At the heart of Stand Up To Cancer’s (SU2C’s) research program is the Dream Team approach. A Dream Team is a scientific task force, a collaboration of top researchers at different institutions who come together to develop new and improved approaches to cancer. By pooling their knowledge and their resources and working together for common goals, they can make progress faster and move therapies and treatments from the laboratory to doctors’ offices, where they can benefit patients.
SU2C’s distinctive approach to funding cancer research was specifically designed to eliminate barriers to creativity and collaboration by enabling scientists with different areas of expertise from different institutions across the country and around the world to work together. The approach breaks down the “silos” that in the past have often kept scientists from working together.
The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) has been the Scientific Partner of SU2C since it was launched in 2008, providing scientific leadership, expert peer review, scientific oversight, and grants administration. The Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC), led by Nobel Laureate Phillip A. Sharp, PhD, is dedicated to seeking out the most innovative and promising cancer research projects for funding by SU2C. Joint Scientific Advisory Committees (JSACs) are formed to review applications for grants funded jointly by SU2C and partner organizations. For each grant opportunity, the SAC or JSAC conduct innovative, interactive, rapid, and rigorous scientific reviews of Dream Team ideas via a multistep process.
The AACR is responsible for administering the Dream Team grants, distributing the funds to the Dream Team leaders’ institutions, following the Dream Teams’ progress, and providing scientific oversight through program management and evaluation of the Dream Teams’ achievements during the funding period. The AACR and the Scientific Advisory Committees conduct regular reviews to ensure that milestones and objectives are being satisfactorily achieved.
As of 2016, 19 Dream Teams have been launched, along with two smaller Translational Research Teams and 36 individual Innovative Research Grants. The total amount of funding committed is more than $240 million. For details on the Dream Teams and Translational Teams, please click on the links below.
SU2C-Cancer Research UK–Lustgarten Foundation Pancreatic Cancer Dream Team: Reprogramming of Transcriptional Circuitry to Control Pancreatic Cancer Leader: Daniel D. Von Hoff, MD, FACP, Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen)Co-leaders: Ronald M. Evans, PhD, Salk Institute for Biological Studies; and Gerard I. Evan, PhD, University of CambridgeGrant Term: January 2016 – December 2018 Total Funding: $12 million
SU2C Canada Cancer Stem Cell Dream Team: Targeting Brain Tumour Stem Cell Epigenetic and Molecular Networks Leader: Peter B. Dirks, MD, PhD, The Hospital for Sick Children, TorontoCo-leader: Samuel Weiss, PhD, Hotchkiss Brain Institute, CalgaryGrant Term: October 2015 – September 2019 Total Funding: $11.79 million CAD
SU2C Canada-Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation Breast Cancer Dream Team Leader: Tak W. Mak, PhD, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, TorontoCo-leader: Samuel Aparicio, BM, BCh, PhD, University of British ColumbiaGrant Term: January 2016 – December 2019 Total Funding: $9 million CAD
SU2C-American Cancer Society Dream Team: Targeting KRAS Mutant Lung CancersLeader: Jeffrey A. Engelman, MD, PhD, Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer CenterCo-leader: Jedd D. Wolchok, MD, PhD, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer CenterGrant Term: August 2015 – July 2018 Total Funding: $20 million
SU2C-Ovarian Cancer Research Fund-Ovarian Cancer National Alliance-National Ovarian Cancer Coalition Dream Team: DNA Repair Therapies for Ovarian CancerLeader: Alan D. D’Andrea, MD, Dana-Farber Cancer InstituteCo-leader: Elizabeth M. Swisher, MD, University of WashingtonGrant Term: July 2015 – June 2018 Total Funding: $6 million
SU2C-Dutch Cancer Society Dream Team: Molecular Early Detection of Colorectal Cancer - MEDOCCLeader: Gerrit A. Meijer, MD, The Netherlands Cancer InstituteCo-leader: Victor E. Velculescu, MD, PhD, Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns HopkinsGrant Term: April 2015 – March 2018 Total Funding: €6 million
Van Andel Research Institute-SU2C Epigenetics Dream TeamLeaders: Peter A. Jones, PhD, DSc, Van Andel Research Institute; Stephen B. Baylin, MD, Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns HopkinsGrant Term: October 2014 – September 2017 Total Funding: $7.5 million
SU2C-Lustgarten Foundation Dream Team: Transforming Pancreatic Cancer to a Treatable Disease Leader: Elizabeth M. Jaffee, MD, Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns HopkinsCo-leader: Robert H. Vonderheide, MD, DPhil, Abramson Cancer Center, University of PennsylvaniaGrant Term: July 2014 – June 2017 Total Funding: $8 million
SU2C-Dutch Cancer Society Dream Team: Tumor Organoids: A New Pre-Clinical Model for Drug Sensitivity Analysis Leader: Hans Clevers, MD, PhD, Hubrecht Institute [Current institution: The Netherlands Cancer Institute] Co-leader: Johannes L. Bos, PhD, University Medical Center (UMC) Utrecht Grant Term: April 2014 – March 2018 Total Funding: €6 million
SU2C-Farrah Fawcett Foundation Translational Team: Therapeutic CD8 Vaccines Against Conserved E7 HPV Epitopes Identified by MSLeader: Ellis L. Reinherz, MD, Dana-Farber Cancer InstituteCo-leader: Robert I. Haddad, MD, Dana-Farber Cancer InstituteGrant Term: July 2014 – June 2017 Total Funding: $1.2 million
SU2C-St Baldrick’s Dream Team: Immunogenomics to Create New Therapies for High-¬Risk Childhood Cancers Leader: John M. Maris, MD, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Co-leader: Crystal L. Mackall, MD, National Cancer Institute Grant Term: July 2013 – June 2017 Total Funding: $14.5 million SU2C-Cancer Research Institute Dream Team: Immunologic Checkpoint Blockade and Adoptive Cell Transfer in Cancer Therapy Leaders: James P. Allison, PhD, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center ; and Antoni Ribas, MD, PhD, University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Co-leaders: Drew M. Pardoll, MD, PhD, Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins; and Cassian Yee, MD, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center Grant Term: March 2013 – February 2016 Total Funding: $11 million
SU2C-Prostate Cancer Foundation Dream Team: Targeting Adaptive Pathways in Metastatic Treatment¬-Resistant Prostate Cancer Leader: Eric J. Small, MD, University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) Co-leader: Owen N. Witte, MD, University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Grant Term: January 2013 – December 2015 Total Funding: $10 million
SU2C-Dutch Cancer Society International Team: Prospective Use of DNA-guided Personalized Cancer Treatment Leader: Emile E. Voest, MD, PhD, University Medical Center (UMC) Utrecht in the Netherlands [Current institution: The Netherlands Cancer Institute] Co-leader: René Bernards, PhD, The Netherlands Cancer Institute Grant Term: April 2014 – March 2018 Total Funding: €1.2 million
SU2C-Prostate Cancer Foundation Dream Team: Precision Therapy of Advanced Prostate Cancer Leader: Arul M. Chinnaiyan, MD, PhD, University of Michigan Co-leader: Charles L. Sawyers, MD, Memorial Sloan¬ Kettering Cancer Center Grant Term: August 2012 – July 2016 Total Funding: $10 million
SU2C-Melanoma Research Alliance Dream Team: Personalized Medicine for Patients With BRAF Wild-Type (BRAFwt) Cancer Leader: Jeffrey M. Trent, PhD, FACMG, The Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) Co-leader: Patricia M. LoRusso, DO, Yale Cancer Center [Previously: Karmanos Cancer Institute and Wayne State University School of Medicine]Grant Term: April 2012 – December 2015 Total Funding: $6 million
SU2C Epigenetic Dream Team: Bringing Epigenetic Therapy to the Forefront of Cancer Management Leader: Stephen B. Baylin, MD, Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns HopkinsCo-leader: Peter A. Jones, PhD, DSc, University of Southern California [Current Institution: Van Andel Research Institute]Grant Term: December 2009 – January 2015 Total Funding: $10.2 million
SU2C PI3K Dream Team: Targeting the PI3K Pathway in Women's Cancers Leader: Lewis C. Cantley, PhD, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center [Current Institution: Meyer Cancer Center at Weill Cornell Medical College]Co-leader: Gordon B. Mills, MD, PhD, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center Grant Term: November 2009 – October 2013 Total Funding: $14.9 million SU2C Circulating Tumor Cell Chip Dream Team: Bioengineering and Clinical Applications of Circulating Tumor Cell Chip Leader: Daniel A. Haber, MD, PhD, Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center Co-leader: Mehmet Toner, PhD, Massachusetts General Hospital Grant Term: December 2009 – November 2013 Total Funding: $15 million
SU2C Pancreatic Cancer Dream Team: Cutting off the Fuel Supply: A New Approach to the Treatment of Pancreatic Cancer Leader: Craig B. Thompson, MD, Abramson Cancer Center, University of Pennsylvania [Current Institution: Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center]Leader: Daniel D. Von Hoff, MD, FACP, The Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) Grant Term: December 2009 – May 2015 Total Funding: $22.25 million
SU2C Breast cancer Dream Team: An Integrated Approach to Targeting Breast Cancer Molecular Subtypes and Their Resistance Phenotypes Leader: Dennis J. Slamon, MD, PhD, UCLA's Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center Leader: Joe W. Gray, PhD, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory [Current institution: Oregon Health and Science University] Grant Term: October 2009 – September 2013 Total Funding: $17.5 million For non-media related SU2C questions, please send an email to SU2C@aacr.org.
For non-media related SU2C questions, please send an email to
Updated: May 2016