Medical Research

Cancer Research Institute, Inc.

  • New York, NY
  • http://www.cancerresearch.org

Mission Statement

The Cancer Research Institute (CRI) is harnessing the power of the immune system to bring new and more effective approaches to cancer treatment, control, and prevention to cancer patients sooner. To accomplish this, CRI funds and coordinates an international network of laboratory and clinical research scientists working within the fields of immunology and tumor immunology. Through integration of basic and clinical research initiatives, CRI is accelerating the discovery, testing, and optimization of next-generation cancer immunotherapies such as cancer vaccines and antibodies.

The Cancer Research Institute identifies top scientific talent through the guidance of the CRI Scientific Advisory Council (SAC), an international roster of leaders in the field of immunology who support CRI's efforts to foster creative, scientifically rigorous research. The SAC counts among its members three Nobel Laureates, 31 members of the National Academy of Sciences, and 24 members of the Academy of Cancer Immunology.

Main Programs

  1. Student Training and Research in Tumor Immunology (STaRT)
  2. Predoctoral Emphasis Pathways in Tumor Immunology
  3. Irvington Postdoctoral Fellowship Program
  4. Investigator Award Program
  5. Clinic and Laboratory Integration Program (CLIP)
  6. Clinical Accelerator
  7. Grants and Patient Support
  8. Annual International Cancer Immunotherapy Symposium
  9. Annual Scientific Colloquium of the CRI Cancer Immunotherapy Consortium
  10. Annual Honorary Awards

service areas

International

Self-reported by organization

ruling year

1953

chief executive for fy 1993

Jill O'Donnell-Tormey, Ph.D. Ph.D.

Self-reported by organization

Keywords

cancer, immunology, research, antibodies, vaccines

Self-reported by organization

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EIN

13-1837442

Physical Address

One Exchange Plaza, 55 Broadway Suite 1802

New York, NY 10006

Also Known As

CRI

Contact

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Cancer Research (H30)

Medical Specialty Research (H90)

Fund Raising and/or Fund Distribution (H12)

IRS Filing Requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Programs + Results

How does this organization make a difference?

Impact statement

The Cancer Research Institute's support of the fields of immunology and tumor immunology over the past 60+ years has been essential to providing the basic knowledge needed to advance new ideas for immune-based cancer therapies, like cancer vaccines and antibody therapies. Recent FDA approvals of immunotherapies based on the research of CRI scientists include Gardasil (2006), a preventive vaccine for cervical cancer; Provenge (2010), a therapeutic vaccine for prostate cancer; and Yervoy (2011), an antibody to treat advanced melanoma.

Our researchers have made key contributions to our understanding of the immune system, its relationship to cancer, how cancer cancer defends itself against the immune system, and how to stimulate and maintain effective anti-cancer immune responses that destroy or control cancer indefinitely, with minimal harm to a patient's quality of life. In 2011, three Cancer Research Institute-supported immunologists won the Nobel Prize (Beutler, Hoffmann, Steinman) for their contributions to understanding immune system activation. Many more CRI-funded scientists have received top honors and now hold positions of authority within major cancer treatment centers.
 
Through our Cancer Vaccine Collaborative, a joint program with Ludwig Cancer Research, the Cancer Research Institute is spearheading a coordinated, global, academic research effort to learn how best to vaccinate against cancer. In only ten years since its founding, the CVC has conducted nearly 50 clinical trials of different therapeutic vaccine combinations and has produced one of the largest bodies of knowledge on the impact of cancer antigen-specific active immunotherapy.
 
With these efforts, the Cancer Research Institute is working to bring a new class of cancer treatments--cancer immunotherapy--to patients sooner.

Programs

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Self-reported by organization

Program 1

Student Training and Research in Tumor Immunology (STaRT)

The Student Training and Research in Tumor Immunology (STaRT) program seeks to attract bright young minds to rewarding careers as cancer immunologists. STaRT grants provide up to $60,000 of support over two years for graduate students conducting thesis research in the area of tumor immunology. Students selected for the program can receive early exposure during their formative studies to exciting, emerging areas of investigation within the field of cancer immunology. In addition, student participation in annual Cancer Research Institute symposia introduces them into the tight-knit community of leading tumor immunologists.

Category

Cancer Research

Budget

$240,000.00

Population Served

None

None

None

Program 2

Predoctoral Emphasis Pathways in Tumor Immunology

Initiated in 1998, the Predoctoral Emphasis Pathways program provides funding to universities to establish training curricula designed to capture the interest of talented researchers at the earliest stage. Grants support doctoral students planning to pursue a career in cancer immunology. Through meetings, journal clubs, lectures, and coursework, students gain exposure to emerging and promising areas in the field of tumor immunology. CRI provided ongoing grant support to nine institutions in the U.S., Australia, and Russia.

Category

Cancer Research

Budget

Population Served

None

None

None

Program 3

Irvington Postdoctoral Fellowship Program

The CRI Irvington Postdoctoral Fellowship Program, established in 1971, is CRI’s longest-standing continuous program. Fellowships provide support to fund and train young immunologists and cancer immunologists at top universities and research centers around the world. Fellows receive up to $164,500 over three years to cover the cost of stipend or salary, insurance, and other research-related expenses, such as travel to conferences and meetings. Fellows work and continue their training under the guidance of a world-leading immunologist, who mentors the fellow and prepares him or her for a productive and successful career in cancer immunology.

Category

Cancer Research

Budget

$3,600,000.00

Population Served

None

None

None

Program 4

Investigator Award Program

The Investigator Award Program, established in 1986 to complement our fellowship program, supports accomplished assistant professors who are undertaking their first independent investigations in basic and tumor immunology. By awarding these researchers $50,000 per year for four years, the program provides flexibility and a degree of stability during this very challenging period in an academic scientist’s career. A seven-person panel selects recipients based on the applicant’s entire body of research, rather than on a single project. In fiscal 2013, CRI provided ongoing grant support to 14 investigators in the U.S., Japan, and the United Kingdom.

Category

Cancer Research

Budget

Population Served

None

None

None

Program 5

Clinic and Laboratory Integration Program (CLIP)

The Clinic and Laboratory Integration Program (CLIP) supports qualified scientists who are working to explore clinically relevant questions aimed at improving the effectiveness of cancer immunotherapies. The program funds basic, pre-clinical, and translational research that can be directly applied to optimizing cancer immunotherapy in the clinic. CLIP grants provide up to $200,000 over four years.

Category

Cancer Research

Budget

$1,600,000.00

Population Served

None

None

None

Program 6

Clinical Accelerator

The Clinical Accelerator is an actively managed venture philanthropy program designed to speed the development of cancer immunotherapies. The strategy facilitates research collaboration across leading biopharma companies and among 50 of the world’s top cancer researchers. The program aims to identify and kick-start development of next generation combination treatments using the most promising drugs from disparate companies.

Each philanthropic investment brings a new cancer treatment to patients, empowers academic researchers to work more closely with industry, and creates the potential for significant future returns on investment back to CRI to make the venture fund self-sustaining. Launched in mid-2012, the program has created partnerships with or is finalizing terms with more than 15 of the field’s top companies.

Four core resources empower the Clinical Accelerator:

*Coordinated Network of Researchers
The Cancer Vaccine Collaborative (CVC) Trials Network, managed jointly by the Cancer Research Institute and Ludwig Cancer Research, is a coordinated global network of nearly 50 clinical investigators with special expertise in immunology. Investigators conduct parallel early-stage clinical trials to identify the optimal composition of successful cancer immunotherapy combinations, and guide the selection of therapeutic agents and trials.

*Nonprofit Venture Fund
CRI’s venture fund is designed to speed clinical development of promising cancer immunotherapies. It provides nonprofit investment capital to support the costs of priority clinical studies that the CVC view to be potentially transformational for patients and for the field. Successful drugs result in milestone payments back to the nonprofit fund, enabling it to become self-sustaining over time.

*Clinical Trials Management
Our partner, Ludwig Cancer Research, sponsors and manages trials conducted with the CVC Trials Network, enabling the program to independently manage multi-site trials. Their capabilities support all aspects of study design and set-up, regulatory sponsorship, medical monitoring, drug safety, data capture and processing, and clinical study reports and analyses, for our CVC-designed trials.

*Portfolio of BioPharma Partnerships
Through agreements with biotech and pharmaceutical leaders in the cancer immunotherapy space, the CVC Trials Network gains access to top immunotherapies. By providing a menu of promising drugs and permitting CVC investigators to combine drugs owned by disparate companies, these partnerships allow clinical data on new combinations to be generated in advance of and independent of any commercial transactions between the owners, circumventing an often laborious negotiation process and thus accelerating clinical research of immunotherapy combinations.

Category

Cancer Research

Budget

$8,700,000.00

Population Served

None

None

None

Program 7

Grants and Patient Support

These grants support research projects and public education and awareness initiatives for which, in most cases, donors have specifically raised funds.

Category

People/Families of People with Cancer

Budget

$405,000.00

Population Served

None

None

None

Program 8

Annual International Cancer Immunotherapy Symposium

Established in 1993, this series of annual meetings focuses on progress in cancer immunology with special focus on cancer vaccine and antibody research. In fiscal year 2013, CRI hosted the 20th annual meeting in this series, titled, “From Milestones to Medicines: Translating Tumor Immunology Research into Immunotherapies.”

More than 360 students, postdoctoral fellows, and investigators from more than 70 academic institutions and biopharmaceutical companies attended the meeting, which was dedicated to the late Dr. Lloyd J. Old, under whose leadership the series was founded. The meeting also included a poster session with presentations by nearly 130 scientists, six of which were invited to deliver a lecture during the general session.

Category

Cancer Research

Budget

Population Served

None

None

None

Program 9

Annual Scientific Colloquium of the CRI Cancer Immunotherapy Consortium

CRI organizes annual meetings of the Cancer Immunotherapy Consortium, providing a forum for industry and academic leaders in cancer immunotherapy research and development. In fiscal year 2013, CRI hosted the 14th annual Scientific Colloquium titled, “Entering the Era of Combination Therapies: Practical Implementation.” The meeting brought together leaders from the regulatory, scientific, and business communities to present new methodological tools, leading-edge scientific data from ongoing combination studies, and innovative models of academic-industry collaboration that are helping to overcome challenges to optimizing combination cancer therapies for the benefit of patients.

Category

Cancer Research

Budget

Population Served

None

None

None

Program 10

Annual Honorary Awards

In addition to providing financial support to researchers and investigators, CRI also honors scientists and community leaders with achievement awards. These awards are presented at our annual dinner.

*William B. Coley Award for Distinguished Research in Basic and Tumor Immunology
CRI grants the Coley Award annually to one or more scientists whose discoveries in the fields of immunology or tumor immunology contribute to the advancement of immune system-based therapies for cancer. CRI established the award in 1975 in honor of Dr. William B. Coley, the acknowledged “Father of Cancer Immunotherapy,” whose daughter, Helen Coley Nauts (1907-2001), founded the Cancer Research Institute.

*Oliver R. Grace Award for Distinguished Service in Advancing Cancer Research
CRI’s Grace Award annually recognizes the contributions of dedicated laypersons whose leadership has had a significant impact on cancer research. The award is named in memory of Oliver R. Grace (1909-1992), the founding chairman of CRI, whose vision, leadership, wisdom, and generosity guided and continues to benefit the Institute.

*Frederick W. Alt Award for New Discoveries in Immunology
The Alt Award honors a former postdoctoral fellow in recognition of outstanding success in academia or industry for research that may have a potentially major impact on immunology. The award is named after CRI Scientific Advisory Council member Frederick W. Alt, Ph.D., who not only has made many seminal contributions to the field of immunology, but also has mentored generations of young scientists.

*AACR-CRI Lloyd J. Old Award in Cancer Immunology
Named in honor of CRI’s founding scientific and medical director, the AACR-CRI Lloyd J. Old Award in Cancer Immunology, funded in partnership with the American Association for Cancer Research, recognizes an active scientist whose outstanding and innovative research in cancer immunology has had a far-reaching impact on the cancer field.

*Helen Coley Nauts Service Award
This award honors individuals who have made significant contributions of time, energy, and service to CRI. The award is named in memory of CRI’s founder, Helen Coley Nauts, who dedicated her life to advancing immune system-based therapies for cancer.

Category

None

Budget

Population Served

None

None

None

Charting Impact

Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Self-reported by organization

  1. What is the organization aiming to accomplish?
    Over the next five years, the Cancer Research Institute will aim to:
    (a) bring increasingly effective cancer immunotherapies to more cancer patient populations;
    (b) expand awareness among patients, caregivers, and health care professionals of the power of cancer immunotherapy and its significant potential to slow or halt tumor growth, delay or prevent cancer recurrence, and extend patient lives;
    (c) grow the general public's awareness of the revolution in cancer treatment and the need to continue funding critical research in order to optimize immunotherapy for more groups of cancer patients;
  2. What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?
    The Cancer Research Institute will achieve its goals through:

    (a) expanding the field's knowledge of the immune system and its relationship to cancer by funding laboratory research in immunology and tumor immunology at universities and medical centers around the globe;

    (b) channeling new incremental funds into our translational and clinical research programs, which aim to test and optimize cancer immunotherapies;

    (c) forging new collaborations with more pharmaceutical and biotech industry partners in order to gain access to highly promising immunotherapies and test them in our international clinical trials network;

    (d) launching a new campaign targeting cancer patients and caregivers designed to educate these groups on cancer immunotherapy, connect them with one another to exchange experiences and knowledge, and motivate them to ask their oncologists about immunotherapy options when appropriate;

    (e) redoubling our Cancer Immunotherapy Awareness Month (June 2014) campaign through broader outreach to more members of the cancer immunotherapy community, including nonprofit and for-profit partners and their employees, increased social media interaction between CRI and the online community of cancer patients, caregivers, and family members and friends of cancer patients;
  3. What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?
    The Cancer Research Institute is uniquely positioned to carry out the strategies above.

    (a) CRI’s longstanding postdoctoral fellowship program ensures a steady stream of intellectual talent to drive the field’s progress. Fellows, who are selected in a highly competitive process, ask fundamental questions about the immune system and its relationship to cancer, gaining new knowledge that fuels translational and clinical application.

    (b) Through our Clinic and Laboratory Integration Program (CLIP), we offer much-needed funds to further translation of basic research into clinically relevant treatments, and provide a mechanism whereby lessons learned in the clinic can be taken back to the laboratory with the goal of optimizing therapeutic impact. Our Clinical Accelerator program—which includes a global clinical trials network, clinical trials management expertise, access to highly sought after immunotherapies, and a venture philanthropy fund to fuel innovative clinical trials—is bringing the most promising immunotherapies together in potentially optimal combinations and offering them to cancer patients in need of new treatment options.

    (c) Since the launch of the Clinical Accelerator in 2012, CRI has secured access to more than 15 high-priority immunotherapies and, with the oversight of our expert clinical scientists, is planning and conducting science-driven trials in an expanding group of cancer patient populations. Our proven model of nonprofit/for-profit collaboration has positioned CRI as a favorable partner for biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies in early stage cancer immunotherapy research and development. As we continue to raise incremental funds devoted to this program, we will increase our ability to respond to the high level of company interest and secure new partnerships that bring more promising treatments into the clinic faster than otherwise would happen.

    (d) As cancer immunotherapy enters the mainstream of treatment for more types of cancer, more and more patients and their caregivers will be in need of information about the available treatment options, how they work, and their potential side effects. We have begun work on an online cancer immunotherapy patient campaign and service that is expected to launch mid-2014.

    (e) Last year’s inaugural Cancer Immunotherapy Month brought educational webinars to the public featuring leading experts in cancer immunotherapy. Teams across the world raised funds to advance CRI’s mission, and a strong and interactive social media campaign increased awareness of the month. This year, CRI has dedicated a full time volunteer campaign manager to growing 2014 Cancer Immunotherapy Month by increasing the number of participating company and individual teams, enhancing our ability to guide teams in creating fun and educational events in the workplace, and engaging even more people in our webinars and social media campaigns.
  4. How will they know if they are making progress?
    For our clinical program, progress is measured via milestones in the clinical trial development process. These milestones include: securing access to promising immunotherapies; creating optimal, science-driven trials using these immunotherapies; receiving approval for the trial; initiating the trial; enrolling patients; monitoring clinical progress; gathering data on the anti-tumor immunological responses in patients; incorporating new knowledge into future trials via an iterative process that closely links the laboratory and the clinic; and, ultimately, saving the lives of more cancer patients sooner by giving them access to investigational treatments. Another important milestone is when promising therapeutic strategies developed in our early stage clinical incubator are taken to larger phase three trials and, if successful, receive regulatory approval for patient treatment.

    Our clinic-laboratory program is successful if it identifies new ways to improve cancer immunotherapy in humans, increasing their effectiveness and expanding their applicability to multiple cancer types.

    We continue also to monitor the career trajectories of students and postdoctoral fellows who receive funding from the Cancer Research Institute. Many go on to become leaders in the field by receiving the best expert mentoring, discovering seminal knowledge through their laboratory research, and contributing to the development of new treatment strategies.
  5. What have and haven't they accomplished so far?
    In the 60 years since Cancer Research Institute's founding, our scientists have made significant progress in advancing our understanding of the immune system and its response to cancer. From identifying and characterizing novel immune system components and elucidating their cellular and molecular interactions, to discovering the specifics of how cancer and the immune system interact and, from this knowledge, developing game-changing treatments that harness the immune system's power to conquer cancer and save lives.

    CRI scientists have laid a solid foundation of insights that have spurred the technological advances that make possible today's medical advances in cancer immunotherapy. Once dismissed outright by the medical establishment as a worthless avenue of scientific investigation, cancer immunology is now widely recognized as the centerpiece of medical advancement in cancer treatment that will form the backbone for future therapeutic approaches. The face of cancer treatment is changing, and the disease will soon become one that is manageable and in some cases curable rather than deadly.

    Predicated on mounting successes in treating patients, cancer immunotherapy has attracted the attention of numerous stakeholders in the biotech, pharmaceutical, and financial sectors. The field has entered a new stage of growth and development, and the pace of discovery is accelerating rapidly. As we look to the decade ahead, the Cancer Research Institute will continue to lead the field through its ability to establish unique, philanthropy-based partnerships between nonprofit and for-profit entities engaged in cancer immunotherapy research and development. Armed now with a vast array of novel antibodies, vaccines, and other immune-based technologies, CRI and the scientists we fund will work to find the most effective ways to treat patients. Ongoing and future clinical trials will seek to determine optimal drug combinations and dosing schedules that produce the most significant clinical benefit in a variety of cancer patients, identify molecular signals or biomarkers that help to identify which patients will most likely respond to treatment with immunotherapy, as well as push toward yet unknown therapeutic strategies that are sure to arise from the increasingly sophisticated intersection of genomics, genetic engineering, immunomics, improved laboratory and clinical technologies, and the advent of personalized medical approaches.

    Furthermore, as immunotherapy for cancer begins to enter the mainstream of cancer treatment, it becomes increasingly vital that we educate the public, in particular patients and their caregivers, as well as health care professionals about this new and exciting but complex approach to treating cancer patients. Cancer immunotherapy is not yet a household word the way chemotherapy is, but it soon will be, thanks in large part to new initiatives now under way at CRI to increase awareness of this revolution in cancer treatment.

service areas

International

Self-reported by organization

Funding Needs

The Cancer Research Institute relies on the generous support from individuals, companies, and foundations. CRI does not receive government funding and does not operate from an endowment. CRI raises its annual operating budget each year. Donations to CRI help to sustain and grow our laboratory and clinical research programs, ensuring the ongoing discovery and development of new and promising immune system-based approaches to cancer treatment, control, and prevention.

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Financials

Financial information is an important part of gauging the short- and long-term health of the organization.

CANCER RESEARCH INSTITUTE
Fiscal year: Jul 01-Jun 30
Yes, financials were audited by an independent accountant.

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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

Cancer Research Institute, Inc.

Leadership

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CHIEF EXECUTIVE FOR FISCAL YEAR

Jill O'Donnell-Tormey, Ph.D. Ph.D.

BIO

Dr. Jill O'Donnell-Tormey is a trained cell biologist and immunologist who has been the executive director of the Cancer Research Institute since 1993. During that time, she has been instrumental in increasing the Institute's annual budget twofold. She oversaw the establishment of the Institute's cancer-specific programs, created the International Cancer Immunotherapy Symposia Series, and played a pivotal role in developing the Institute's Clinical Investigation Program, which includes the Cancer Vaccine Collaborative and the Cancer Antigen Discovery Collaborative. She works closely with the Institute's Scientific Advisory Council Director, Lloyd J. Old, M.D., and the Board of Trustees to chart the Institute's strategic course. Prior to her role as Executive Director, Dr. O'Donnell-Tormey served as the Institute's Director of Scientific Affairs from 1987-1993. In that capacity, she greatly increased the Institute's public information program, resulting in the publication of the informative "CRI HelpBook: What To Do If Cancer Strikes" and the highly regarded primer on the field of cancer immunology entitled "Cancer and the Immune System: The Vital Connection," which has recently been updated and is available on the Institute's web site. Dr. O'Donnell-Tormey holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Chemistry from Farleigh Dickenson University and a Doctor of Philosophy in Cell Biology from The State University of New York's Downstate Medical Center.

STATEMENT FROM THE CEO

"Cancer is a disease that affects everyone. While there have been strides in chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and surgical treatments of the disease, cancer continues to claim the lives of millions of people each year. There is a clear and urgent need to develop new approaches to cancer treatment and prevention. The Cancer Research Institute is dedicated to finding novel ways to harness the power of our own immune systems to conquer cancer.
Our work has already made an impact in the lives of people combating cancer. Our Web site (http://www.cancerresearch.org(http://www.cancerresearch.org) ) contains inspirational stories of cancer patients who have participated in early clinical studies of new immunotherapies and who are benefiting from the tremendous strides we are making. You will also read about some of our most talented scientists, whose discoveries are shaping the future of cancer treatment.

I encourage you to take time to browse the site and find out what makes us such a unique and vital force in the search for new and better ways to treat, control, and prevent cancer. Perhaps you may be interested in reading our educational publications, learning about exciting scientific breakthroughs funded by CRI, discovering the rich and vibrant history of the organization(/AboutUs.aspx?id=206) , or finding out how to become involved in one of our special events(/Events.aspx?id=38) . You may even decide that you, too, would like to become part of this important effort by making a donation to support our work.

Thank you for your interest in the Cancer Research Institute. We hope that you will join us as we work together to usher in a new era of cancer therapy."

Governance

BOARD CHAIR

John B. Fitzgibbons

Basin Holdings

Term: July 2011 - June 2014

BOARD LEADERSHIP PRACTICES

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BOARD ORIENTATION & EDUCATION

Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?


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CEO OVERSIGHT

Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?


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ETHICS & TRANSPARENCY

Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?


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BOARD COMPOSITION

Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?


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BOARD PERFORMANCE

Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?