Bladder Cancer Advocacy Network Announces 2020 Bladder Cancer Research Innovation Awardee

$300,000 Award Fuels Bladder Cancer Research Innovation


(June 22, 2020: Bethesda, MD) Today, the Bladder Cancer Advocacy Network (BCAN) announced the recipient of its prestigious Bladder Cancer Research Innovation Award.  This year’s awardee is Jeffrey Ravetch, MD, PhD, Professor and Head of the Laboratory of Molecular Genetics and Immunotherapy at Rockefeller University.  Dr. Ravetch’s proposal is “Intravesical delivery of FC-enhanced CD40 against antibody for the treatment of bladder cancer.”

BCAN’s Bladder Cancer Research Innovation Award, funded at $300,000 for two years, supports exceptionally novel and creative projects with significant potential to produce breakthroughs in bladder cancer research.  “BCAN is pleased to fund Dr. Ravetch’s project. With this award, we enable bladder cancer research that is high-risk and has the potential for high reward for new discoveries in bladder cancer research,” said Andrea Maddox Smith, CEO of the Bladder Cancer Advocacy Network.  “These critical projects are not likely to be funded elsewhere and speak to the continuing need for innovation and creative approaches in bladder cancer research.”

Dr. Ravetch’s project approach focuses on the mechanisms by which antibodies, proteins naturally produced in response to infection, function in people. Recombinant antibodies (those made in the lab for treatment purposes) targeting the immune system have significantly improved survival in patients with cancer, including bladder cancer.  Given the success of antibodies generated to block “brakes” on the immune system, Dr.  Ravetch’s lab has described an alternative strategy to help “step on the gas pedal” of immune cells by targeting a protein called CD40.

Dr. Ravetch is recognized as a world expert in the biology of antibodies and antibody-based therapeutics for cancer and infectious disease. His achievements have been recognized by numerous research awards, including a 2017 Ross Prize in Molecular Medicine, a 2015 Wolf Prize in Medicine, a 2012 Canada Gairdner International Award and a 2007 Coley Award from the Cancer Research Institute.

The Bladder Cancer Advocacy Network’s (BCAN’s) mission is to increase public awareness about bladder cancer, advance bladder cancer research and, provide educational and support services for the bladder cancer community.

Contact:  Mark Story

Director of Communications and Marketing