Basser Center for BRCA
Funding Opportunity for All Faculty

The Basser Center for BRCA at the Abramson Cancer Center announces the availability of funding through its Basser Center Grant program.

The award period for the Basser Research Grant projects is for one year from
July 1, 2013-June 30, 2014

Reflecting the Center's mission to use cutting edge research in basic and clinical sciences to advance the care of individuals living with BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations, these grants are focused on innovative cancer research projects. Investigators who have already received peer-reviewed funding for their proposed projects will not be eligible for this award.

The scientific objective of the Basser Center for BRCA includes the funding of research projects related to BRCA1/2 ranging from basic science, prevention, early detection, targeted therapeutics, survivorship and communication. Collaborative projects are strongly encouraged. Please note the science must have relevance to the study of BRCA1/2 to be considered.

Research priorities of the Basser Center include:


  • Gain new insights into the biology of BRCA mutant cancers and utilize such information to improve diagnosis and treatment
  • Understand additional genetic alterations that contribute to carcinogenesis
  • Develop bioinformatic approaches that identify gene signatures specific to BRCA tumors and predict responses to therapy
  • Discover novel therapeutic strategies by using high throughput siRNA screening platforms as well as genetically engineered mouse models


  • Develop targeted agents to prevent the development of cancer in BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutation carriers
  • Improve our understanding of the preventative effects of oophorectomy and mastectomy and other interventions in reducing breast and ovarian cancer risk and identify optimal timing of interventions to optimize benefit and minimize risk
  • Discover vaccine or other immune strategies for prevention of BRCA1/2 related tumors


  • Create new strategies of early detection for breast, ovarian, pancreatic, prostate and other BRCA-related cancers
  • Develop novel imaging techniques including molecular imaging
  • Discover novel serum markers, circulating tumor cell techniques and circulating microRNA for early detection


  • Advance clinical trials of PARP inhibitors in BRCA1/2 mutation carriers with the goal of FDA approval
  • Determine the best treatment options for BRCA1/2 mutation carriers based on currently available medications
  • Explore resistance patterns to understand optimal treatment
  • Discover new therapies for BRCA1/2 mutation carriers

Communication, Outreach, Risk Assessment:

  • Expand risk assessment to identify mutation carriers before the development of cancer
  • Reduce socio-economic and racial disparities in BRCA1/2 testing
  • Advance knowledge in communication with children and other family members of BRCA1/2 mutation carriers
  • Foster outreach and education in the community

Survivorship and late effects:

  • Determine long term psychological impact and late effects from genetic testing
  • Develop strategies to minimize negative effects of early oophorectomy on long term health including bone and cardiovascular issues
  • Study issues related to fertility and menopause

Investigator Eligibility

  • All full-time faculty of the University of Pennsylvania (as of July 1, 2013) are eligible to apply for the Basser Center for BRCA Grant program. The proposed area of research cannot be funded through an existing or prior peer-reviewed national research grant (e.g. NIH, ACS, DOD).
  • Non-faculty (e.g., residents, fellows) are not eligible.

Funding Level

Basser Center grants include pilot grants (up to $50,000) and full grants (up to $200,000) for one year. Exceptional projects for which costs exceed $200,000 may be considered with significant justification.

Next Deadline: 3/1/2013

Instructions: Basser Center for BRCA - Application Instructions [PDF]

Downloadable Application Form: Basser Center for BRCA - Downloadable Application Form [Word Document]

Transmittal Form: Basser Transmittal Form 2013 [Word Document]