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2014 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Cancer Research Institute, Inc.

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Cancer, Cancer Research, Health, Medical Disciplines Research

Mission: The Cancer Research Institute (CRI) is the world's only nonprofit organization dedicated soley to advancing immunological research leading to the development of immune system-based treatments for cancer. CRI provides funding and coordination to support all levels of research in immunology and tumor immunology, from basic studies to clinical investigation of promising new cancer treatments.

Results: CRI has conducted more than 40 early stage clinical trials of unique cancer vaccines, and has made significant contributions to our knowledge of the human immune response to cancer immunotherapy. CRI researchers have also identified numerous cancer cell markers that are now being tested as targets for immunotherapy. CRI has empowered academic investigators around the world to conduct important clinical discovery, accelerating the translation of new knowledge into treatments for cancer patients.

Target demographics: Under the leadership of our Scientific Advisory Council, which includes 4 Nobel Laureates and 28 members of the National Academy of Sciences, CRI funds academic research in immunology and tumor immunology at universities and health research centers around the world.

Direct beneficiaries per year: Approximately 300 scientists and clinicians in 15 countries

Geographic areas served: National, International

Programs: Clinical Research: *Cancer Vaccine Collaborative, a joint program with the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, that supports a network of 19 academic clinical trial sites and immune monitoring laboratories around the world conducting early phase clinical trials of the most promising cancer immunotherapies; *the Cancer Immunotherapy Consortium, an association of more than 70 pharmaceutical & biotech companies and academic institutions engaged in late-stage product development that work together to shape the emerging field of immuno-oncology; *Cancer Vaccine Acceleration Fund, a unique venture philanthropy model designed to partner our clinical trials network with companies and their promising vaccine reagents. Basic Research & Training: *Investigator Award program, providing 4 years of bridge support to newly established laboratories at universities; *Irvington Fellowship Program, provides 3 years of postdoctoral fellowship funding to talented scientists working under the mentorship of leading immunologists; *Predoctoral Pathways program, offering 4-year grants to universities to establish tumor immunology educational curriculum for graduate students.

Community Stories

15 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1 Ed__31

Client Served

Rating: 5

The CRI began funding my post-doctoral work this year. This has allowed me to work on understanding the immune response to metastasis, however, through the events the CRI runs they have also allowed me to network with other young cancer immunologists producing numerous contacts and potential collaborations which will help move this work forward.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am a graduate student at the University of California - Berkeley. My doctoral work focuses on the role of the immune system in fighting cancer. In Sept 2013, I was awarded a fellowship from the CRI to fund my research. This fellowship has allowed me the academic and financial freedom to pursue research directly related to human disease.I cannot speak highly enough of the CRI's work. The CRI has supported hundreds of scientists in the fight against cancer through direct research funding. In addition, the CRI organizes various annual symposia to allow scientists and clinicians to share research and discuss collaborative projects. Through these activities, the CRI has made a wonderful contribution to the field of cancer research, and it's work has had a direct impact on the development of novel, promising therapies for the treatment of cancer.

Client Served

Rating: 5

The Cancer Research Institute has been generous in allowing me to pursue post-graduate studies in the area of lung cancer. Thankyou for allowing me to pursue an exciting, at times tough and challenging, yet tremendously rewarding path into the medical research future. We are now studying lung cancer patients with the hope of understanding how their lung immune microenvironment may protect against or worsen their disease.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I was supported by a postdoctoral fellowship by the Cancer Research institute. The funding allowed me to pursue research studying basic T cell immunology. Their support has been invaluable to helping my career progression towards making fundamental discoveries in immunology. Now I am an assistant professor and I have again applied for funding from the CRI, as the CRI supports scientists at multiple stages in our careers. Continuing support from the CRI will allow me to progress in my studies regarding the role of immunology in cancer.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am funded by CRI as a postdoctoral fellow to do fundamental research in immunology. I am extremely impressed by how dedicated CRI is to the goal of using a greater understanding of the immune system in order to combat cancer. As can be seen from the very important recent advances in therapeutics that have come from this approach, CRI's investment in this field is profoundly impacting cancer research and treatment.

Client Served

Rating: 5

The Cancer Research Institute plays a very important role to support the work of scientists who have original ideas of cancer immunotherapy, which are promising, but not yet proven enough for obtaining financial support from commercial groups. In our laboratory we had the idea of localizing on tumor cells, with specific monoclonal antibodies, molecules, such as Major Histocompatibility Complexe (MHC), loaded with viral peptides, which can activate the T lymphocytes to attack the target tumor cells. Thank to a 3 years support provided by CRI, a senior post doc in our group, Dr Alena Donda, we were able to make the first demonstration of this therapeutic strategy in experimental animals (Donda et al. Cancer Immunity 2003). Furthermore, Dr Donda demonstrated that an MHC like molecules, called CD1d, loaded with a glycolipid ligand, called alphaGalCer, also targeted to the tumor cells by monoclonal antibodies, was capable to specifically inhibit tumor growth in vivo (Donda et al. J. Clin. Invest. 2008) and to give a sustained activation of the Natural Killer Cells known to be important in the innate immunity. Later this project was sponsored by industry, and may become a clinically useful form of cancer therapy; but the role of CRI in the initiation of this project was essential.

Barry S.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I received a grant from the CRI that was instrumental in allowing me to get my laboratory started at Washington University. CRI is a wonderful organization and I will always be grateful for their support at an early and critical stage of my career. I have now been running my lab for 13 years and we focus on how immune cells can become transformed leading to leukemia and lymphoma.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I received a 3 year postdoctoral fellowship from the CRI, which was much appreciated. In addition to supporting high-quality science, the CRI brings its members together for an annual conference in New York City. This small, tightly knit meeting is one of the best I have ever attended. The CRI, as a whole, really believes in its mission of using basic science to fight cancer, and you can tell from the passion and the intellect of the people it brings together.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I was a recipient of a CRI postdoctoral fellowship at the start of my independent scientific career to study very basic aspects of the immune system. I have always admired the wisdom and courage of the CRI to fund at the same time translational and very basic research in immunology. Furthermore, the quality of the scientific board and the technical staff is, in my opinion, outstanding, assuring that the funds are applied to truly worthy clinical and research programs in a very efficient manner.

Manuela B.

Client Served

Rating: 5

As a past recipient of a CRI fellowship, I want to express my gratitude to a high profile Institution who helped move from the postdoctoral stage to my first group leader position - fast, unbureaucratic, efficient.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I was fortunate to receive a CRI Career Award when I was just starting my lab at the University of Washington. This funding provided me the latitude to pursue ideas that were too risky to compete for NIH funding. This permitted me to develop a line of investigation that continues to prove fruitful and important.

Client Served

Rating: 5

The Cancer Research Institute has been the fundamental body that has globally underpinned the whole discipline of cancer immunology. In Australia we have benefited from their graduate teaching program. It has funded a whole generation of Australia's next research leaders in cancer immunology.

Client Served

Rating: 5

As a recipient of CRI's predoctoral fellowship, I had the fortunate experience to attend the annual scientific symposium sponsored by CRI which brings exceptional basic scientists in the fields of immunology and cancer biology together with oncologists tasked to implement novel immunotherapies. This conferences highlight CRI's great vision of sponsoring research at a fundamental level as well as supporting translational research.

Girija G.

Client Served

Rating: 4

My experience of CRI as a beneficiary of their funding program has shown me how dedicated they are to find novel and effective cures for cancer. One of the few charities that I know of that understand the relevance of basic research in order to further cancer therapy. Moreover conferences and fundraisers sponsored by them go a long way in helping to translate cutting edge science into therapy.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I give this organization my top rating because I am very familiar with the work they do. I was a participant in a cancer vaccine trial that was underwritten by the Cancer Research Institute. I know that this trial would not have happened without the research grant from CRI.

As a result of the clinical trial I participated in 7 years ago, I am still in remission from ovarian cancer today, and I am extremely grateful to CRI for their support of this small research study.

I have also had the opportunity to meet their staff and attend some fundraising events. They have a lean, well run organization with an admirably high percentage of funds going directly to grants for cancer immunotherapy research. I have also personally met several of the research scientists they support, and these are internationally known researchers with excellent credentials. They all say how important the financial support of CRI has been in making it possible to conduct their groundbreaking studies.

CRI has a fascinating website too, with some really great information on recent advances in cancer immunotherapy. Some of the current successes out there now such as Gardisil (cervical cancer vaccine) and Provenge (prostate cancer vaccine) came from researcher studies CRI helped to underwrite. A recently approved vaccine to prevent recurrence in melanoma is the latest CRI supported research effort on its way to the consumer market. So they are really accomplishing a lot.

This is a first-rate charity. It is one of the few I would actually contribute money to, because of their great track record in supporting cancer immunotherapy research, the many successes that have come out of the studies they help to fund, and the high standards they meet as a charitable organization.