the IMF has funded more than 100 of the most promising projects by both senior and junior investigators in the field of myeloma. Important research supported by the IMF has made contributions that bring us closer to fulfilling the IMF’s mission – finding a cure for myeloma.

The 2018 grant application period is now open

Apply for a 2018 Brian D. Novis Research Grant

2017 Brian D. Novis Research Grants

The International Myeloma Foundation (IMF) presented its 2017 Research Grant awards at a ceremony held during the 58th annual meeting of the American Society of Hematology (ASH) in December 2016 at San Diego, California, USA.

For nearly 22 years, the IMF has funded promising clinical investigators in the field of multiple myeloma (MM) from around the world through donations from private individuals and IMF Member Fundraisers.

Senior Grant Recipients

Anti-CD229 Chimeric Antigen Receptor T Cells for the Treatment of Multiple Myeloma

Djordje Atanackovic, MD 
Huntsman Cancer Institute
​Salt Lake City, UT

Abstract: Multiple myeloma (MM) is an incurable blood cancer. It has recently been shown that the immune system is able to control tumor growth and in some cases to even cure cancer. Specifically, immune cells engineered to express chimeric antigen receptors (CAR) that specifically recognize structures on the surface of tumor cells have shown remarkable clinical results in patients with blood cancers. We have discovered a protein specifically expressed on MM cells and developed several CARs recognizing this antigen that are able to kill MM cells. We propose to determine the therapeutic potential of these CARs in vitro and in vivo.

Deciphering the role of eRNAs in the pathogenesis of multiple myeloma      

Felipe Prosper, MD
Foundation for Applied Medical Research (FIMA)
Pamplona, Navarra, Spain 

Abstract: Long non-coding RNAs, which include eRNAs, constitute a novel and unexplored mechanism that can regulate the expression of genes, and therefore regulate the fate of a cell. Our previous work suggested that the expression of such elements is altered in MM. In this project, we will identify the set of eRNAS that are altered in MM, and will ascertain how they work to contribute to the malignant phenotype of the MM cell. Identification of eRNAs that are highly expressed in this disease and confer oncogenic properties may represent new therapeutic targets for MM treatment. 

Targeting residual, dormant cancer cells in myeloma: a new approach 

Karin Vanderkerken, PhD
Vrije Universiteit Brussel
Brussels, Belgium

Abstract: Multiple Myeloma (MM) is a blood cancer that remains most often incurable. MM patients relapse due to the presence of residual cancer cells in the bone marrow. Recently, it has been shown that myeloma cells enter a ‘quiescent or dormant’ state and become resistant to chemotherapy that targets proliferating cells. Axl and CS1 are two genes that were identified to be highly upregulated in dormant cells compared to dividing cells. Our objective is to specifically target the residual cancer cells by the development of radiolabeled nanobodies directed against CS1 and Axl.

Junior Grant Recipients

Generation and validation of a monoclonal antibody against VISTA for the immunomodulatory therapy of multiple myeloma        

Neelam Bhardwaj, PhD
Huntsman Cancer Institute
Salt Lake City, UT

Abstract: Multiple Myeloma (MM) is a blood cancer, which in most cases still remains incurable. The immune system can play an important role in controlling tumor growth and even lead to cures. In particular, the use of checkpoint inhibitors has shown remarkable clinical results for patients with solid tumors by improving the anti-tumor response of the patients’ own T cells. We propose to develop a novel checkpoint inhibitor antibody targeting VISTA, an immunosuppressive protein overexpressed in patients with MM. We will use state-of-the-art technology to develop this antibody and validate its therapeutic potential for the treatment of MM.

Targeting of BMI-1 as novel treatment option in multiple myeloma: Examination of PTC-028 as putative anti-myeloma drug in vitro and in vivo        

Arnold Bolomsky, DI (FH) Dr.
Wilhelminen Cancer Research Institute
Vienna, Austria

Abstract: In spite of ongoing progress novel treatment options for multiple myeloma (MM) are urgently needed. In this context, we recently described the tumour promoting gene BMI-1 as attractive drug target in myeloma. Based on these results this study aims to (1) reveal the role of BMI-1 for the growth and survival of MM cells, (2) identify novel BMI-1 partner molecules, (3) clarify the role of BMI-1 in drug resistance and (4) examine the impact of BMI-1 blockade in a MM mouse model. The results of this study intend to lay the groundwork for clinical testing of BMI-1 inhibitors in myeloma.

Bone/bone marrow-targeted inhibition of Notch signaling in combination with glucocorticoid therapy as a novel approach to treat multiple myeloma

Jesus Delgado-Calle, PhD
Indiana University School of Medicine
Indianapolis, IN

Abstract: Multiple Myeloma (MM) is a blood cancer in which abnormal plasma cells accumulate in the bone marrow, and induce bone destructive lesions that do not repair, cause excruciating bone pain and a high risk of fracture. In this application we will examine whether blocking Notch activation, a specific type of cell communication pathway in MM cells, combined with steroid treatment decreases MM growth and improves the bone disease and muscle weakness caused by MM. Successful completion of these studies could result in the development of new treatments for MM and prevent bone fractures.

Treating myeloma through inducing degradation of BET bromodomain proteins

Geoffrey M. Matthews, PhD
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Boston, MA

Abstract: Multiple myeloma (MM) is an incurable cancer with a clear unmet need for novel therapeutic approaches. Our data suggests that new agents, known as dBET, have strong anti-tumor effects in MM and act by not only reducing the activity of their target protein, but also causing its complete degradation within the tumor cell. This double-pronged approach leads to far greater levels of cancer cell death than traditional inhibitors, including JQ1. Here we aim to better understand how dBET causes the death of MM cells and whether these new agents can override resistance of MM cells to other agents.

Exploiting IDO1-GCN2-p62 axis in MM microenvironment to trigger myeloid derived suppressors cells in multiple myeloma       

Alessandra Romano
Ospedale San Raffaele
Milano, Italy

Abstract: Multiple myeloma is due to uncontrolled proliferation of malignant plasma cells which survive in the bone marrow for a long time. The bone marrow contains a myriad of cell types that could foster the growth and survival of the plasma cells, hampering the immune system thus to hide tumor to immune surveilling cells. We propose to characterize the molecular signaling in immune surveilling cells which deplete essential aminoacids in the bone marrow microenvironment cells as novel therapeutic target, to restore the immune paresis through aminoacid supplementation. 

 

Archives

2016 Brian D. Novis Research Grants

The International Myeloma Foundation (IMF) presented its 2016 Research Grant awards at a ceremony held during the 57th annual meeting of the American Society of Hematology (ASH) in December 2015 at Orlando, Florida USA.

For nearly 21 years, the IMF has funded promising clinical investigators in the field of multiple myeloma (MM) from around the world through donations from private individuals and IMF Member Fundraisers.

Senior Grant Recipients

Blood biomarkers for clonal progression in multiple myeloma

Irene Ghobrial, MD (BSRI)
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Boston, MA, USA

Optimization and validation of an automated capillary immunoelectrophoresis technology to quantify the expression of essential proteins in the pathogenesis of multiple myeloma      

Norma C. Gutierrez, MD, PhD (BSRI)
Salamanca Institute for Biomedical Research (IBSAL)
University Hospital of Salamanca
Salamanca, Spain

Runx2 regulation of EMT and a bone resident of cell-like phenotype in myeloma cells 

Yang Yang, MD, PhD (2nd year funding)
University of Alabama at Birmingham
Birmingham, AL, USA

NEK2 signaling in myeloma osteolytic disease

Fenghuang Zhan, MD, PhD
University of Iowa
Iowa City, IA, USA

Junior Grant Recipients

Investigating the Role of Robo1 in Migration and Homing in Multiple Myeloma        

Giada Bianchi, MD
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Boston, MA, USA

Targeting the inhibitory pathways in the bone marrow microenvironment of multiple myeloma patients        

Barbara Castella, PhD
CERMS - AOU Citta della salute e della scienza di Torino
Torino, Italy

Proteasome Deubiquitinase Inhibitors as a new treatment for Multiple Myeloma

Padraig D’Arcy, PhD
Karolinska Institute
Stockholm, Sweden

Treating myeloma through inducing degradation of BET bromodomain proteins

Geoffrey M. Matthews, PhD
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Boston, MA

Targeting glutamine addiction in MM cells to inhibit disease progression and enhance myeloma therapeutics       

Vijay Ramakrishnan, PhD
Mayo Clinic
Rochester, MN, USA

IMF Japan Grant Recipients

IMF Japan Aki Horinouchi Research Grant:
Regulation of PDPK1 and its clinical significance in multiple myeloma

Yoshiaki Chinen MD, PhD
Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine
Graduate School of Medical Science
Kyoto, Japan 

Identification of novel thalidomide-binding proteins and drug design for teratogenicity-negative IMiDs        

Daiju Ichikawa, PhD
Keio University
Kyoto, Japan

2015 Brian D. Novis Research Grants

The International Myeloma Foundation (IMF) presented its 2015 Research Grant awards at a ceremony held during the 56th annual meeting of the American Society of Hematology (ASH) in December 2014 at San Francisco, California USA.

For nearly 20 years, the IMF has funded promising clinical investigators in the field of multiple myeloma (MM) from around the world through donations from private individuals and IMF Member Fundraisers. 

Senior Grant Recipients

Caloric restrictions and bone marrow adiposity in multiple myeloma

Claire M. Edwards, PhD
Nuffield Department of Surgical Sciences
Nuffield Department of Orthopaedics, Rheumatology and Muscoloskeletal Sciences
Oxford, United Kingdom

The role of myeloma cell-derived Runx2 in myeloma metastasis: focus on bone microenvironment

Yang Yang, MD, PhD
Department of Pathology
University of Alabama at Birmingham
Birmingham, AL, USA

Junior Grant Recipients

Identifying tumor response heterogenity using single-cell transcriptomics        

Amit Kumar Mitra, PhD
Dept. of Genetics, Cell Biology and Development
Regents of the University of Minnesota
Minneapolis, MN, USA

Multiple Myeloma Cells Modulate ICAM3 to Evade Natural Killer Cell-Mediated Lysis        

Tarun K. Garg, PhD
Myeloma Institute for Research and Therapy
University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
Little Rock, AR, USA

IMF Japan Grant Recipients

Aki Horinouchi Research Grant:
The role of SLAM family molecules and immunotherapy with SLAM-directed chimeric antigen receptor (CAR)-engineered T cells in multiple myeloma

Hideto Tamura, MD, PhD
Division of Hematology, Department of Medicine
Nippon Medical School

Elucidation of the molecular mechanism on a novel apoptotic cell death-inducing pathway in multiple myeloma cells

Hirofumi Tachibana, MD, PhD
Department of Bioscience and Biotechnology, Faculty of Agriculture
Kyushu University

 

Minimal residual disease monitoring in myeloma using next-generation sequencing


Hiroyuki Takamatsu, MD, PhD
Cellular Transplantation Biology
Kanazawa Unviesity Graduate School of Medical Sciences

2014 Brian D. Novis Research Grants

The International Myeloma Foundation (IMF) presented its 2014 Research Grant awards at a ceremony held during the 55th annual meeting of the American Society of Hematology (ASH) in December 2013 at New Orleans, Louisiana, USA.

For nearly 20 years, the IMF has funded promising clinical investigators in the field of multiple myeloma (MM) from around the world through donations from private individuals and IMF Member Fundraisers.

Senior Grant Recipients

Dynamics of microRNA and cellfree DNA profiles during multiple myeloma progression

Roman Hajek
University of Ostrava
Ostrava, Czech Republic

Gambogic acid: a potential therapeutic agent for multiple myeloma and associated bone loss

Manoj Pandey
Pennsylvania State University
College of Medicine
Hershey, Pennsylvania, USA

TPL kinase regulates macrophage-tumor cell interactions in the myeloma niche: biological and clinical implications

Fotis Asimakopoulos- Madison
University of Wisconsin
Madison, Wisconsin, USA
 

 Junior Grant Recipients 

Development of human tumor antigen specific T cells against multiple myeloma

Jinsheng Weng
MD Anderson Cancer Center 
Houston, Texas, USA

Exploiting the stress of amyloidogenic light chain production as a therapeutic target

Laura Oliva
Fundazione Centro San Raffaele
Milano, Italy
 

High throughput sequencing of multiple myeloma and its precursor state, smoldering myeloma

Sham Mailankody
National Cancer Institute
National Institute of Health
Betheseda, Maryland

Mechanisms of clonal progression in multiple myeloma

Brian White
Washington University in St. Louis
St. Louis, Missouri, USA
 

Phenotypic and molecular characterization of circulating tumor cells and minimal residual disease myeloma cells: understanding disease dissemination and chemoresistance

Bruno Paiva 
Fundación para la Investigación Médica Aplicada Clínica
Pamplona, Navarra, Spain

Study of the epigenetic regulation of multiple myeloma cells within the bone marrow microenvironment

Elke De Bruyne
Vrije Universiteit
Brussel, Belgium

IMF Japan Grant Recipients

Aki Horinouchi Research Grant:
Development of novel anti-myeloma agents with anabolic actions

Masahiro Hiasa, MD
Dept. of Biomaterials and Bioengineering
University of Tokushima Graduate School
Tokushima, Tokushima, Japan

IMF Japan Special Research Grant:
Elucidation of calcineurin as a novel oncogene in multiple myeloma and development of calcineurin-targeted therapy for multiple myeloma

Yoichi Imai, MD, PhD
Dept. of Hematology
Tokyo Women's Medical University
School of Medicine
Shinjuku, Japan

2013 Brian D. Novis Research Grants

The Brian D. Novis and IMF Japan Research Grants were presented during the American Society of Hematology (ASH) meeting in Atlanta, Georgia. Two senior grants, four junior grants, two IMF Japan grants, and an IMF Special Research Grant were awarded to the researchers listed below.

Senior Grant Recipients

Gambogic Acid: A potential therapeutic agent for multiple myeloma and associated bone loss

Manoj Pandey, PhD
Research Associate, Department of Pharmacology
Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine
Hershey, Pennsylvania, USA

Validation of non-competitive proteasome modulation for multiple myeloma

Jetze J. Tepe, PhD

Associate Professor of Chemistry
Michigan State University
East Lansing, Michigan, USA

Junior Grant Recipients

Potent in vitro and in vivo synergistic anti-MM activity of Nampt inhibitor and Bortezomib by augmented intracellular ER stress

Antonia Cagnetta, MD
Medical Oncology, Division of Hematologic Neoplasia
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Harvard Medical School
Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Evaluation of the potency of immunomodulatory drugs to enhance the effectiveness of dendritic cell based immunotherapy for multiple myeloma

Brenda De Keersmaecker, PhD
Laboratory of Molecular and Cellular Therapy
Department Immunology-Physiology
Medical School of the Vrije Universiteit Brusse
Brussels, Belgium

Identification of specific substrates for the Cereblon E3 ubiquitin ligase

Thang Van Nguyen, PhD
Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Division of Biology
California Institute of Technology
Pasadena, California, USA

Myeloid-derived suppressor cell generation and activation regulated by multiple myeloma cells

Els Van Valckenborgh, PhD Department of Hematology and Immunology-Myeloma Center
Vrije Universiteit Brussel
Brussels, Belgium

IMF Japan Research Grant Recipient

Aki Horinouchi Research Grant:

Development of novel immunotherapy against multiple myeloma

Tetsuro Sasada, MD, PhD
Department of Immunology and Immunotherapy
Kurume University School of Medicine
Kurume, Japan

IMF Special Research Grant

Establishment of a novel prognostic model based on the ISS, FISH and sFLC for multiple myeloma in the novel agent era

Juan Du, MD, PhD
Department of Hematology, The Myeloma & Lymphoma Center
Changzheng Hospital
Shanghai, China