Associate Professor Mark Grinstaff (BME) and his cancer research colleagues recently won the Edward M. Kennedy Award for Healthcare Innovation from the Center for Integration of Medicine & Innovative Technology (CIMIT).
Grinstaff shares the award with Yolonda Colson, a surgeon and director of the Women’s Lung Cancer Center at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and John Frangioni, the co-director of the Center for Imaging Technology and Molecular Diagnostics at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.
The three investigators work on complementary projects with the collective aim to identify and treat cancer that metastasizes into lymph nodes. Colson and Frangioni study the clinical and imaging aspects of the research, and Grinstaff develops polymer-based drug-delivery systems. This type of drug delivery would allow treatments to reach only the specific sites where cancer has metastasized while minimizing systemic side effects.
“I am very pleased with this selection,” said John Parrish, CIMIT executive director. “The researchers have unique areas of expertise and they are working on very innovative research that has a great potential to help vulnerable patients.”
The group received the award at a presentation during the CIMIT Innovation Congress in October. The award is named for Senator Edwards Kennedy because of his pioneering efforts in working for healthcare improvements.
Kennedy commended the researchers “for their promising research on new approaches to make cancer treatments more effective, reduce rates of recurrence and adverse side effects, and improve patient survival. Their cooperative research, drawing together widely different areas of expertise, is exactly the kind of work that CIMIT was created to inspire.”
The award is the single, and highest, honor offered by CIMIT, a Boston-based non-profit consortium of teaching hospitals and engineering schools that supports interdisciplinary and translational research.