2023 UCI Institute for Clinical & Translational Science

2022 Grant Awardee Announcement
28 cancer-related pilot projects and early phase clinical trials

This year, the number of funded projects has more than doubled compared to the previous year, resulting in an impressive total of 100 UCI Anti-Cancer Challenge funded projects since 2017. This remarkable achievement is a testament to the unwavering dedication of the UCI Anti-Cancer Challenge community, who raised a record-breaking $1,066,000 in 2022.

Every dollar you raise directly supports promising initiatives that aim to provide new insights into cancer prevention, treatment and cures. By spreading the news among your friends and family and emphasizing the impact of their donations, we can make an even greater difference.


Track 1: Pilot Projects

“Image-guided Precision Radiotherapy” Team Science Seed Grant
Liangzhong Xiang, PhD, Department of Radiological Sciences, UCI School of Medicine
Charles Limoli, PhD, (Co-Principal Investigator), Department of Radiation Oncology, UCI School of Medicine
Zhongping Chen, PhD, (Co-Principal Investigator), Department of Biomedical Engineering, UCI School of Engineering
Thomas Milner, PhD, (Co-Principal Investigator), Department of Surgery, UCI School of Medicine
Vahid Yaghmai, MD, (Co-Principal Investigator), Department of Radiological Sciences, UCI School of Medicine
When treating cancer with radiation therapy, imaging is crucial to help plan and deliver the treatment effectively. However, with the emergence of a new type of radiation therapy called FLASH, which has potential benefits but also poses risks, new imaging techniques are needed to account for daily changes during treatment. Researchers are working on a new imaging modality called radiation-induced acoustic imaging, which will provide real-time 3D dose verification for FLASH therapy. This new technology will help ensure that the treatment is delivered precisely and accurately to the tumor and healthy tissues. This breakthrough can lead to a paradigm shift in using FLASH-RT for cancer treatment, which can benefit patients who may suffer from radiation-induced toxicities.

Flexible Fiber-Based Laser Micro-Biopsy Platform for Minimally-Invasive Tissue Collection and Processing During Cancer Surgery
Oliver Eng, MD, Department of Surgery, UCI School of Medicine
Thomas Milner, PhD (Co-Principal Investigator), Department of Surgery, UCI School of Medicine
Ryan O’Connell, MD (Co-Principal Investigator), Department of Pathology, UCI School of Medicine
Nitesh Katta, PhD (Co-Investigator), Beckman Laser Institute, University of California, Irvine
Colon cancer is one of the most common cancers worldwide and, in particular, accounts for a significant portion of patients who present to UCI for treatment. The management of colon cancer when it has spread or metastasized often requires biopsies to obtain tissue, which helps guide individualized treatment. Biopsy techniques and tissue processing have limitations and can be improved upon; therefore, we propose a novel platform which could potentially affect millions of patients annually.

Click here to read about all of the awardees on the UCI Anti-Cancer Challenge website.  Click here to join the Institute’s “BLI Photons in Motion” UCI Anti-Cancer Challenge team.