Selected from more than five hundred entries, the winners will receive grants of $100,000 each to help doctors find cancer earlier, make more accurate cancer diagnoses, and choose the best possible treatment based on each patient's unique cancer. In addition, GE will provide each winner with mentoring and access to GE researchers and industry thought leaders as well as the opportunity to expand partnerships in the future.
The winners are My Cancer Genome, a free online cancer medicine resource for physicians, patients, caregivers, and researchers being developed by Vanderbilt University; the University of Akron, which is developing new materials for breast reconstruction; the Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, which is working to understand genetic "modifier" genes and their role in predisposition to the spread of cancer to other parts of the body following the onset of the disease; the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, which is working with the Uganda Cancer Institute on a program to identify cancers in young women with palpable lumps; and the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center, which is designing clinical trials for select subtypes of breast cancer that are likely to respond differently to chemotherapy.
"We launched the challenge as a call to action for oncology researchers, businesses, and other innovators around the world to accelerate innovation and help stop this deadly disease," said Beth Comstock, GE's senior vice president and chief marketing officer. "It is often challenging for early stage research to grab the attention of seed investors. The challenge has shown us that there are a remarkable number of breakthrough ideas out there that deserve promotion, investment, and incubation."