Cancer Research Foundation

Congratulations to the Cancer Research Foundation grant recipients

Thank you to everyone who applied for the Thermo Fisher Scientific Cancer Research Foundation grants. Every day, cancer continues to devastate lives, so there is little room for waste or error in cancer research, which is why we launched this initiative to offer customers access to our most innovative technologies.

We are grateful to be able to partner with researchers to evolve more quickly than this tenacious disease and are happy to announce the winners of our latest grants.

Grant winners


Christi Waer

Christi Waer, MS; UC Merced

“Tumor cells have many mechanisms to evade immune recognition and destruction. CXCR5+ CD8+ cells are a novel immune population that may act as CD4 follicular helpers or as cytotoxic CD8 T cells. Winning the miRNA RT-qPCR bundle from Thermo Fisher Scientific Cancer Research Foundation will further my Ph.D. thesis research and unravel clues to better understand how this immune subset interacts with cancer. With this research we hope to identify mechanisms that regulate tumor infiltrating lymphocytes and lead to new immunotherapeutic targets.”

Sample Isolation

Dr. Zachary Bacigalupa

Dr. Zachary Bacigalupa, Vanderbilt University Medical Center

“Currently, we have a pipeline where we can study tumor cells and the associated infiltrating lymphocytes in genetically defined cases of ccRCC to identify and test approaches to overcome metabolic barriers to T cell activation and enhance immunity in the metabolically hostile tumor microenvironment. Given the precious nature of these samples, our analyses are often limited in scope leaving us only able to address the most pressing question at that time. With having been awarded the KingFisher Duo Prime Purification System from the Thermo Fisher Scientific Cancer Research Foundation we will have a much more efficient nucleic acid extraction tool, thereby enabling us to diversify the use of our samples for genomic and transcriptomic analysis, which we can couple with our current proteomic and downstream signaling applications.”


Dr. David Edwards

Dr. David Edwards from the University of Dundee

“Accurate information on the amount and quality of experimental reagents is central to molecular biology experimentation. Previously, we have not had access to the latest system. Through the Thermo Fisher Scientific Cancer Research Foundation award we will now be able to improve our current workflow and experimentation on the role of Fusobacteria in cancer. As a teaching institute, this resource will also enable us to educate post-graduate students who come from around the world to study oral cancer on the use of the Qubit 4 system in determining RNA, DNA, and protein quantities.”

Next-Generation Sequencing

Dr. Troy McEachron

Dr. Troy McEachron

“My laboratory is focused on understanding the tumor microenvironment (TME) of pediatric solid tumors and we routinely rely on formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded patient specimens for analysis. Winning the NGS bundle from the Thermo Fisher Scientific Cancer Research Foundation will greatly enhance our ability to perform integrated immuno-oncology and TME analyses of these precious tissues given the number of incredibly sensitive targeted assays available on the Ion Torrent platform.”

Catalog # Name Size
A38196 Ion Gene Studio S5 Prime NGS System 1 system
4484177 Ion Chef Instrument 1 system
A33125 Ion SmartStart 1 orientation
TRN00230 Ion FAS Customer Site Training 3 units of training

Protein analysis

Dr. Nathan Wymer

Dr. Nathan Wymer from North Carolina Central University

“I am incredibly appreciative of this grant. My research lab is quite small, with only a single Master’s student who is about to defend her thesis, a new PhD student, and two undergraduate researchers. Any piece of equipment that can make our research easier and faster will have a tremendous impact on the pace of our research. Moving to the iBind automated blotting system will free up significant amounts of time for both my students and myself to create additional molecules for our research studies. We will also be able to exponentially increase both the number biomarkers and cancer cell types used in our research. We are primarily investing tumors that have metastasized into the brain but our research could so begin to study tumors originating there. I have also offered access to the iBind system to several faculty in the Department of Biological and Biomedical Sciences. As such, the benefits of the iBind system from this grant will be felt beyond my research lab.

This machine will not only improve our scientific output but will also give my students research experiences that they would not normally receive at similarly-sized universities. The overall scientific research trajectory is to increase the amount of automation within the labs in order to increase overall research productivity. As such, our graduates are going to need to be comfortable using these automated instruments. North Carolina Central University is an HBCU and therefore generally serves a student population that is demographically and economically different than the typical students that attend large, research-focused universities. Having access and experience using state-of-the-art automated equipment, like the iBind system, is going to be important for our students after graduation when they are competing for research positions or getting accepted into select graduate schools.

Thank you again to Thermo Fisher for this opportunity. The equipment will be well used.”

Gene expression

Dr. Maxime Blijlevens

Dr. Maxime Blijlevens from Amsterdam University Medical Center

“Winning the Clariom D Pico Assay Service allows our team to take the novel therapeutic targets we recently identified in lung cancer cells to a higher level by providing more mechanistic insight.”

Catalog # Name Size
Custom Service Clariom D Pico Assay Service, human or mouse 30 assays including processing services at Thermo Fisher Scientific and analysis support with Transcriptome Analysis Console Software

Real-time PCR/gene expression

Dr. Konrad Kubiński

Dr. Konrad Kubiński from The John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin, Poland

“Winning the Cancer Research Foundation Grant will induce a new branch of the research that is conducted at my lab. The QuantStudio 3 Real-Time PCR System I won will be employed in the project aimed at exploration of the genetic interactions between human cancer and fungi cells. On the one hand the device will improve our scientific facilities, and on the other hand it will be used during lab classes with biotechnology students.”

Protein analysis

Professor Veronica Noe

Professor Veronica Noe from the University of Barcelona

“Winning this grant from Thermo Fisher Scientific will have a significant impact on my ongoing research project. I am interested in evaluating the different Estrogen Receptor alpha proteins that could emerge from the different RNA variant for this gene in several breast cancer cells.  This characterization by Western blot assays could help us understand the different sensitivity of breast tumors to antiestrogens and set up the basis for a more specific therapy depending on the expressed variants.”

Apply for upcoming grants

For those who did not win a cancer research grant this time, we encourage you to apply for the next round of grants. Every four months we offer new research area bundles, so bookmark the main grant page and keep an eye out for new opportunities to apply for grants that fit your research needs.