The American Cancer Society is pleased to announce that Saori Furuta, PhD and assistant professor in the Department of Cancer Biology at The University of Toledo, has been awarded a multi-year $792,000 research grant to fund her important research project seeking to understand the role of nitric oxide in suppressing the formation of early stage breast lesions. Her grant award is one of 74 research and training grants funded this cycle by the American Cancer Society at 53 institutions across the United States, totaling $39,106,261. All grants went into effect January 1, 2019.

“Dr. Furuta’s goal in finding the causes of precancerous lesions could further the progress in breast cancer prevention and treatment, helping to save lives,” says Sarah Wells, Executive Director of the Northern Ohio American Cancer Society. “This new research grant at The University of Toledo is just one example of how the American Cancer Society is leading the fight against cancer with the support of our local community and partners.”

Nitric oxide is a signaling molecule produced by cells throughout the body. Furuta’s prior research suggests abnormal levels in certain mammary cells may play a unique role in the development of breast cancer.

“We have made great progress in diagnosing and treating breast cancer, but it remains a lethal disease. One in eight women will get breast cancer during her lifetime, making it the second leading cause of cancer death among women,” Furuta says. “The hope is that this study, made possible by the American Cancer Society, will not only advance our understanding of the cause of breast cancer, but also contribute to the development of a new approaches to prevention and early detection methods. Taken together, those methods could save lives.”

Since 1946, the American Cancer Society has funded research and training of health professionals to investigate the causes, prevention, and early detection of cancer, as well as new treatments, cancer survivorship, and end of life support for patients and their families. In those 72 years, the American Cancer Society’s extramural research grants program has devoted more than $4.8 billion to cancer research and has funded 47 Nobel Prize winners. In Ohio, the Society is currently funding 25 grants totaling more than $17 million.

For more information about the American Cancer Society Research Program, please visit

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