Cancer Research Institute Media Room




Israel Cancer Research Fund and Cancer Research Institute Announce Co-Funding of a Project Grant

Project Grant to Fund Promising Immunotherapy Research in Israel Awarded to Michael Berger, PhD, of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem

NEW YORK, October 11, 2023 — The Israel Cancer Research Fund (ICRF) and the Cancer Research Institute (CRI) have awarded a collaborative grant to Michael Berger, PhD, of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in Israel. This is the fifth time the two organizations have worked together to sponsor innovative research in immunotherapy. The project grant will provide funding of $180,000 over three years.

Professor Berger’s project, “Improving Solid Tumor Immunotherapy Through Rewiring of T-cell’s Mitochondrial Metabolism,” will use a biosynthesis process and block production of a specific protein to reenergize T-cells, a type of immune cell, that have become impaired by the tumor microenvironment, to make them more effective in fighting cancers.

While immunotherapy first emerged as a form of FDA-approved cancer treatment in the late 1980s, it is only within the past few years that this class of therapy has begun to deliver significant survival benefit to patients, bringing it to the forefront of public attention. New immunotherapeutic approaches have been shown in clinical trials to effectively treat patients with bladder, head and neck, kidney, and lung cancers as well as leukemia, lymphoma, and melanoma, with clinical trials under way for more than 25 other types of cancer.

“Building on our history of collaboration, CRI’s partnership with the Israel Cancer Research Fund punctuates our commitment to supporting cutting-edge science and life-saving discoveries in the field of cancer immunotherapy across the globe. CRI has pioneered the field of cancer immunotherapy for 70 years. It is only through relationships such as this that we can one day create a world immune to cancer,” said CRI’s CEO and Director of Scientific Affairs, Jill O’Donnell-Tormey, PhD.

Commenting on the partnership, Beryl P. Chernov, National Executive Director of ICRF said, “Immunotherapy stands as one of the beacons of hope in the landscape of cancer treatment, offering new avenues for patients to battle this terrible disease. ICRF’s partnership with CRI represents a profound commitment from both organizations to advancing science and medicine in our collective fight against cancer.”


Cancer Research Institute
Dustin Etheridge
(212) 688-7515×274
[email protected]

Israel Cancer Research Fund
Maggi Heffler
(347) 503-1018
[email protected]

About the Cancer Research Institute

The Cancer Research Institute (CRI), established in 1953, is the preeminent U.S. nonprofit organization dedicated exclusively to saving more lives by fueling the discovery and development of powerful immunotherapies for all cancers. Guided by a world-renowned Scientific Advisory Council that includes four Nobel laureates and 33 members of the National Academy of Sciences, CRI has invested over $517 million in support of research conducted by immunologists and tumor immunologists at the world’s leading medical centers and universities and has contributed to many of the key scientific advances that demonstrate the potential for immunotherapy to change the face of cancer treatment. To learn more, go to

About Israel Cancer Research Fund

Israel Cancer Research Fund (ICRF) was established in 1975 by a group of scientists, physicians, and philanthropists in the United States and Canada to support the best and brightest scientists conducting groundbreaking cancer research in Israel. Its goal is to end the suffering caused by cancer. To date, ICRF has provided more than $92 million in funding for over 2,800 grants to support innovative cancer researchers from leading institutions throughout Israel.
Today, ICRF is the largest nongovernmental source of cancer research funding in Israel. ICRF-funded scientists have been instrumental in the development of innovative FDA-approved drugs Gleevec®, Doxil® and Velcade® and include the first two Israeli Nobel Prize Laureates in Chemistry. ICRF grantees continue to make major breakthroughs and are at the forefront of cancer discoveries in nanomedicine, immunotherapy, stem cell research and targeted therapies. For more information, visit

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