In This Section

A Comprehensive Cancer Center Designated by the National Cancer Institute

Developmental Research Program

Geoffrey Greene, PhD

Suzanne Conzen, MD

Aim 1: Establish a mechanism for soliciting DRP applications that reaches beyond cancer center members and the local SPORE community to all biological, physical, computer, and social science faculty members at the UChicago and Argonne National Laboratory, as well as to investigators at other SPOREs nationwide.

Aim 2: Encourage, support, and nurture interdisciplinary collaboration utilizing the expertise of our interdisciplinary Internal Scientific Advisory Committee.

Aim 3: Select and assess projects that help generate new hypotheses for development as full-fledged SPORE projects.

The UChicago SPORE in Breast Cancer DRP will continue to provide $50,000 annually ($25,000 from SPORE funds and $25,000 from institutional support) to each to fund four projects. There is a possibility of a second year of support based on progress. Criteria for selection will be: 1) scientific merit and potential relevance to clinical breast cancer; 2) originality and novel approaches; 3) expertise of key personnel; and 4) perceived likelihood of generating peer-reviewed external grant support to establish further work in preclinical and clinical work in breast cancer.

The UChicago SPORE Executive Committee will work with the Internal Advisory Board to select projects and encourage successful investigators to pursue independent funding so that even investigators who may be new to breast cancer research will have a high likelihood of successful application of their ideas to breast cancer prevention, diagnosis, and treatment.

DRP-Related Publications


Previous Developmental Projects

Years of Award

Principal Investigator

Project Title


Philip Connell, MD^

Targeted inhibition of homogous recombinational DNA repair in breast cancer cells


Robert Doebele, MD, PhD^

Analysis of Epac and Rap1 in Angiogenesis and Tumorigenesis of Breast Cancer


Kay Macleod, PhD*

BNIP3 as a Breast Cancer Metastasis Suppressor


Suzanne Conzen, MD^

Gene-environment interactions:  A possible breast cancer link to physiological stress signaling


Lucy Godley, MD, PhD

Identification of Proteins that Mediate Promoter Hypermethylation in Breast Cancer Using Novel Chemical Probes


Marvin Makinen, MD*^

Vanadyl (VO2+) chelates can Enhance Detection of Breast Cancer by FDG Pet Imaging


Kathleen Goss, PhD*^

Wnt Pathway Activation in Basal-like Breast Cancers


Richard Jones, PhD^

Quantitative Analysis of Ninety-Six Protein Targets in Triple Negative Breast Tumors and Generation of Next Generation Clinical Screening Technology


Rita Nanda, MD

The Role of VEGFR-2 Genetic Variation in Breast Cancer


Yang-Xin Fu, MD, PhD^

The Therapeutic Effect of Anti-HER2/neu Antibody Depends on Both Innate and Adaptive Immunity


Anthony Kossiakoff, PhD*^

Receptor mediated delivery of synthetic antibodies to antagonize focal adhesion signaling in breast cancer


Dorothy Sipkins, MD, PhD

In Vivo Imaging of Metastatic Breast Cancer Cell Interactions with the Bone Marrow Microenvironment


Kevin White, PhD*

Systems approach to define estrogen signaling regulators in breast cancer


Richard Jones, PhD*^

This project was initially awarded for funding in year 2 and was selected for a second term based on outstanding progress.  At the advice of the SPORE EC, Dr. Jones’ project was promoted to a CDP award.

5 and 6

M. Eileen Dolan, MD^

Pharmacogenomics of Paclitaxel

5 and 6

Kathleen Goss, PhD*^

Wnt signaling in triple-negative breast cancer:  a therapeutic target and molecular determinant of racial disparity

5 and 6

Dezheng Huo, MD, PhD^

Biological Basis Of Breast Cancer Subtype Heterogeneity Across Populations

5 and 6

Maijek Lesniak, MD

Role of microRNA in promoting breast cancer intracerebral metastases

5 and 6

Chuan He, PhD

The Epigenetics of Breast Cancer

   * External Funding Received directly related to the DRP project                                                      
^ Publication derived from their DRP project


The table below demonstrates the success of the DRP.  Over the past 6 years, recipients of these awards have received substantial peer and non-peer reviewed external funding.  The SPORE in Breast Cancer invested a total of $685,000 in the DRP.  Since the receipt of the Breast SPORE funds, awardees at the institution have received a total of $51,844,116 in grant funding. Of these awards, $26,869,069*, over half, was a direct result of the DRP project findings.  Publications have also been a great reflection of the success for our awardees.  Since the receipt of the SPORE, awardees have generated a total of 156 publications. Of these, 39 are directly related to their DRP project. 

Development Research Program


Funding Received



Total Number of

Total Amount

TC Awarded Since DRP

TC Awarded Related to DRP*

Since DRP

Related to DRP*

Year 1


 $      140,000

 $         5,621,443

 $          1,394,970



Year 2


 $      250,000

 $         8,433,943

 $               30,000



Year 3


 $      195,000

 $       33,880,692

 $        25,357,099



Year 4


 $                 -

 $                       -

 $                        -



Year 5


 $      100,000

 $         3,908,038

 $               87,000





 $      685,000

 $       51,844,116

 $        26,869,069



Several of the projects of the previous funding period were able to acquire additional funding to continue their SPORE-supported research.  Dr. Philip Connell was awarded an R21 for his work on recombination of DNA repair. Dr. Kay Macleod has been very successful and received awards from the Illinois Dept of Health, Avon Foundation, and an R01 for work based on her project. Drs. Conzen, Kosiakoff, White and Rosner have all been awarded NIH funding. Dr. Fu was awarded a R21 for $426K (The Role of Negative Signal in Early Infection) and 3 R01s: $272K (Tumor Necrosis Superfamily Ligands and Lymphocytes Role in Liver Regeneration); $868K (Synergy of Radiation and Immunotherapy: New Approaches); $1.6M (TNF family members for lymph angiogenesis and lymphnode hypertrophy). Dr. Kossiakoff received a U01 for $6.8M (Chaperone-Enabled Studies of Epigenetic Regulation Enzymes) and a U54 for $12.2M (Recombinant Antibody Network).