ACPMP Announces 2021 Research Grant Recipients + Designees!

The Appendix Cancer Pseudomyxoma Peritonei (ACPMP) Research Foundation is pleased to announce the recipients of our 2021 research grant cycle. Thank you as always to our incredible, dedicated supporters, fundraisers, and donors for making these grants happen. And thank you to the many researchers who applied to our research grant program and to all of the scientific community engaged in working hard day after day to help find a cure for appendix cancer and pseudomyxoma peritonei (PMP).

With these grants, ACPMP has now funded 34 research grants totaling $1.595 million dollars designed to improve the diagnosis and treatment of appendix cancer and PMP.

The ACPMP research grants are issued in memory of those we have lost to appendix cancer / PMP and in honor of survivors. These donations remind us of our great responsibility to put these funds to the highest and best use possible, a responsibility that we take very seriously.

These grants support ground-breaking research in appendix cancer / PMP, not only meeting critical needs but also providing a solid foundation for funding from the National Cancer Institute and numerous other government agencies and third-parties in the U.S. and abroad. ACPMP’s grants for appendix cancer and PMP research have resulted in an impressive track record of spurring encouraging research; click here and here for examples.

For the 2021 grant cycle, the following researchers will each receive a $50,000, two-year research grant funded entirely by the ACPMP Research Foundation, and administered by the National Organization for Rare Disorders:

Principal Investigator: Jie Li, PhD

Institution: University of South Carolina

Project Title: Improving PMP models for pre-clinical testing and evaluating PMP associated bacterial functional metabolites in PMP progression and treatment

Non-confidential Summary: The project first aims to develop a reliable, reproducible animal model for pre-clinical testing of PMP, which is currently lacking. Taking advantage of this model, we will then evaluate PMP-associated bacterial functional metabolites in PMP progression and treatment. PMP-associated bacteria live in close contact with epithelial and immune cells and must either resist or manipulate host defenses to some extent. We believe that discovering the bacterial factors associated with PMP tumor growth or suppression could potentially lead to improved treatment strategies for PMP.

This grant is issued in honor of:

Bill Wise

Corky Nash

Dr. Julia Kearney

Jess & Connie Schload

Julia Rouse

Karolyn & Jerry Lewandowski

Lindsey Jacob & The Living 4 Lindsey Foundation

Renee Hill

Trisha Kurtz Spata

Wendy Forbes

Zachary Kelley

Principal Investigator: Konstantinos Votanopoulos, MD, PhD, FACS

Institution: Wake Forest University

Project Title: Immune System Enhanced Appendiceal Cancer Organoids for Generation of Adaptive Immunity

Non-confidential Summary: This proposal focuses on generation of adaptive immunity in patients with appendiceal cancer that has disseminated within the peritoneal cavity. It applies an appendiceal cancer organoid platform that is patient, tumor and immune system specific, to redirect patient’s own immune system against tumor neoantigens.

This grant is issued in memory of:

Anne Doll

Barrett J. Callaghan

Erik Richard Carlson

Faith E. Kleppinger

Francesca (Finley) Maletta

Julie Wright

Landon Wayne Holley, Jr.

Marc Allen Rawlinson

Meghan Blomquist

Nathaniel Bryan Moss

Robin Schoener

Rosalyn S. Steinhorn

Sherry Gallagher Day

Wade Wertman

Principal Investigator: Sean Dineen, MD, MS

Institution: Moffitt Cancer Center

Project Title: Characterization of the Axl/Gas6 Pathway in the Progression of Appendiceal Adenocarcinoma

Non-confidential Summary: The immune microenvironment is known to influence treatment options and outcomes in many cancers, but is not well understood in appendix cancer. Our project describes investigations into the immune microenvironment of peritoneal lesions from appendiceal cancers, including specific pathways known to promote cancer in other sites. The findings of our study may help to better understand if immunotherapy strategies used in other cancer types could be beneficial for patients with appendiceal cancer.

This grant is issued in memory of:

Ashley Hope Robinson

Brenda Auzenne

Christopher Strouse

Donald Antonich, Jr

Frank A. Ceraso

George Klasek

Heather Pollard Bowers

Jennifer A. Gehl

Kathleen Dolores Kanouse

Kevin Wilczynski

Lisa Marie Maffia

Sarah R. Halaburt-Johnson

Tara Jeanne (Larsen) Bennett

Vernon Jacob LaBeau, Jr.

2022 Grant Funded and Administered by the ACPMP Research Foundation

ACPMP is also pleased to announce that the 2022 grant cycle is off to a promising start with many more exciting developments underway. The following researcher will receive a $50,000, two-year research grant funded and administered by the ACPMP Research Foundation.

Principal Investigator: Andreana N. Holowatyj, PhD, MS

Institution: Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center

Project Title: Elucidating risk factors and biomarkers of appendix cancer: A pilot study within the Appendiceal Cancer Consortium (APPECC)

Non-confidential summary: This project aims to harmonize data and collect biospecimen from five cohort studies that are participating in the Appendix Cancer Consortium (APPECC) to address research questions related to modifiable lifestyle factors, including: obesity, cigarette smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, and dietary patterns; and biomarkers, of appendix cancer risk. The potential groundbreaking discovery of appendix cancer risk factors and biomarkers can provide us with novel information to begin guiding the development of appendix cancer prevention and early detection strategies in our communities.

This grant is issued in memory of:

Ann Marie (Young) Rodrigues

Brian Wesley Hall

Charles Wayne Mathews II

Daniel J. Bomaster

David Wenegar

Greta Halbritter

Jeanne L. Filipek and Daniel M. Filipek

Malinda (“Mindy”) Hoover

Mary K. Wood

Maureen Carroll

Michael J. Mckee

Tammy Ann Joyce

Wendy Jane Martini

William Hassell Wilson, IV

About the Appendix Cancer Pseudomyxoma Peritonei (ACPMP) Research Foundation

The ACPMP Research Foundation is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization created by a community of individuals affected by appendix cancer and PMP. The ACPMP Research Foundation’s mission is twofold; we are dedicated to (1) funding research to find a cure for appendix cancer and pseudomyxoma peritonei, and (2) funding educational programs to educate physicians and patients about these diseases. ACPMP has now funded 34 research grants totaling $1.595 million dollars designed to improve the diagnosis and treatment of appendix cancer and pseudomyxoma peritonei (PMP). Learn more at


About the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD)

The National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD) is the leading independent advocacy organization representing all patients and families affected by rare diseases in the United States. NORD began as a small group of patient advocates that formed a coalition to unify and mobilize support to pass the Orphan Drug Act of 1983. Since then, the organization has led the way in voicing the needs of the rare disease community, driving supportive policies, furthering education, advancing medical research, and providing patient and family services for those who need them most. Together with over 330 disease-specific member organizations, more than 17,000 Rare Action Network advocates across all 50 states, and national and global partners, NORD delivers on its mission to improve the lives of those impacted by rare diseases. Visit