We invest in ideas and minds.

Throughout its history, the Cancer Research Foundation has made a point of taking “long-shot” bets with relatively small amounts of grant money, leveraging the collective knowledge and experience of the Foundation, its allies, and its past grantees to make grants that increase scientific knowledge more than an average grant of the same size. We view ourselves as “cancer research venture philanthropists,” making early investments in ideas that are often difficult to fund through more traditional sources.

Our ultimate goal is to bring about the day when the world is celebrating the scientist who has finally unraveled a key to stopping this terrible disease–and when that person steps to the podium, he or she credits the Cancer Research Foundation with providing support when no one else would.

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Our Progress

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CRF HAS FUNDED OVER 180 YOUNG INVESTIGATORS

Our goal is to enable promising young investigators and great minds to initiate successful scientific careers.

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Invested in research for over 60 years

Our goal is to create the greatest opportunity for major breakthroughs in science by leveraging money where financial support is needed the most.

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FROM YOUNG INVESTIGATORS TO PIONEERS

Many of our Young Investigators have gone on to be recognized for some of the greatest opportunities for growth in cancer knowledge.

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CRF Through the Years

1954

The Cancer Research Foundation was founded
 by Maurice Goldblatt. He took up the fight against cancer after losing his brother, Nathan Goldblatt, to the disease ten years earlier.

1966

Dr. Charles Huggins, one of the earliest grants made by Goldblatt to a cancer researcher wins the Nobel Prize in Medicine for his work in cancer.

1970

First funded by the CRF in the 1970s – Using new techniques of chromosome identification, Rowley discovered the first consistent chromosome translocations in any human cancer.

1986

The Cancer Research Foundation starts the formal Young Investigator Award program, investing in early-career cancer scientists who are in the pursuit of discovering a cure for cancer.

2009

President Barack Obama awards the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, to Dr. Janet Rowley.

Today

The Cancer Research Foundation launches the Chicago Chapter to allow the CRF to grow the Young Investigator Award, our most important grant-making vehicle.

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FUNDING THE PIONEERS OF OUR FIELD

The Cancer Research Foundation has been funding cancer science for more than sixty years. Before the Young Investigator Awards and the Fletcher Scholars Awards were established, the Cancer Research Foundation had the opportunity to fund individuals who have gone on to truly change the landscape of cancer research. We wish to honor those past CRF recipients here.

JANET D ROWLEY, M.D.

In 1972, at the University of Chicago, Dr. Rowley made a discovery that led the way to prove that cancer had genetic causes, a theory that had been rejected by the scientific community up until that time. Her discoveries additionally led to the development of the drug Gleevec, which remains one of the most effective treatments for certain forms of Chronic Myeloid Leukemia.

In 1998, she was awarded the Lasker Award for her work on chromosomal translocation, and she received the National Medal of Science from President Clinton in 1999. Just recently in 2009, Dr. Rowley was awarded the United States’ highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Obama as well as the Gruber Prize in Genetics.

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CHARLES B HUGGINS, M.D.

At the age of 26, Dr. Charles Huggins became one of the original faculty members at the University of Chicago School of Medicine when it opened in 1927.  Dr. Huggins intended to become a surgeon.  Instead, early in his career, he was seduced by the excitement of scientific discovery, fascinated by his “Queen of the Sciences,” urology.

In the 1940s and 50s, Dr. Huggins received support from the Cancer Research Foundation. Dr. Huggins became one of the giants of the University of Chicago medical faculty, the leading urologist of is day.  In 1966, Dr. Huggins was awarded the Nobel Prize for Medicine and Physiology for his discovery of a new principal, hormonal treatment of prostate cancer.