2018 Research Grants

Dr. Yoannis Imbert -Fernandez, Ph.D., University of Louisville, James Graham Brown Cancer Center


$50,000 to support  the following research:  Targeting Breast Cancer Resistance to Palbociclib via Oncolytic Virotherapy.

Dr. Andrew Ewald, Ph.D., Johns Hopkins University


$150,000 to support the following  research: New Therapeutic Targets for Patients with Existing Metastasis.  

This research funding is being matched to provide $300,000 towards the project.

Metastatic Breast Cancer Research Funded

$100,000 to UofL James Graham Brown Cancer Center in 2015


$120,000 to Dr. Yoannis Imbert Fernandez in 2016


Twisted Pink continued funding to Dr. Yoannis Imbert Fernandez to continue her work with Targeting 6-Phosphofructo-2-Kinase To Increase the Efficacy of ER and CDK4/6 Inhibitors Against Metastatic Breast Cancer  

Research Collective


In 2017 Twisted Pink was a founding member of the Metastatic Breast Cancer Research Collective. Together with Hope Scarves and The Cancer Couch Foundation we raised $600,000 and secured an anonymous 1:1 match for each dollar we raised for a total donation of $1.2 million.   With these donations we supported two cutting edge research projects:

  • Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center– Looking specifically at a new class of MBC drugs called CDK 4/6 inhibitors with the tools of DNA and RNA sequencing to understand and overcome resistance mechanisms.
  • Dana-Farber Cancer Center at Harvard University– Researchers there are working to create a “Resistance Atlas” for ER-positive metastatic breast cancer, which should help inform treatment decisions for individual patients and propel the development of new combination treatment strategies. 

Twisted Pink serves as an advocate partner of The MBC Project.  This project is providing access to an unprecedented database of genetic information from patients with metastatic breast cancer.

The photo to the left is Caroline Johnson, Founder of Twisted Pink, meeting with the MBC Project Team on July 12, 2018.

Twisted Pink supports Young Investigator Award


On Sunday, June 3, 2018, Twisted Pink presented a $50,000 grant in collaboration with The Conquer Cancer Foundation of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO). The Young Investigator Award (YIA) will be presented to Seth A. Wander, MD, PhD at the Conquer Cancer Grants & Awards Ceremony held at The Hyatt Regency McCormick Place, during the ASCO annual meeting in Chicago, IL. by Twisted Pink Founder and Executive Director, Caroline Johnson and Twisted Pink Board Member, Dr. Constance Coon, PhD, Evolent Health.

“The Conquer Cancer Foundation of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) is honored by Twisted Pink’s generous commitment encouraging further research in metastatic breast cancer,” said Nancy R. Daly, MS, MPH, executive vice president and chief philanthropic officer. “Twisted Pink is working tirelessly to improve treatment and extend lives for patients with late-stage breast cancer, and we are proud to partner with this organization in supporting Dr. Wander’s cutting-edge research.”

Positive Patient Impact

Dr. Wander's research is focused on identifying mechanisms of resistance to targeted therapies in metastatic hormone receptor-positive (HR+) breast cancer.  The current standard treatment for metastatic HR+ breast cancer includes the combination of an anti-estrogen with a targeted therapy that inhibits the cyclin-dependent kinases (CDK inhibitor).  Despite widespread use of these combinations in the first- and second-line settings, little is known about the mechanisms and biological pathways driving resistance to these agents.  In collaboration with his mentor, Dr. Nikhil Wagle, and their team at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, Dr. Wander's work harnesses next-generation genomic sequencing of patient tumor specimens in an effort to identify novel drivers of resistance to these therapeutic regimens.  Potential findings are then validated through molecular experiments simulating drug response and resistance in modified breast cancer cells in the laboratory.  This work may lead to a better understanding of why patients fail to respond to these widespread therapies and help in designing new treatment strategies to prevent or overcome resistance, ultimately improving survival for patients with metastatic breast cancer.