November 19, 2022:

The Big Ten Cancer Research Consortium Foundation announces that Edward M. Greenfield, PhD, has been awarded the $100,000 Kenneth and Verna Mae Jessen Award.

Dr. Greenfield is a member of the tumor microenvironment and metastasis research program at the Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Comprehensive Cancer Center and professor of orthopaedic surgery at IU School of Medicine.  

Dr. Greenfield’s proposal, “Repurposing Romidepsin for Metastatic Osteosarcoma,” was reviewed by a committee of peers and the Foundation Board of Directors. Reviewers were impressed by the substance and quality of the proposed project and its collaborative nature.

Dr. Greenfield is the primary investigator of the study and will work with colleagues from the Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center and the Purdue University Center for Cancer Research. The project exemplifies the team science approach that is a hallmark of the Big Ten CRC.

“The award committee agreed that Dr. Greenfield’s proposal has promising potential to move forward from canine to human research,” said George J. Weiner, MD, director of the University of Iowa Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center and Chair of the Big Ten Cancer Research Consortium Foundation.

The Big Ten Cancer Research Consortium established the Kenneth and Verna Mae Jessen Award after a generous donation of $100,000 from the Verna Mae Jessen Trust. The trust supports nonprofit organizations working in cancer or pain management research.

The Foundation announced the award on Saturday, November 19, during the annual Big Ten CRC Summit in Columbus, Ohio. Tom Jensen, nephew of Kenneth and Verna Mae Jessen and administrator of the Verna Mae Jessen Trust, attended the Summit and met with Dr. Greenfield and the Big Ten Cancer Center Directors.

The Jessen family’s passion for oncology research stems from their long history with cancer. Several members of the family, including Kenneth, Verna Mae, and two of their siblings fought battles with cancer.

“Our family recognizes the great strides already made and the importance of continuing to fund cancer research,” said Jensen.

The Summit, hosted by The Ohio State University, brought together about 200 attendees across all 15 consortium member institutions and representatives from more than 25 companies who support collaborative cancer research. The day-long meeting focused on a variety of topics including future designs for therapeutic pancreatic cancer studies, nanoparticle-based immunotherapy, comparative oncology, targeted radionuclide therapy, and the interface between radiation and immunotherapy.

“We are honored to host our colleagues across Big Ten member institutions and our industry collaborators,” said Raphael Pollock, MD, PhD, director of the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center. “The ideas and expertise represented at this meeting will foster exceptional opportunities for collaboration for years to come.”

Learn more about the Big Ten CRC Summit at

About the Big Ten Cancer Research Consortium: The Big Ten cancer centers have united to transform the conduct of cancer research through collaborative, hypothesis-driven, highly translational oncology trials that leverage the scientific and clinical expertise of Big Ten universities. The Big Ten Cancer Research Consortium creates a unique team-research culture to drive science rapidly from ideas to treatment-changing paradigms. Within this innovative environment, today’s research leaders collaborate with and mentor the research leaders of tomorrow with the unified goal of improving the lives of all patients with cancer.

About the Big Ten Conference: The Big Ten Conference is an association of world-class universities whose member institutions share a common mission of research, graduate, professional and undergraduate teaching and public service. Founded in 1896, the Big Ten has sustained a comprehensive set of shared practices and policies that enforce the priority of academics in the lives of students competing in intercollegiate athletics and emphasize the values of integrity, fairness and competitiveness. The broad-based programs of the 14 Big Ten institutions will provide over $200 million in direct financial support to more than 9,800 students for more than 11,000 participation opportunities on 350 teams in 42 different sports. The Big Ten sponsors 28 official conference sports, 14 for men and 14 for women, including the addition of men’s ice hockey and men’s and women’s lacrosse since 2013. For more information, visit