Siteman Prostate Cancer Researcher Receives $200,000 Grant

Jim Goodwin

Christopher Maher, PhD

Nov. 13, 2013 – Christopher Maher, PhD, a prostate cancer researcher at the Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, has been awarded a $200,000 grant by The V Foundation for Cancer Research.

The two-year grants were awarded to 18 U.S. oncologists to recognize and assist “rising star” physicians and scientists.

“The V Scholars represent the future of cancer research,” said Robert Bast, MD, a member of The V Foundation’s Scientific Advisory Board. “Their drive and innovation make an impact on the care of patients with cancer.”

Maher’s laboratory is using genomics, bioinformatics and cancer biology to investigate how a recently identified form of RNA – a chemical cousin of DNA – influences tumor development and promotes resistance to current treatments. The research may reveal that long intergenic non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) can serve as valuable biomarkers to detect cancer and unveil novel therapeutic strategies to improve patient care.

“I am very grateful for the generosity of The V Foundation and am honored by this recognition of our work,” said Maher, an assistant professor of medicine and assistant director of The Genome Institute at Washington University. “Together, we are fighting the second most common cancer among men.”

This year, an estimated 238,590 U.S. men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer, according to the American Cancer Society. About 29,720 men will die from the disease. Only skin cancer affects more U.S. men, according to the ACS.

“We are intensifying efforts and making great progress in cancer research,” said Robin Roberts, Good Morning America co-host and member of The V Foundation Board of Directors. “I am so proud of the donors, The V Foundation, the doctors and the researchers. They are my heroes who are saving lives.”

The V Foundation for Cancer Research was founded by ESPN and ESPN commentator Jim Valvano shortly before he died of cancer in 1993. The foundation has funded more than $100 million in cancer research grants nationwide. For more information about the foundation, visit