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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

60 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

When I began my career in cancer research in 1989, CRI was the only organization that believed in supporting junior researchers as the future of cancer immunotherapy. I had just had my NIH grant turned down and CRI gave me an investigators grant that allowed me to launch my career. They then funded a number of postdoctoral fellows, who are now themselves independent cancer immunology leaders at institutions all over the world. Without CRI, I would not be doing this today. Starting in 2010, cancer immunotherapy has emerged as the "new" breakthrough approach to cancer therapy but this is actually the fruit of decades of labor and CRI has been steadfastly behind that research from the beginning.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The Cancer Research Institute (CRI) supports clinical research in a very productive manner. We received specific support for clinical research and development, which was key to the success of our projects. Investigator-initiated clinical studies are very difficult to finance, yet they represent a central element in modern medical centers. It is very important to move clinical research up the value scale, and the CRI plays a crucial role in this process. State-of-the-art academic studies are increasingly needed to promote bio-medical excellence at University Centers, in partnership with patients and their organizations, and with private enterprises.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I applaud the Cancer Research Institute's support of young scientists and of research that is somewhat risky, but with potentially great rewards. This forward thinking helps to develop a new generation of scientists that are creative -- which allows for many more possibilities to be realized.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The CRI supports great researchers doing great research and helps to develop the next generation of health science research.

Russell V.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

As a recipient of funding from the Cancer Research Institute, I give it high marks for having the courage to fund the risky innovative science that NIH doesn't prioritize. Discoveries made by Cancer Research Institute scientists have made direct impacts on cancer therapy and is highly respected in the field.

Carl B.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The Cancer Research Institute represents a focused lean organization that is committed to seeing the important work done. They impact people's lives by helping to develop and deliver information, therapies and hope to patients with cancer. Their fund raising and success is largely a function of a very committed and dedicated staff that works in concert and has reduced the typical bureaucracy to a minimum. They provide promise of cures not in the far off distant future but more in the lifetimes of the patients that are dependent upon progress in the area of cancer treatments. In the past two years the financial crisis has made their work much more difficult but they have risen to the challenge.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I received a CRI postdoctoral award ~ 8 years ago which has ultimately helped me and the lab I was working in to make a major discovery in lymphocyte biology. It has also allowed me to become an independent investigator by sustaining my high-risk/high-reward project as a project. This paid off and it is critical that organizations like the CRI support basic immunology research, especially at a time when federal funding is limited and often not available for novel, unproven approaches. Of all organization that fund research in the field of cancer and lymphoma research, the CRI stands out because of its willingness to fund basic immunology research, its exceptional scientific advisory board and its vision to fund promising talent and unconventional approaches.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

My association with CRI began about five years ago, when the first of three postdoctoral fellows supported by CRI began work in my lab. I have also attended a number of CRI sponsored scientific meetings. This made a great difference to my work and to overall progress in the field.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Only if our scientists can understand how the basic mechanisms of our immune system and the cell work, can we ever hope to find a cure for this disease.
The Cancer Research Institute is a non-profit organization, that has devoted itself to find a cure for cancer.
They support basic research to elucidate the mechanisms involved in cancerogenesis as well as research that is aimed at finding out how our immune system and the processes in the cell work.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

As a recipient of a CRI Investigator Research Award and a scientist working in South America, I have to say that receiving a grant from the CRI was the best experience at the begining of my scientific career in Tumor Immunology. The dedicated team of CRI staff and advisors devote all their experience and efforts at the interface of Fundamental Immunology and Oncology to find a cure for Cancer. Their advisory board composed of the Best Scientist in the Field, members of the Academy of Science and Nobel Prizes, select, without any bias or country discrimination, good scientific projects. Without any doubt, receiving a grant from the Cancer Research Institute fostered my scientific career and was one of the best experiences I had in my carreer. As you may imagine, trying to do good science in South America is difficult because of limited funding. Therefore, funding from the CRI was essential for me also to help me stay in my country without the needs of travelling to USA or Europe!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Cancer research Institute was important to help my research during my post-doctoral work at Stanford University. The grant writing and review process was very competitive and rigorous. Proposals selected for grants shows the commitment CRI has for cancer research. I hope that CRI keeps raising the awareness for how important conducting research in this field is and how important it is for donors as well as federal agencies to fund cancer research. As a result of discoveries coming out of funding from non-profits, such as CRI, countless lives have been saved from this insidious disease.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Several postdoctoral fellows in my lab have received stipends from the CRI. This support has enabled us to take risks on projects that would never have been funded through traditional government sources. Consequently, we have been able to make unique advances in understanding the basic signaling mechanisms that control cells of the immune system, and how those go awry in cancer. The understanding by CRI of the importance of basic research in laying the groundwork for discovery of new therapeutics is remarkable, and deeply appreciated by the scientific and medical communities.

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Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have had the opportunity to witness first-hand the wonderful work that the Cancer Research Institute does from several angles. Firstly, I have had the opportunity to attend a couple of the symposia that the CRI has sponsored. I have found these symposia to be extremely informative and cutting edge. They have provided an opportunity for researchers from around the world to gather and share their ideas and experiences. I have also been the recipient of intellectual and financial support for my vaccine trial. This is one of the first immunotherapy trials specifically for children with the brain tumors in the United States. This trial was possible because of support from the Cancer Research Institute.

Dirk Z.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I'm a recipient of a CRI investigator award. The funds came right during a time were federal research spending was flat and I was able to use those dollars to get my research project up and running. My lab has since been very productive and I'm grateful that CRI was there initially to jump start my career. I hope that some day I can repay the favor by making a groundbreaking discovery aimed at the treatment or prevention of cancer. One little step at a time.

Estela J.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

CRI is at the forefront of supporting highly innovative and promising research that will have huge impact in cancer therapy. As a post-doc fellow funded by CRI, they have funded my research on a basic science field that would be considered risky as far as cancer relevance during that time. Yet, it turned out that research area is now one of the main focus for development of cancer therapy. They then funded me again as an Asst. Prof. and am immensely grateful for their support. Because of CRI funding, my lab has been able to obtain all these exciting findings that we hope will lead to new modes of therapy.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

CRI has pioneered some of the most groundbreaking research in cancer and spearheaded the field of cancer immunology. The development of vaccines and potential drug therapies that are now the best in the world was initiated by CRI. Indeed, today the involvement of the immune system in cancer is best understood thanks to the efforts of CRI, which in turn has led to some of the best available cancer therapeutics.
CRI has also been extremely supportive of patient care and of patient outreach.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

CRI is well organized and understands the areas of cancer knowledge that must be improved to increase the effectiveness cancer immunotherapy. CRI funds top laboratories and scholars and brings disparate research together to facilitate synergy.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I was a recipient of a grant through the Cancer Research Institute Irvington post-doctoral fellowship program. This grant helped fund my research and career development that was critical to establish my own independent lab. Based on the work funded by the CRI and the long term projects it spawned we have published 40+ papers and used these findings to get further support from the National Cancer Institute. Our work will help leukemia and lymphoma patients and also applies to inflammatory diseases. Thanks to the CRI for being instrumental in getting it all started!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Cancer Research Institute has played an instrumental role in promoting science-based therapeutic discoveries. Their grant programs in particular has allowed many generations of scientists to develop novel ideas in the fight of cancers. It is a top-notch organization that I support whole-heartedly.