Announcing Winner of $150,000 2021 A Breath of Hope Lung Foundation Research Award

February 10, 2021 (WAYZATA, MN) – A Breath of Hope is honored to announce the winner of its annual lung cancer research award competition: Dr. Kipp Weiskopf from the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The award is named The Peg Fisher-Jullie Fight for Life Award in honor of a local stage 4 lung cancer survivor, Peg Fisher-Jullie. The award focuses on overcoming resistance to a common lung cancer biomarker/mutation – EGFR.

Lung cancer is the world’s deadliest cancer. It claims more lives each year than breast and colon cancers combined, yet lung cancer receives disproportionately less research funding per cancer death than other types of cancer. A Breath of Hope knows that to save lives, it is critical to fund strong science and translational lung cancer research that lead to improved treatments and better early detection methods.

Dr. Weiskopf’s winning proposal focuses on the interaction between EGFR mutant lung cancer cells and the immune system. This project will investigate how immune cells called macrophages can be used to attack and eliminate EGFR mutant lung cancer cells. Macrophages are often the most common immune cells in tumors, and they can be provoked to attack cancer cells when provided with an appropriate stimulus.

This study will investigate how macrophages can be activated to enhance conventional therapies for EGFR mutant lung cancer. The goal of this research is to provide the scientific rationale for testing these therapeutic strategies in patients with EGFR mutant lung cancer.

About A Breath of Hope Lung Foundation:
A Breath of Hope Lung Foundation is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization based in Minneapolis, MN that is dedicated to defeating lung cancer and bringing hope. A Breath of Hope’s Mission is to fight lung cancer by funding innovative research, educating the public for improved disease awareness, and supporting patients and caregivers on the path to survivorship.

About Kipp Weiskopf, M.D., Ph.D.:
Dr. Weiskopf began his scientific career as an undergraduate student at Amherst College in Amherst, MA. After graduating, he was awarded a Churchill Scholarship and earned an M.Phil. degree from the University of Cambridge. Dr. Weiskopf subsequently attended Stanford University and earned an M.D. and a Ph.D. in Cancer Biology as a member of the Medical Scientist Training Program.

After completing his studies at Stanford University, Dr. Weiskopf trained as a resident in Internal Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, MA. He is a member of the Hematology and Oncology Fellowshi program at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, MA. In 2019, Dr. Weiskopf was appointed as a Whitehead Fellow at Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research in Cambridge, MA. He currently leads a laboratory that studies how macrophages interact with cancer cells with an emphasis on the development of novel immune based therapies for cancer.