The American Cancer Society Institutional Research Grant (ACS IRG) program is made possible by funds awarded competitively by the American Cancer Society with additional funds provided by the Associate Dean for Research, UC Davis School of Medicine. The Principal Investigator is Primo Lara, Jr., MD, Acting Director, UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center.

The ACS IRG award serves as seed money to support initiation of promising new projects or novel investigations in cancer-related fields. Proposals in all areas of cancer research — basic, clinical, epidemiological, behavioral, psychosocial and so on — are welcome. It is hoped that project results can be used as the basis of competitive applications for national funding from the National Cancer Institute, the Society, or similar peer-reviewed extramural sponsors. The Associate Dean for Research, School of Medicine, has provided additional institutional funds for this program.


Junior faculty such as Assistant Professors and researchers with adjunct appointments or in the professional researcher series at the assistant level are eligible. Applicants must be within six years of their initial academic appointment. Faculty in any school or college with cancer-related research are welcome and encouraged to apply. Investigators who have or have had a national peer-reviewed research grant are not eligible.

The call for proposals occurs in the fall with funding beginning January the following year. Maximum funding is currently $36,000 for a one-year project. Award decisions are made intramurally by a committee of UC Davis faculty. Because awards are intramural, they are not processed through Sponsored Programs at the School of Medicine or through the Office of Research.

Call for Applications

Next call for applications will be in the Fall 2018. Announcement of the next IRG call will also be sent through the cancer-program listserv. To subscribe, send an email to with "Please add me to the Cancer Center email list" in the subject line.

Questions about the ACS IRG may also be directed to

Current ACS IRG Awardees:

Michael Campbell, M.D.

Using multispectral time-resolved fluorescence spectroscopy to assist surgeons in protecting the parathyroid glands during thyroid surgery.

Elizabeth David, M.D.

Surgery in advanced stage non-small cell lung cancer and survival: separating correlation from causation.

Joyce Lee, Pharm D.

Immunotherapy in combination with targeted nanoporphyrin photodynamic therapy for the treatment of bladder cancer.

Gerald Quon, Ph.D.

Large-scale drug repurposing and combination prediction in breast cancer.