California Breast Cancer Research Program Announces New Funding Strategy


Lyn Dunagan

June 1, 2010—Oakland, CA—The California Breast Cancer Research Program (CBCRP) is changing how it funds breast cancer research in order to accelerate progress against the disease.  The new funding strategy will set aside 50 percent of annual research funds to undertake program-directed research that focuses on the prevention of breast cancer and expands on the research from the program’s existing Special Research Initiatives, which are examining the role of the environment in breast cancer and the reasons behind the unequal burden of the disease.

“Our strategy will optimize our resources to make an impact on breast cancer,” said Mhel Kavanaugh-Lynch, M.D., M.P.H., the director of the CBCRP.  “By narrowing our focus to the areas where we have the greatest impact—community collaborations; translational research; innovative, high risk/high-reward research; and our landmark Special Research Initiatives—we will continue to lead the nation in meaningful advances against breast cancer and provide applicants with strong opportunities for success.”

In March 2010, the program completed a three-year evaluation, wherein the question was asked, “How can the Program best leverage California resources to make an impact on breast cancer?” The CBCRP’s governing body, the Breast Cancer Research Council, reviewed the successes of the existing funding strategy; conducted an intensive data analysis of efforts by other breast cancer research funders; and gathered input from breast cancer advocates, researchers, clinicians, and policymakers.  Balanced against the challenge of declining funding, the council identified opportunities where the CBCRP could fill critical gaps in research that would enable the program to best meet its goals.

For the next five years, the CBCRP will focus its funding on:

The new funding strategy will result in changes to the structure of some of the program’s awards, including letters of intent for Innovative, Developmental, and Exploratory Awards and the elimination of career development awards. More information about the new funding strategy can be found in the publication, “New Funding Strategy for the California Breast Cancer Research Program: The Way Forward” on the CBCRP’s website.


About the California Breast Cancer Research Program:
The mission of the California Breast Cancer Research Program (CBCRP) is to eliminate breast cancer by leading innovation in research, communication, and collaboration in the California scientific and lay communities.

Created by the State Legislature in 1993, the California Breast Cancer Research Program (CBCRP) is the largest state-funded breast cancer research program in the nation and is administered by the University of California, Office of the President. To date, the CBCRP has awarded 894 grants to 101 scientific institutions and community entities, totaling more than $213 million for research in California to prevent, treat, and cure breast cancer. Awards include traditional investigator-initiated projects, community-based collaborative research projects, and program-directed special research initiatives. Grants from the CBCRP fill gaps not traditionally funded by other research programs to jump-start new areas of investigation that push the boundaries of research and foster new collaborations. The CBCRP is funded through the voluntary tax check-off program on personal income tax form 540, a portion of the state tobacco tax, and individual contributions. For more information, call 888 313-2277, or visit