Developmental Research Programs

The Developmental Research Program of the DF/HCC Kidney Cancer Program is intended to attract established investigators to the field of kidney cancer in order to develop new ideas of investigation which may change the field or be developed into full projects in the SPORE

The objectives of the Developmental Projects Program are to ensure a continual renewal of high-quality scientific endeavors in the DF/HCC Kidney Cancer SPORE and to fund efforts that will complement or enhance the overall quality of the DF/HCC Kidney Cancer SPORE

Specific aims:

  • Solicit applications and/or identify novel kidney cancer research projects
  • Evaluate these projects for funding
  • Fund innovative developmental projects
  • Re-evaluate projects for possible transition into full project status
  • Evaluate the success of the program

Awarded in 2017


Detecting and Targeting Mitochondrial Vulnerabilities in Kidney Cancer

Investigator: Raj Gopal (MGH)

Explore Novel Functions of YAP/TAZ in Kidney Cancer Cell Metabolism 

Investigator:  Chungling Yi (Georgetown University)

Awarded in 2015


Physical Detection of HLA Binding Peptides to Identify and Predicts Immunogenic Personal Neopitopes in Renal Cell Carcinoma

Investigator: D. Keskin (DFCI)

Circulating Tumor DNA as a Prognostic and Predicative Biomarker in Renal Cell
Carcinoma

Investigator: D. Kwiatkowski (BWH)

Suppressive Effects of HDM2 Blockade on MDSC Recruitment and the Development of TKI Resistance are Due to Treatment Induced Changes in Tumor Cell Metabolism Role of TIGAR

Investigator:  D. Panka (BIDMC)

Construction of Tissue Microarrays from Nurses’ Health Study and Health Professional’s Follow-up Study cohorts for future molecular epidemiological studies in Renal Cell Carcinoma

Investigator:  M. Preston (BWH)

Awarded in 2014


Angiotensin System Inhibitor as a means to Increase the Effectiveness of VEGFR Inhibition

Investigator: R. Bhatt (BIDMC)

Physical Detection of HLA Binding Peptides to Identify and Predicts Immunogenic Personal Neopitopes in Renal Cell Carcinoma

Investigator: D. Keskin (DFCI)

Awarded in 2013


Implicating the Stem Cell Factor in Lin28 in Kidney Development and Wilms Tumor

Investigator: G. Daley (BCH)

Biomarkers for Temsirolimus Activity in Advanced Renal Cell carcinoma: Genomics, Genetics Polymorph isms and Protein Expression

Investigator: S. Signoretti and T. Choueiri (DFCI/BWH)

Overcoming Tumor Immunoevasion

Investigator: G. Freeman and A. Sharpe (DFCI/HMS)

Induction of Oncomirs by Rapamycin Role in Tumor Response

Investigator: E. Henske (BWH)

Awarded in 2012


Molecular Relationship between NF2 and VHL in Renal Cancer

Investigator: A. McClatchey (MGH)

Reversal of Sunitinib Induced Modifications of the Tumor ECM and MDSC Recruitment by HDM2 Antagonism

Investigator: D. Panka (BIDMC)

KIM 1 as a Biomarker and Therapeutic Target of RCC

Investigator: V. Sabbisetti (BWH)

The Molecular Pathogenesis of Chromophobe RCC

Investigator: E. Henske (BWH)

Awarded in 2011


The Role of Genetic Polymorphisms and Recurrence in Renal Call Carcinoma

Investigator: Toni Choueiri (DFCI)

Role of the Unfolded Protein Response (UPR) in the Development or Resistance to Antiangiogenic Agents in Renal Cell Carcinoma

Investigator: Shudong Zhu (BIDMC)

PKP4 and Cell Adhesion in the Pathogenesis of Chromophobe RCC

Investigator: Elizabeth Henske (BWH)

Evaluation Compartive Effectivenes of Open and Minimally Invasive Kidney Surgery: Patient-Reported Quality of Life Outcomes and Cost Effectiveness

Investigator: Andrew Wagner (BWH)

Awarded in 2010


Preclinical Validation of HIF2a Inhibitors

Investigator: Othon Iliopoulos, MD (MGH)

Synergy Between the HDM2/HDMX Antagonist AT-210 and the VEGFR2 Antagonist Sunitinib in the Treatment of Advanced Renal Cell Carcinoma

Investigator:  David Panka, PhD (BIDMC)

Immunotherapy of RENCA tumor by boosting host anti-tumor immune responses through dual blockade of CTLA4 and PD-1

Investigator: Cai, G (DFCI)

Validation of Novel Strategies for Renal Cell Cancer

Investigator: Towia Libermann, PhD and Kung, A (BIDMC, DFCI)

Cost Effectiveness Analysis of Routine Percutaneous Renal Biopsy in the Management of Small Renal Masses 

Investigator: Chang, S (BWH)

Awarded in 2009


Glycoproteomic analysis of Renal Cell Carcinoma biomarkers

Investigator: Othon Iliopoulos, MD (MGH)

PD-1 Blockade in Conjunction with DC/RCC Fusion Cell Vaccination: Pre-Clinical Studies in Preparation for Clinical Trial 

Investigator: Jacalyn Rosenblatt, MD (BIDMC)

Autophagy and Kidney Cancer: Determining the Role of Autophagy Regulators in RCC and Their Cooperitivity with TORC1 Inhibitors 

Investigator: Thomas, S (BIDMC)

Clinical, Histological and Molecular Determinants of Bilateral RCC

Investigator: Sabina Signoretti, MD and Toni Choueiri, MD (BWH, DFCI)

Awarded in 2008


Role of defects in IFNg signaling in escape from VEGFR inhibition

Investigator: Rupal Bhatt, MD (VHL) (BIDMC)

Analgesic Use and the Risk of RCC

Investigator: Eunyoung Cho., Sc.D and Toni Choueiri, M.D. (KCA) (BWH, DFCI)

Awarded in 2007


Development of mouse orthotopic xenografts of human renal cell carcinoma (2nd year)

Investigator: Sabina Signoretti, MD (BWH)

STAT-Mediated modulation of HIF signaling: Molecular strategies for the treatment of RCC

Investigator: David Frank, PhD (DFCI)

Potential Synergy Between Triterpenoids and NADPH Oxidase Inhibitors in the Treatment of RCC 

Investigator: David Panka, PhD, Daniel Cho, MD, and James Mier, MD (BIDMC)

LDH-A Inhibitors for the treatment of Fumarate Hydratase (FH) Associated Leiomyomatosis and Renal Cell Cancer (HLRCC)

Investigator: Vikas Sukhatme, MD, PhD (BIDMC)

Identification of Novel Proteins that Inhibit HIF mRNA Translation

Investigator: Michael Zimmer, PhD (MGH)

Identification of new drugs for treatment of RCC patients using gene signatures and the Connectivity Map database

Investigator: Towia Libermann, PhD, Vikas Sukhatme, MD, PhD (BIDMC)

Awarded in 2006


PET evaluation of RCC metastases using high-affinity human anti-CAIX monoclonal antibodies with optimized pharmacokinetic properties

Investigator: Wayne A. Marasco, MD, PhD and Anna M. Wu, PhD (DFCI)

The tyrosine kinase receptor Axl, a novel therapeutic target in renal cell cancer

Investigator: Towia Libermann, PhD and Luiz Zerbini, PhD (BIDMC)

Development of mouse orthotopic xenografts of human renal cell carcinoma

Investigator: Sabina Signoretti, MD (BWH)

STAT-Mediated modulation of HIF signaling: Molecular strategies for the treatment of RCC

Investigator:   David Frank, PhD (DFCI)

The effect of anti-angiogenic drugs on tumor mediated immune suppression and response to the DC/renal cell carcinoma fusion vaccine

Investigator: Corie Lenahan, MD, Jacalyn Rosenblatt, MD, and David Avigan, MD (BIDMC)

A drosophila genetic screen for target identification in VHL-HIF signaling

Investigator: Othon Iliopoulos, MD (MGH)

VEGF receptor-targeted therapy of renal cell carcinoma: mechanisms of innate and acquired resistance

Investigator: S.Nahum Goldberg, MD and James Mier, MD (BIDMC)

Awarded in 2005


Improved magnetic resonance imaging of body tumor blood flow for monitoring of response to anti-angiogenic therapy

Investigator: David C. Alsop, PhD and Neil Rofsky, MD (BIDMC)

Identification of Novel Genes Involved in Sporadic Wilms Tumor

Investigator: Daniel Haber MD, PhD and Miguel Rivera, PhD (MGH)

Molecular Analysis of Renal Cell Carcinoma Using Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNP) Arrays

Investigator: Sabina Signoretti, MD and Holger Moch, MD (BWH)

Phenotypic and functional characteristics of human T cells stimulated ex vivo with dendritic cell/tumor fusion cells and expanded using the Xcellerate process

Investigator: David Avigan, MD and Jacalyn Rosenblatt, MD (BIDMC)

The tyrosine kinase receptor Axl, a novel therapeutic target in renal cell cancer

Investigator: Towia Libermann, PhD and Luiz Zerbini, PhD (BIDMC)

Role of angiopoietin like 4 (ANGPTL4) as a VegF independent pro-angiogenesis factor

Investigator: Pankaj Seth, PhD (BIDMC)

Awarded in 2004


Identification of Novel Genes Involved in Sporadic Wilms Tumor

Investigator: Daniel Haber MD, PhD and Miguel Rivera, PhD (MGH)

A Genetic Model for Target Identification in VHL-HIF Signaling

Investigator: Spyros Artavanis-Tsakona, PhD (MGH)

Molecular Analysis of Renal Cell Carcinoma Using Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNP) Arrays

Investigator: Sabina Signoretti, MD and Holger Moch, MD (BWH)

Role of Carbonic Anhydrase IX in Proliferation and Metastasis of Renal Cell Carcinoma

Investigator: Seth L. Alper, MD, PhD (BIDMC)

Genetic Classification of Clear Cell Renal Cell Cancer

Investigator: Towia Libermann, PhD and Jon Jones, MD (BIDMC)

A Phase II Multi-center Study of Rapamycin for Treating Kidney Angiomyolipomas

Investigator: Sandra Dabora, MD, PhD (BWH)

Pro-Apoptotic TRAIL-directed Therapies for Treatment of Advanced Renal Cell Carcinoma

Investigator: Aria F. Olumi,  MD (BIDMC)

Awarded in 2003


Functional Analysis of the BHD Tumor Suppressor Protein

Investigator: Othon Iliopoulos, MD (MGH)

Genetic Classification of Clear Cell Renal Cell Cancer

Investigator:  Towia Libermann, PhD and Jon Jones, MD (BIDMC)

The Role of Bone-Targeted Therapy with Zoledronic Acid in Metastatic Renal Cell Carcinoma

Investigator: M.Dror Michaelson, MD S/C to Heymach (MGH, BCH)

Evaluation of the Mechanism of Action of the Raf Inhibitor BAY 43-9006 against Renal Cell Cancer and Potential Synergy with Akt Inhibitors

Investigator: David Panka, PhD and James Mier, MD (BIDMC)