CDF Research Grants

The CDF Board of Directors awards a number of basic and applied research grants each year. All applications undergo peer review, with reviewers assessing both the scientific merit of the proposed studies and potential to improve patients’ lives.
Grants range from $5,000 to $75,000 per year.


2017 Grant Deadline Monday February 27th


Featured researcher: Dr. Youwen Zhou
The CDF has provided vital seed funding for my research … on molecular markers of cutaneous T-cell lymphoma … We have identified novel molecules present only in the malignant cells of this cancer. The most important of these is a molecule called TOX1 (thymocyte selection-associated high mobility group box protein 1). This molecule ordinarily plays an essential role in the early development of T lymphocytes — the cells responsible for proper immune system development.

Usually TOX1 is switched off, so that it is not present in normal mature T lymphocytes. Our group is the first to discover that, unlike normal T cells, the malignant T cells of cutaneous T-cell lymphoma … produce large amounts of this protein. Further, we found that when this molecule is switched off experimentally in cultured cells and in animal models of T-cell lymphoma, the malignant behaviours of the cancerous cells are reversed, suggesting that TOX1 is a critical player in T-cell lymphoma development.
Based on these discoveries, we have developed a diagnostic test for cutaneous T-cell lymphoma. Further, we are screening chemicals that selectively inhibit TOX1 activity in order to develop therapies for cutaneous T-cell lymphoma. Without the seed funding from CDF, none of this would be possible.