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The Mark Foundation for Cancer Research Announces Grant to New York Genome Center

New York, NY  ·  July 25, 2018

For Immediate Release:
The Mark Foundation for Cancer Research Announces Grant to New York Genome Center

New York Genome Center Strives for Deeper Understanding of Diverse Cancer Genomics

This week, The Mark Foundation for Cancer Research announced a $1M grant to the New York Genome Center (NYGC) to support a new, multi-institutional endeavor to study the genomics of cancer across the diverse communities of New York City.

This NYGC Project, Polyethnic-1000, aims ultimately to improve outcomes for patients by increasing the participation of ethnic groups currently underrepresented in existing genomic databases. Using state-of-the-art genomic sequencing and analysis, NYGC and its collaborators will create tools to assist physicians in selecting the best treatment for each individual patient. The data collected in this initiative will also enable researchers to tackle critical outstanding questions about tumor biology, cancer risk, and response to treatment across genetically diverse populations of patients.

Polyethnic-1000 was organized at NYGC by cancer experts Drs. Harold Varmus, Weill Cornell Medicine and NYGC, and Charles Sawyers, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, with members of the NYGC’s Genome Center Cancer Group.  The project will be led by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory cancer researchers and NYGC affiliates, Drs. Fieke Froeling and David Tuveson, in partnership with NYGC computational biologist Dr. Nicolas Robine.

“In this study, we are creating a dynamic research platform within the greater New York area that promises to enhance the ways in which cancer is prevented, diagnosed, and treated,” said Dr. Varmus. “Polyethnic-1000 will establish a framework to enhance interactions among our region’s cancer treatment centers that should improve and widen the use of genomics for all patients.”

“The insights gained from these studies will advance our understanding of the genomics of cancer in the broadest possible way,” said Michele Cleary, PhD, Chief Executive Officer of The Mark Foundation. “In the long term, we expect that this work will help physicians arrive at treatments tailored to the unique molecular characteristics of each patient’s disease within and across diverse communities.”

About The Mark Foundation for Cancer Research
The Mark Foundation for Cancer Research is dedicated to accelerating cures for cancer by integrating discoveries in biology with innovative technology. Launched in 2017, The Mark Foundation pursues its mission by funding a global portfolio of groundbreaking research carried out by individual investigators, multi-investigator teams, and inter-institutional collaborations.

Recognizing the obstacles that can prevent scientific advances from improving patient outcomes, The Mark Foundation maintains a nimble, high-impact approach to funding research that encompasses grants for basic and translational cancer research, as well as venture philanthropy investment in companies that bridge the gap between the bench and the bedside.

To learn more about the work of The Mark Foundation for Cancer Research, visit:

About the New York Genome Center
The New York Genome Center is an independent, nonprofit academic research institution at the forefront of transforming biomedical research and clinical care. Founded as a collaborative venture by the region’s premier academic, medical and industry leaders, the New York Genome Center’s goal is to translate genomic research into new diagnostics, therapeutics and treatments for human disease. NYGC member organizations and partners are united in this unprecedented collaboration of technology, science and medicine, designed to harness the power of innovation and discoveries to advance genomic services. Their shared objective is the acceleration of medical genomics and precision medicine to benefit patients around the world.

Member institutions include: Albert Einstein College of Medicine, American Museum of Natural History, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, Columbia University, Hospital for Special Surgery, The Jackson Laboratory, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York-Presbyterian Hospital, The New York Stem Cell Foundation, New York University, Northwell Health, Princeton University, The Rockefeller University, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Stony Brook University and Weill Cornell Medicine. For more information on the NYGC, please visit:

About Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
Founded in 1890, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory has shaped contemporary biomedical research and education with programs in cancer, neuroscience, plant biology and quantitative biology. Home to eight Nobel Prize winners, the private, not-for-profit Laboratory employs 1,100 people including 600 scientists, students and technicians. The Meetings & Courses Program annually hosts more than 12,000 scientists. The Laboratory’s education arm also includes an academic publishing house, a graduate school and the DNA Learning Center with programs for middle and high school students and teachers. For more information, visit:

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