MF Challenge Winners Announced

MPN Research Foundation and The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Announce the Winners of the Myelofibrosis Challenge

Chicago, IL and Whtie Plains, NY

July 2012

The MPN Research Foundation and the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society are proud to announce the winners of the MF Challenge. Winners of these one year concept grants focusing on fibrosis and myelofibrosis are: 

• Ann Mullaly & Benjamin L. Ebert, of Brigham & Women’s Hospital
• Amit Verma and Zhizhuang Joe Zhao, of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center
• Pearlie Epling-Burnett and Adam Mailloux, of the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center
• C. Arnold Spek, of the Center for Experimental and Molecular Medicine, Academic Medical Center, Amsterdam 

Each researcher will receive $100,000 over one year to test his/her hypothesis. The goal is to provide a proof of concept. Projects with potential to go further will be candidates for longer term funding. A “concept grant” is used to identify innovative and novel approaches to an issue. 

In January 2012 the Myeloproliferative Neoplasm (MPN) Research Foundation and The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) jointly issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) seeking innovative approaches to reversing fibrosis in patients with myelofibrosis (MF). The grant review was conducted by a multi-disciplinary group overseen by the MPN Research Foundation’s Scientific Advisory Board Chair Dr. Andrew Schafer from Weil Cornell. 

Fibrosis is the formation of excessive fibrous connective tissue in place of healthy tissue. The disease myelofibrosis (one of the myeloproliferative neoplasms) is characterized by fibrosis in the bone marrow. Prognosis for sufferers of myelofibrosis varies. A small proportion of MF patients can transform to acute myeloid leukemia (AML), a type of blood and bone marrow cancer that progresses rapidly. 

The potential of the MF Challenge is its ability to stimulate research in areas that are currently untested in fibrosis and myelofibrosis, offering hope to patients struggling with a relative lack of treatment options and understanding about their disease. More information about the MF Challenge can be found at

About The Myeloproliferative Research Foundation
The MPN Research Foundation was started in 2000. Founded by patients, for patients, terms on every research grant are negotiated to maximize the dollars invested in actual research. The Foundation’s esteemed Scientific Advisory Board utilizes a rigorous selection process to ensure donations are allocated to the most innovative research projects. To date, the Foundation has awarded over eight million dollars for MPN research. While the priority remains on funding innovative and accountable MPN research, the mission also includes educating and empowering the MPN community. 

MPN Research Foundation
180 N. Michigan Avenue, Suite 1870
Chicago, IL 60601
Office: 312-683-7249
Fax: 312-332-0840

About The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society® (LLS) is the world’s largest voluntary health agency dedicated to blood cancer. The LLS mission is to cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma, and improve the quality of life of patients and their families. LLS funds lifesaving blood cancer research around the world and provides free information and support services. Founded in 1949 and headquartered in White Plains, NY, LLS has chapters throughout the United States and Canada. To learn more, visit or contact the Information Resource Center at (800) 955-4572, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET. Media contact: Andrea Greif, (914) 821-8958,

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