ASHEVILLE, N.C.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Announcing a fistful of Foundation $200,000 research grants, a small patient advocacy group has formed MPN Genetics (mGEN) to help bring new gene editing technologies to a rare blood cancer. mGEN is supported by an elite international group of blood cancer scientists and specialists.
“Our strategy,” says mGEN Team Leader Zhenya Senyak, a myelofibrosis patient, “is simple. We want to help research biologists and genomic scientists focus on myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPNs) by opening access to research funding and supporting collaboration with hematologists and other clinicians. Right now, hematologists are new to gene editing and genetic engineering scientists likely never heard of MPNs.“
The multiple $200,000 grants, provided by the MPN Research Foundation with the support of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society are for basic research that brings new gene editing technologies to bear on MPN disease. The deadline to apply for the MPNRF/LLS research grants is April 1, 2015. The Request for Proposals can be downloaded at: http://www.mpnresearchfoundation.org/2015-Request-for-Research-Proposals.
Supporting mGEN is a cadre of scientists credited with discovery of the genetic mutations causing MPNs, directors of the largest US blood cancer treatment centers and researchers using CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing to clip the JAK2 mutation out of a human stem cell’s DNA.
The Scientific and Clinical Board includes John Crispino, PhD, Northwestern University, Claire Harrison, MD. Guy’s & St. Thomas’ Hospitals, Robert Kralovics, PhD CeMM, Research Center For Molecular Medicine, Ross Levine, MD, PhD, Memorial Sloan Kettering, Ruben Mesa, MD, Mayo Clinic, Andrew Schafer, MD, Weill-Cornell, Richard Silver, MD, Weill-Cornell, Srdan Verstovsek, MD, PhD. MD Anderson, and Zhaohui Ye, PhD Johns Hopkins.
The MPNs are a blood cancer affecting over 300,000 Americans. A disease with no cure beyond risky stem cell transplant, MPNs severely affect quality of life and are deadly in later stages.