January 14, 2021
Danny Welch, PhD, researcher and associate director for Education at The University of Kansas Cancer Center, has been awarded a $100,000 grant from METAvivor. The grant will support Dr. Welch’s efforts studying BRMS1, a breast cancer metastasis suppressor gene, as a possible target for an antimetastatic therapy.
Cancer metastasis is the spread of the disease from its primary site, and it is the leading cause of cancer-related deaths. Dr. Welch and his team have discovered eight of the 30 known genes that suppress metastasis.
“We have identified a part of a molecule derived from BRMS1 that plays a key role in suppressing metastasis. METAvivor’s grant will fund our efforts to identify what that piece interacts with, and then use that information to translate to the clinic.”
METAvivor is an advocate-led nonprofit organization dedicated to funding research for stage IV metastatic breast cancer. Since its founding in 2009, METAvivor has allocated 100% of its donations to its peer-reviewed research grant program. Dr. Welch, who received METAvivor’s first-ever grant more than a decade ago, is a member of METAvivor’s Research Advisory Board.
“Without their investment, we wouldn’t be able to proceed to the next step in our research,” Dr. Welch said. “Most of METAvivor’s leaders have metastatic disease. They keep me focused on my research goals because they don’t have time to wait. They’re looking for something that can help sooner rather than many years down the road.”