Catherine Peachey Fund Awards $45,000 to Innovative Breast Cancer Research Project

INDIANAPOLIS — The Catherine Peachey Fund, a member of the Heroes Foundation family, has approved a grant proposal to award $45,000 to Richard Carpenter, Ph.D. An Assistant Professor at the Indiana University School of Medicine, Carpenter will use the funds to carry out research around one of the most significant and least studied aspects of breast and other cancers — the metastasis of the disease to organs outside of the primary site of the cancer — and the potential cause and cure of this deadly event.

“The work that will be accomplished will position Dr. Carpenter to have a robust amount of data supporting his thesis to then move on to possible funding through the Department of Defense Breast Cancer Research Program,” says Connie Rufenbarger, who leads the Peachey Fund Grants Committee. She was also instrumental in creating the federally funded BCRP to provide breast cancer researchers with up to $10 million to pursue medical breakthroughs.

The highly qualified team working on the project includes Dr. Xin Lu at the University of Notre Dame (tumor immunologist), Dr. Sha Cao at the IU School of Medicine in Indianapolis (metastasis bioinformatician) and Carpenter at the IU School of Medicine in Bloomington (breast cancer biologist and HSF1 expert).

Dr. Ken Nephew, a professor of Cellular and Integrative Biology and Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Indiana University School of Medicine and IU Simon Cancer Center Medical Sciences, calls Carpenter a “rising star in the breast cancer research field.” The internationally regarded cancer expert provided a letter of support on Carpenter’s behalf for Catherine Peachey Fund and Heroes Foundation decision makers to consider.

“I wholeheartedly support Richard’s innovative approach to enhance immunogenicity of metastatic breast cancer cells by inhibiting HSF1 and make ‘cold’ metastasis ‘hot’ for immunotherapy,” Nephew wrote. “I am equally excited about HSF1 as a predictive biomarker for metastatic potential of primary tumors. As you know, there is a clinical need for both of these challenging areas of breast cancer research, and I believe Richard’s idea has the potential to meet these challenges.”

About the Catherine Peachey Fund

The mission of the Catherine Peachey Fund is to promote advances in breast cancer research and treatment. The Catherine Peachey Fund provides financial support to research and programs that we believe are best positioned to move from the bench to the clinic. The Catherine Peachey Fund joined the Heroes Foundation family in 2016.

About the Heroes Foundation

The mission of the Heroes Foundation is to provide meaningful support to cancer patients, education to promote cancer prevention and resources to advance research for a cure. Born from a cancer survivor’s desire to give back, the Indianapolis-based Heroes Foundation is a registered 501(c)(3) public charity. Visit; call 317-983-6580; email