News Release

BU receives prestigious ACS award

Grant and Award Announcement

Boston University School of Medicine

(Boston) -- Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) is one of 12 sites nationwide selected to receive the American Cancer Society's Institutional Research Grants program award.

Beginning in January 2018, the three-year, $270,000 award will provide three pilot grants per year to junior faculty conducting cancer research. They will be chosen by an internal committee of faculty members with diverse cancer research expertise.

"This awards program is prized for its opportunity to support early-stage research for our junior faculty; these small grants can be difficult to come by, yet are important in establishing proof-of-concept and paving the way toward larger grants," explained Avrum Spira, MD, MSc, director of the BU-BMC (Boston Medical Center) Cancer Center, who will lead the program.

Since 1946, the American Cancer Society has funded research and training of health professionals to investigate the causes, prevention, and early detection of cancer, as well as new treatments, cancer survivorship, and end of life support for patients and their families. In those 71 years, the American Cancer Society's extramural research grants program has devoted more than $4.6 billion to cancer research and is honored to have given funding to 47 investigators who went on to win the Nobel Prize.

The Council for Extramural Research also approved 80 grant applications totaling $44,075,250 that could not be funded due to budgetary constraints. These "pay-if" applications represent work that passed the Society's multi-disciplinary review process but are beyond the Society's current funding resources. They can be and often are subsidized by donors who wish to support research that would not otherwise be funded. In 2016, more than $9 million in additional funding helped finance 35 "pay-if" applications.


Boston University School of Medicine began as the New England Women's Medical College in 1848 and was incorporated as Boston University School of Medicine in 1873. A leading academic and research institution with an enrollment of approximately 700 medical-degree students and 950 graduate students pursuing master's and doctoral degrees, the school has approximately 1,240 full- and part-time faculty members.

One of the major biomedical research institutions in the United States, it is renowned for its programs in cardiovascular disease, cancer, pulmonary and infectious diseases, dermatology, arthritis, pediatrics and geriatrics, among others. In the vanguard of research activities, BUSM faculty contribute to more than 950 active grants and contracts, and provide clinical leadership for the Framingham Heart Study, the largest epidemiological study in the world.

Its teaching affiliates include Boston Medical Center, the Boston VA Healthcare System, Kaiser Permanente in northern California and Roger Williams Medical Center in Rhode Island. For more information, please visit

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