New ideas lead to tomorrow's discoveries

New cancer research is the key to finding new treatments that could potentially save lives. But without seed-funding, new ideas can stall - that is why Invest in Research began in 2007. We need to keep asking new questions in order to find answers for the patients of tomorrow.

More than $2 million raised to date has helped to leverage approximately $36 million of additional funding for new discoveries

2019 Grant Recipients


Dr. Phedias Diamandis

Growing Artificial Human Brains to Refine Glioblastoma Drug Development Efforts
Glioblastoma (GBM) is the most common and aggressive form of brain cancer, killing most patients within 12- 15 months of diagnosis. Unfortunately, despite numerous clinical trials, this grim outlook has only marginally improved over the past 50 years. However, while traditional GBM models have largely considered this disease to be comprised of identical tumour cells, new research shows that GBM is instead a mix of biologically distinct cell types. One GBM subpopulation is known to share many of the biological properties of “stem cells,” primitive cells that facilitate the growth and cell diversity of our body during early life.  Read More>>

Dr. Marianne Koritzinsky

Mechanisms of PRDX4 addiction in pancreatic cancer

Patients with pancreatic cancer have a five-year overall survival rate of 7%. There is a dire need to better understand pancreatic cancer cell biology and develop new treatments. We have discovered that peroxiredoxin 4 (PRDX4) is an essential protein in half of pancreatic cancer cell lines derived from different patients. Targeting this protein leads to cancer cell death without major consequences for non-cancer cells. Targeting this protein may therefore help some pancreas cancer patients without causing serious side effects.  In this project we will find out why only half of cancer cell lines depend on PRDX4 for their survival.  Read More >>

Fund ground-breaking advancements in cancer research

Join Invest in Research

Benefits of Joining Invest in Research:

  • ►   Have an opportunity to vote on the newest, most cutting-edge research projects that receive funding in the fall
  • ►  Provide seed funding to an additional research project that would not receive funding without your involvement
  • ►   Receive updates directly from the scientists who are pioneering research — including world-first breakthroughs — and advancing cancer research today and for years to come
  • ►  Be invited to attend exclusive events at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre

#InvestInResearch is perhaps the best "return on investment from a grant we have ever had." -Dr. Gang Zheng and Dr. Jonathan Irish, 2014 grant recipients.


One or two grants of $100,000 are awarded annually to researchers at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre with donors voting on the projects that receive support. Read below for some highlights:

Revolutionary lung treatment

In 2010, Dr. Thomas Waddell and Dr. Marcelo Cypel received an Invest in Research grant to test the revolutionary idea of targeting chemotherapy directly to the lungs to improve survival rates and extend the period of time patients can live cancer free. Patient trials began in 2016 and the doctors hope they can treat more people with a variety of cancers that have spread to the lungs in the next five years.

Study of proteasomes

Dr. Aaron Schimmer received one of the first Invest in Research grants in 2008 to determine the mechanism by which an antifungal and antiprotozoal drug called Clioquinol inhibited the proteasome. They found the drug was a non-competitive proteasome inhibitor that could overcome some forms of bortezomib (anti-cancer drug) resistance. He received another grant in 2014 to further his research. 


Dr. Laurie Ailles received a grant in 2010 to determine if renal cell carcinoma stem cells are rare or common in kidney cancer. The first step was to develop resources derived from patient tumours, which included developing methods for growing patient’s cancer cells in culture and in mice. The project also received a Canadian Cancer Society grant (2015-2018) and work is continuing in this area.

For more information, please contact:

Karina Wong
Manager, Leadership Giving
The Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation
Email: karina.wong@thepmcf.ca