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Advancing Leading Edge Cancer Research in a $4.5 Million Collaboration

LLS, The Mark Foundation for Cancer Research and The Paul G. Allen Frontiers Group Join Forces to Advance Leading Edge Cancer Research


5 min read

A three-way $4.5 million collaboration launched this month between The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS)The Mark Foundation for Cancer Research, and The Paul G. Allen Frontiers Group will drive an innovative new funding initiative to propel cutting-edge research to unleash the next wave of novel cancer therapies.

LLS, which has invested nearly $1.3 billion in cancer research over the past 70 years, is the world’s largest nonprofit funder of leading-edge blood cancer research. The Mark Foundation for Cancer Research is dedicated to accelerating cures for cancer by integrating discoveries in biology with innovative technology. The Paul G. Allen Frontiers Group is committed to pushing the boundaries of bioscience and accelerating discoveries to make a difference for humankind. Together, the three organizations have forged LLS’s new Blood Cancer Discoveries Grants Program, intended to provide foundational research in blood cancer.

LLS funds both basic and translational research by younger, early investigators through its Career Development Program, and its Translational Research Program primarily supports projects that are nearing or in clinical trials.

This new grants program will provide a mechanism to support more seasoned investigators doing critical discovery research to understand the biological underpinnings of various blood cancers, what causes them to develop and grow, or become resistant to treatments.

“LLS’s investment in research over the past 15 years is translating into remarkable improvements in outcomes for blood cancer patients,” said Lee Greenberger, Ph.D., LLS’s chief scientific officer. “Over the past two and a half years alone we’ve seen the FDA approve 48 therapies in the blood cancers, and LLS’s investment in research played a role in 42 of these. However, cures still remain elusive for many aggressive blood cancers. This new program, made possible through this collaboration, seeks to ignite that next wave of discoveries and fill the pipeline that eventually will become the translational research of the next five to ten years.”

The new program intends to fund up to six grants of $750,000 each over three years. The grants will be equally co-funded by the three organizations, with each contributing $1.5 million.

“These grants represent a significant investment in cancer discovery research that has a clear line of sight to better outcomes for patients,” said Michele Cleary, Ph.D., CEO of The Mark Foundation for Cancer Research. “In collaboration with our partners at LLS and The Paul G. Allen Frontiers Group, The Mark Foundation is pleased to help address the critical need for this type of funding, and we look forward to seeing the results of the science it will support.”

Added Kathy Richmond, Ph.D., MBA, Director of The Paul G. Allen Frontiers Group, a division of the Allen Institute, “Blood cancers will claim nearly 70,000 lives this year. There is an urgent need to better understand these cancers and their vulnerabilities. We believe these grants will be a catalyst that will spark innovative new directions in blood cancer research.”

“LLS is delighted that these two organizations, which share a common goal of funding leading-edge research to advance cures and better, safer treatments for cancer patients, have agreed to join us in supporting this program,” Greenberger said. “We seek to draw the greatest minds in cancer discovery, whose foundational, early stage research can lead to the next advances in the treatment and cure of blood cancers.”

About The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society® (LLS) is the world’s largest voluntary health agency dedicated to fighting blood cancer. The LLS mission: Cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma, and improve the quality of life of patients and their families. LLS funds lifesaving blood cancer research around the world, provides free information and support services, and is the voice for all blood cancer patients seeking access to quality, affordable, coordinated care.

Founded in 1949 and headquartered in Rye Brook, NY, LLS has chapters throughout the United States and Canada. To learn more, visit Patients should contact the Information Resource Center at (800) 955-4572, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. ET. For additional information visit Follow us on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

About The Mark Foundation for Cancer Research

The Mark Foundation for Cancer Research is dedicated to accelerating cures for cancer by integrating discoveries in biology with innovative technology. Launched in 2017, The Mark Foundation pursues its mission by funding a global portfolio of groundbreaking research carried out by individual investigators, multi-investigator teams, and inter-institutional collaborations. Since its launch in 2017, the Foundation has awarded over $60 million in grant funding to 48 institutions across 19 U.S. states and 4 countries.

Recognizing the obstacles that can prevent scientific advances from improving patient outcomes, The Mark Foundation maintains a nimble, high-impact approach to funding research that encompasses grants for basic and translational cancer research, as well as venture philanthropy investment in companies that bridge the gap between the bench and the bedside. To learn more about the work of The Mark Foundation for Cancer Research, visit:

About The Paul G. Allen Frontiers Group

The Paul G. Allen Frontiers Group is dedicated to exploring the landscape of science to identify and fund pioneers with ideas that will advance knowledge and make the world better. Through continuous dialogue with scientists across the world, The Paul G. Allen Frontiers Group seeks opportunities to expand the boundaries of knowledge and solve important problems. Programs include the Allen Discovery Centers at partner institutions for leadership-driven, compass-guided research, and the Allen Distinguished Investigators for frontier explorations with exceptional creativity and potential impact.

The Paul G. Allen Frontiers Group was founded in 2016 by philanthropist and visionary Paul G. Allen, and is a division of the Allen Institute, an independent 501(c)(3) medical research organization. For more information visit

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