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Illumina, AstraZeneca, Breast Cancer Canada Partner on Screening, Detection Grants

NEW YORK – Breast Cancer Canada said on Thursday that it has launched a new grant program in collaboration with AstraZeneca Canada and Illumina.

Breast Cancer Canada and AstraZeneca will award C$200,000 (US$151,381) to Canadian research teams to advance screening and detection of breast cancer. Illumina will provide in-kind donations of sequencing consumables.

The partners seek grantees using precision medicine-based technologies, including artificial intelligence and machine learning. The submission period opens July 3, 2023.

"By investing in Canadian breast cancer screening research, Breast Cancer Canada and AstraZeneca Canada are advancing innovation technology to diagnose the disease earlier, faster, and ahead of symptoms. We are looking for research teams to revolutionize breast cancer detection," said Kimberly Carson, CEO of Breast Cancer Canada. "The progress we seek will address higher quality, less invasive, and more accessible test techniques for Canadians."

Breast Cancer Canada also announced the recipients of its annual Precision Oncology Research Grants. The program awarded C$75,000 each to: Saima Hassan of the University of Montreal Hospital Research center to study the immune landscape to predict response to immunotherapy and PARP inhibition; Katarzyna Jerzak of Sunnybrook Odette Cancer Centre to identify microRNA biomarkers for breast to brain metastasis; Joanne Kotsopoulos of the University of Toronto to study improving long-term outcomes of BRCA1-associated breast cancer; and Hermann Nabi of the Quebec City University Hospital Research Centre for personalized risk-stratified breast cancer follow-up care.

Meanwhile, Luc Sabourin of Ottawa Hospital Research Institute and Mohammad Akbari of the University of Toronto were each awarded C$50,000 to study targeting Sox10 activity in HER2+ breast cancer and gene expression profiling in young-onset ER+/HER2- breast cancer patients, respectively.