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Stakeholders Chosen to Review American Cancer Society Research Grant Proposals
Direct Cancer Experience Improves Selection Process

ATLANTA – October 12, 2012—Eighteen individuals with a strong personal interest in cancer have been chosen to participate in the American Cancer Society’s research grants peer review process for 2013. These stakeholders, who have been part of the Society’s grant review process since 1999, provide a point of view directly from the cancer experience to help ensure the Society makes sound research funding decisions.

Stakeholders, who may or may not have formal science or oncology training, have a strong personal interest in cancer research. Each has a personal connection to the disease, such as having had a family member with cancer, having acted as a caregiver, or having had a personal battle with the disease. The participation of stakeholders brings a critical perspective to the grant review process.

“Selecting which research projects will receive American Cancer Society funding is both a critical and difficult process,” said W. Phil Evans M.D., American Cancer Society national volunteer president. “The participation of Stakeholders is akin to a reality check, to assure that each of the hundreds of research proposals is reviewed not only by scientists, but by people who have real-life experience with cancer.” Stakeholders chosen to participate in the upcoming grants cycle are:

  • Janet Abrahamson, Saratoga Springs, N.Y.
  • Dan Anderson, Yorkville, Ill.
  • Laurie Buchfuhrer, Md.
  • Jemma Cabral, Algonquin, Ill.
  • Rondal Culp, Poplar Bluff, Mo.
  • Kirby Davidson, Sun Prairie, Wis.
  • Jackie DiGiglia, Inman, S.C.
  • Nancy Gargano, Stevensville, Mich.
  • Curt Gill, Valparaiso, Ind.
  • Sherry Grasty, Willow Grove, Pa.
  • Richard Hale, Fair Oaks, Calif.
  • Joanie Haley, Houston, Texas
  • Margaret Kresge, Atlanta, Ga.
  • Susan McCoy, Elizabethtown, Pa.
  • Marilyn Rex, San Mateo, Calif.
  • Richard Riley, Sanibel, Fla.
  • Alan Silver, Boston, Mass.
  • Rich Truett, Eugene, Ore.

No formal science training is required to serve as a stakeholder, each of whom joins clinicians, researchers, and other scientists for a two-year term to review the more than 1,700 applications submitted to the American Cancer Society each year. Stakeholders are recruited from around the United States, and receive training before being assigned to one or more of the approximately 20 peer review committees in the Society’s Extramural Grants Division. In addition to stakeholders, each committee includes five to 20 researchers, clinicians, and other experts.

Since its inception in 1946, the American Cancer Society's Research and Training Program has funded more than $3.8 billion in cancer research and health professional training. As the largest private source of cancer research funding in the U.S., the Society funds approximately $100 million in research grants every year. The program has funded 46 researchers who have won the Nobel Prize.The nomination period for the next class of stakeholders, who will receive training in 2013 and begin a two-year term of service in 2014, is now open.  Interested parties can learn more about the program, including how to apply, at http://www.cancer.org/stakeholders, or by contacting Joe Cotter at joseph.cotter@cancer.org. The nomination period ends December 30, 2012.