Among the many unsolicited accolades BCRF has received from members of the scientific community are the following testimonials:
"The Breast Cancer Research Foundation is a first-of-its-kind and still-leading organization [that] recognized that new knowledge in the laboratory is worthless to people if it is not translated into clinical research, clinical trials and clinical applications. The BCRF now supports investigators in the United States, Canada, Belgium, France, Spain, the United Kingdom, Israel and Latin America. Each year, it hosts a major event in New York, coupling a scientific symposium with a public educational panel, demonstrating the patient-oriented focus of the organization. The scientists chosen to participate in the BCRF are all established investigators of notable achievement, but they are asked to propose truly innovative research--breaking new ground, finding new directions, taking rational chances--so as to move the field forward with more speed, more excitement. This approach has not only yielded concrete progress but has inspired uncountable translational research initiatives throughout the world."
Larry Norton, MD
Deputy Physician-in-Chief, Director of Breast Cancer Programs, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
Chairman, BCRF Executive Board of Scientific Advisors
New York, NY
"Thanks to BCRF for ALL of your vast efforts in supporting our research. BCRF grants have always made a difference for the top breast cancer research and clinical investigators. Now with the reduction in federal funding and associated 'non-transparent' biases and prejudices in peer review, the funding principles and overall approach of BCRF is making even more impact, or at least it is even more distinguishable and critical to maintain the momentum that developed over the past ten years."
Joan S. Brugge, PhD
Chair of Department of Cell Biology, Harvard Medical School
"I firmly believe that we at Penn were positioned to...receive the founding gift for the Basser Research Center because of BCRF. Two of the major areas that were crucial to its establishment were my ongoing BCRF-supported collaboration with Dr. Robert Vonderheide on immune therapy approaches for prevention and the work of our BCRF-supported colleague, Dr. Katherine Nathanson, on BRCA1/2 modifier genes. BCRF has been instrumental in creating a culture of collaboration and excellence in these areas at Penn."
Susan Domchek, MD
Associate Professor of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania Abramson Cancer Center, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
"We are so excited about our new grant from the National Cancer Institute to investigate the causes of breast cancer in African-American women. BCRF played a LARGE role in getting the preliminary data to support it. It was with funding from BCRF that we first began getting the tumor blocks from the Women's Circle of Health Study and making tissue microarrays (showing that we could do it). Then, BCRF funding for the last two years provided our preliminary data for our project on cytokines and vitamin D in relation to the development of aggressive forms of breast cancer in African-American women. We are so grateful to BCRF!"
Christine Ambrosone, PhD
Professor and Chair of Department of Cancer Prevention and Control, Roswell Park Cancer Institute
"Much of science (and funding) is based on competing with other scientists and has been that way since the beginning. But BCRF is completely opposite. You foster collaborations. You remind us that we are all on the same team and working towards a common goal. You have made all of us better scientists! I received my RO1 [grant from National Institutes of Health] and could not have done it without BCRF. Many of my peers are leaving academia because of the current funding environment. But BCRF enabled me to keep my science moving forward while trying to secure additional funding in these extremely challenging times. BCRF is supporting a great deal of today's groundbreaking breast cancer research, which in turn leads to the training and mentoring of the next generation of scientists. I have certainly been one of the fortunate recipients of this. Thanks again for all you do for us! And let's hope we can all get out of this business soon by beating this disease once and for all!"
James M. Rae, PhD
Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine and Pharmacology, University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI
"BCRF support made it possible for my lab to move into a new direction -- to find breast cancer stem cells that are formed after breast cells become cancerous. This represented a research direction for which I had no dedicated support, making the BCRF grant invaluable.
Destroying these cancer stem cells is the key to finding ways to achieve durable responses to anti-breast cancer therapy. Following up from these initial studies, researchers at the Broad Institute worked with my lab to begin the search for drugs that target the cancer stem cells. This work has now begun to yield highly interesting, novel agents for treating breast cancer and, quite possibly, other cancers as well."
Robert A. Weinberg, PhD
Founding Member, Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research
"I am personally very thankful for having been awarded a BCRF grant [for 2008/09]. I am honored to be included in this group, and these funds are critical to my lab. BRCF funds very much allow me to do research that I would not otherwise be able to pursue due to the more narrow approach of the NIH/NCI. For example, the BCRF funds allow me to "fill in the gaps" between existing NIH projects, and more importantly, allow me to try the more far-reaching and high risk experiments that more traditional agencies would never fund. As you know, it is this freedom to experiment that is critical to innovation and scientific advancement, and this is what BCRF allows me to do. I again thank the Scientific Advisors for their ongoing support of my lab and guidance."
Charles (Chuck) Perou, PhD
Associate Professor of Genetics & Pathology, Carolina Center for Genome Sciences, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
"The notification about The BCRF grant award was doubly appreciated because NIH grants are more difficult to obtain right now than I can ever recall. These times are especially difficult for young scientists at the beginning of their careers. Part of the BCRF funding to our lab helps to support a brilliant young scientist who has a very promising career."
Judah Folkman, MD
Director, Vascular Biology Program, Children's Hospital
Professor of Cell Biology, Harvard Medical School
"Catalyst exactly explains the role BCRF has had for our research. Because BCRF funding was quick and unencumbered, we were able to begin our work on the New York Breast Cancer Project immediately and make rapid progress... BCRF changed my life as a scientist by freeing me from the tyranny of intellectually safe projects. BCRF saved the lives of many women by making out-of-the-box work possible by us all. It takes a village. Please give our thanks to everyone in yours."
Mary-Claire King, PhD
The New York Breast Cancer Study
American Cancer Society Professor, Departments of Medicine and
Genome Sciences, University of Washington
"One of the great advantages offered by Breast Cancer Research Foundation funding is the immense flexibility it offers researchers to perform exciting, cutting edge research studies without the prolonged attempts at obtaining research funding from relatively unimaginative study sections." [In the course of describing a new program, Friends for Life, established with BCRF funding, he went on to say:] "It is important to emphasize that, had this case control study been performed in a standard fashion, the time required to obtain federal grant approval, and the cost of performing the study, would have implied a multi-year, perhaps multi-million dollar process. With the support of the BCRF grant, and with the grassroots Friends for Life organization, a huge sample and epidemiologic database has been created for future studies."
George W. Sledge, Jr.
Ballve Professor of Medicine and Pathology, Indiana University
Chair, Breast Committee, Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group
President, American Society of Clinical Oncology (2010-2011)
"I am truly appreciative of the BCRF's great work and the continued support of our research. We never take this support for granted, but work diligently to use these funds in novel ways that will ultimately lead to the conquest of breast cancer. The BCRF has meant so much to my personal research career as well as to UNC and its Cancer Center. It is a high compliment when a scientific board of such quality decides to fund one's work."
H. Shelton Earp III, MD
Professor & Director, Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center
Professor of Medicine and Pharmacology, The School of Medicine, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
"You are to be congratulated for providing some of the best minds in breast cancer research with the funds and freedom that will permit them to be 'creative'. Your efforts are bound to have a major impact on the progress toward the conquest of breast cancer."
Bernard Fisher, MD
Scientific Director of the National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project (NSABP)
BCRF 2003 Jill Rose Awardee
"You have collected the best brain trust in the country, perhaps the world. BCRF is an important force driving for solutions in breast cancer research."
Michael J. Zinner, MD
Surgeon-in-Chief, Brigham & Women's Hospital and Moseley Professor of Surgery, Harvard Medical School
"We wish to recognize and thank you for the inspired example of your leadership, compassion, and generosity, and for the outstanding role you have played and continue to play in the fight against breast cancer."
on presentation to Evelyn Lauder of the 2003 Brooke Astor Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Advancement of Science, at Rockefeller University in May 2003
"In my view, the factors that distinguish the grant activities of
The Breast Cancer Research Foundation include: 1) focus on
translational research, 2) willingness to fund high risk - high impact
ideas, 3) flexibility in how funds may be allocated, 4) short application
and short review process, and 5) application by invitation only."
Nancy E. Davidson, MD
Director, University of Pittsburgh Cancer Center
Associate Vice Chancellor for Cancer Research, UPMC Cancer Centers Hillman Professor of Oncology, Chief of the Division of Hematology/Oncology, and Professor of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
"Your awards support leaders in translational science and assume that they will be able to best dispense the funds. This is invaluable. Most grants require a year's lead time before ideas can be funded. The BCRF funds allow you to plan ideas a few months ahead, and are flexible in support.The awards also come with the promise of continuity to explore new ideas as they arise.
I also really appreciate the annual awards ceremony and the expression of thanks to the scientists. We don't often get that and it really is rewarding and inspiring to see that people appreciate us, even if we don't come up with all of the answers. It is an expression of thanks for the efforts we put forward to try to find answers."
J. Laura Esserman, MD
Director, Carole Franc Buck Breast Cancer Center, University of California at San Francisco
"The impact [of BCRF funding] has been enormous. We have undertaken a project that is 'capital-intensive' and that would not have received federal funding because of its perceived risky nature. This project then progressed to the point where it was no longer viewed as risky, and the federal government funds a portion of it (although not near its true costs.) The clinical value of our goals, which we expect to complete within the year, should be enormous."
Michael Wigler, PhD
Principal Investigator, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
Cold Spring Harbor, NY
"The best part of BCRF grants is the focus on bringing basic research and clinical research together, and the understanding that ideas need time for proper development. The BCRF is unique in its understanding of the reality of nurturing and funding researchers with an outstanding track record of accomplishments, and with ongoing active research and clinical ideas that are necessary to reach the ultimate goal of curing this disease. One of the best parts of the BCRF is also the group itself, a group that distinguishes itself by professionalism, focus, and clear goals for success."
Edith Perez, MD
Chair, North Central Cancer Treatment Group Breast Committee, The Mayo Clinic
"Grant support from the BCRF has been enormously helpful in several ways: first, it has provided 'seed' funds for novel ideas, so that feasibility studies could be initiated and preliminary data could be developed. In this manner, our group was able to develop more comprehensive grant proposals to federal agencies, or the Department of Defense.
Second, we have been able to develop novel ideas that usually do not fare well in the traditional NIH granting system. Third, the relatively simple and expeditious application and award process provides rapid access to funds necessary to proceed with a good idea in a highly competitive system."
Gabriel N. Hortobagyi, MD
Professor and Chairman, Department of Breast Medical Oncology, The University of Texas--MD Anderson Cancer Center