You are using an unsupported browser. Please use the latest version of Chrome, Firefox, Safari or Edge.
Honoring Trailblazing Innovation in the Krantz Family Center for Cancer Research

Scientists in the Krantz Family Center for Cancer Research are advancing discovery in everything from fundamental genomics and cell biology to molecular diagnostics, drug discovery and cellular immune therapies.

Hospital News

Honoring Trailblazing Innovation in the Krantz Family Center for Cancer Research

The inaugural Krantz Award recipients are taking bold steps to tackle major unsolved challenges in oncology.

Paul Goldsmith
January 24, 2024

Massachusetts General Hospital has announced the inaugural recipients of the Krantz Awards — the hospital’s most significant internal funding opportunity for trailblazing cancer research and innovation. The award series was established in 2023 by philanthropists Jason and Keely Krantz to catalyze research projects within the Krantz Family Center for Cancer Research at Mass General that are believed to have the potential to change the course of cancer treatment and care.

“The innovative insight on display in these proposals is testament to the passion, intellect and exceptional skill of our Krantz Center teams,” says Daniel Haber, MD, PhD, director of Mass General Cancer Center and the Krantz Family Center for Cancer Research. “Together, these projects have the potential to tackle fundamental challenges in cancer research and have major impact on developing new treatments for cancer.”

The review committee, which includes Mass General Cancer Center scientific and clinical leadership and external advisors, issued 12 awards in four categories, totaling $6 million in funding.

Daniel Haber, MD, PhD

2023 Krantz Award Recipients

Quantum Award

The Quantum Award was conceived to support research projects that have the potential to transform the understanding and treatment of cancer. The inaugural Krantz Quantum Award was presented to the team of Liron Bar-Peled, PhD, Michael Lawrence, PhD, and Chris Ott, PhD.

The team will receive $2 million over two years to explore a new chemical technology to target transcription factors, a type of protein that can act as a genetic driver of cancer. Transcription factors are considered “undruggable” with current therapies. If their collaborative work is successful, Drs. Bar-Peled, Lawrence and Ott — who each oversee their own individual labs in the Krantz Center — could help usher in a new class of cancer therapeutics.

“Transcription factors account for almost 20% of all known cancer-causing genes,” says Dr. Haber. “This visionary project could open a transformative new front in the battle against many currently untreatable cancers.”


Breakthrough Awards

The Breakthrough Awards were established to advance and accelerate promising scientific concepts in cancer research. The following teams will each receive $1 million over two years:


Spark Awards

The Spark Awards are intended to allow researchers to test exciting and thought-provoking new ideas. The following Krantz Center scientists will each receive $100,000 in funding:


Technology Support Fund

In addition to the research-focused awards, the Krantz family also established a Technology Support Fund to provide for the addition of cutting-edge equipment and technological innovation. This year’s awards include funds to support the purchase of advanced microscopy, flow cytometry, real-time cell culture technologies and high content imaging data handling.

About the Awards and the Krantz Family Center for Cancer Research

The Krantz Awards are at the heart of the Krantz family’s landmark gift to Mass General Cancer Center. The September 2023 gift, which also included an endowment to ensure the sustainability of the Krantz Center’s work, was the largest contribution in the 34-year history of Mass General Cancer Center and the largest cancer research-directed gift in the hospital’s history. In recognition of their landmark commitment, Mass General Cancer Center’s Center for Cancer Research was renamed the Krantz Family Center for Cancer Research.

Jason and Keely Krantz
Jason and Keely Krantz

“Mass General is at the center of the biotech universe,” says Jason Krantz, founder, CEO and executive chairman of Definitive Healthcare. “By focusing our investment there, we are showing the world our confidence that Mass General has what it takes to lead the way in cancer research, and the broader medical discoveries that are certain to follow for patients everywhere.”

With 50 independent laboratory-based faculty members with appointments across Mass General and Harvard Medical School, and more than 500 postdoctoral fellows, graduate students, trainees and technicians, the Krantz Family Center for Cancer Research is home to some of the brightest scientific minds all focused on one goal: understanding the fundamental biology that drives cancer and applying that knowledge toward its eradication. Beyond its international reputation for scientific excellence, the Krantz Center is also known for a culture of collaboration and partnership between the lab and the clinic. The Krantz Awards are intended to capitalize and further cultivate this powerful engine for scientific discovery.

“Jason and Keely’s generosity and partnership will have profound impact, energizing the careers of many of our scientists, launching Mass General into the highest realm of cancer discovery and, ultimately, making a difference for cancer patients around the world,” says Dr. Haber.

To support the Krantz Family Center for Cancer Research or to learn more, please contact us.

Learn more about the Krantz Awards here