Thrive Initiative Press Release

  • MPNRF | December 14, 2022

    MPN Research Foundation Awards Additional $1.8 Million for Blood Cancer Research into Myeloproliferative Neoplasms

    Dec. 14, 2022 (Chicago) MPN Research Foundation (MPNRF) announces its 2022 Thrive Initiative recipients for projects that fill research funding gaps, some of which surfaced due to the pandemic. This $1.8 million in awards is in addition to currently funded research projects supported for 2021-2023.

    MPNRF has invested more than $18.4 million over the past 21 years toward better understanding and treatment of essential thrombocythemia (ET), polycythemia vera (PV), and myelofibrosis (MF), rare blood cancers collectively known as myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPNs).  

    The 2022 Thrive Initiative will fund 11 additional MPN research projects totaling $1.8 million over two years,” according to Kapila Viges, MPNRF chief executive officer. “These include an exciting mix of seasoned MPN researchers, awarded for follow-on support to continue their existing projects, in many cases stalled by the pandemic, as well as junior and established investigators with new ideas and perspectives to explore. Together, they bring new talent and energy to solve compelling MPN questions, pioneering the way for new research and treatments.” 

    “We are thrilled to fund so many new or incomplete projects that otherwise might be left on the research bench without support,” says Brandon Goetzman, MPNRF board member and chair of the Scientific Steering Committee. “Each project went through a rigorous peer review process, with final selections based on scientific merit, independent of research focus.  

    Complete project details here.

    Awards were made in three categories below.

    Follow On Support
    Four projects awarded, up to $100,000 each over one year.
    Objective: Preserve and advance existing promising MPN research that might otherwise languish. 

    • John D. Crispino, PhD, MBA, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
      Aberrant Megakaryopoiesis in the MPNs 

    • Michal Bar-Natan, MD, Icahn School of Medicine at Mt. Sinai 
      Harnessing the immune system to target Calreticulin mutant myeloproliferative neoplasms 

    • Nicole Kucine, MD, MS, Weill Cornell Medicine

      Analysis of Mutational Spectrum in Pediatric Myeloproliferative Neoplasms 

    • Joseph Scandura, MD, PhD, Weill Cornell Medicine 

      Tracking MPN Fitness to speed development of disease modifying agents for MPNs 


    Junior Investigator
    Six projects awarded, up to $200,000 each over two years. 
    Objective: Provide an opportunity for junior investigators to compete exclusively with their peers and enhance their capacity for future funding in the MPN field. 

    • Idoroenyi Amanam, MD, MS, City of Hope National Medical Center
      Investigation of IL-1RAP in Myeloproliferative Neoplasms: Potential novel anti-leukemic therapy 

    • Najla Arshad, PhD, Yale University School of Medicine 
      Development of nanobody-based targeted therapy for myeloproliferative neoplasms 

    • Joan Beckman, MD, PhD, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities
      Role of Gas6-Axl-MERTK in Myeloproliferative Neoplasm Thrombosis 

      Sahand Hormoz, PhD, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
      A new mouse model of the early phase of myeloproliferative neoplasms for probing disease heterogeneity 

    • Shannon Elf, PhD,
      University of Chicago
      Dissecting the pathophysiological role of GLUT1 in driving type 1 CALR-mutated myeloproliferative neoplasms 

    • Shinobu Matsuura, DVM, PhD,
      Boston University School of Medicine
      Targeting the JAK2V617F Hematopoietic Stem Cell Through Integrins-Based Combination 

    New Investigator with New Ideas
    One project awarded, up to $200,000 over two years.
    Objective: Provide competitive funding environment for new MPN researchers bringing novel ideas to the MPN field. 

    • Ioannis Aifantis, PhD, New York University Grossman School of Medicine
      Dissecting and targeting transcriptional and epigenetic regulation in advanced myelofibrosis 

    The 2022 Thrive Initiative is made possible through the generous support of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Shelley Spevakow of the SSASSY Foundation, the Susan Protter Estate, and several major individual and family benefactors who serve as champions for our collective mission. 

    About MPN Research Foundation 
    The mission of MPNRF is to stimulate original research in pursuit of new treatments — and eventually a cure — for myeloproliferative neoplasms, including the blood cancers polycythemia vera, essential thrombocythemia, and myelofibrosis. 

    Full release here: MPN Research Foundation Awards Additional $1.8 Million For Blood Cancer Research Into Myeloproliferative Neoplasms (