UConn Set to Compete in the Jimmy V Classic and Raise Funds to Fight Cancer

UConn is uniting with other universities and the V Foundation to raise money for impactful cancer research

UConn's Dr. Pramod Srivastava is advancing cancer vaccine research.

The Carole and Ray Neag Comprehensive Cancer at UConn Health is a world leader in cancer vaccine research. UConn and the V Foundation are teaming to advance the research of Dr. Pramod Srivastava's development of a promising, innovative cancer vaccine for treating aggressive triple-negative breast (UConn Health/Janine Gelineau).

UConn and Notre Dame may be archrivals in women’s basketball, but off the court they’re teaming up in the fight against cancer.

The two are joining five other colleges and universities to raise money for cancer research in honor of the late Jim Valvano, legendary North Carolina State University basketball coach, ESPN announcer, and founder of the V Foundation. Each school will raise funds for research projects at their respective cancer centers to save lives. As Jim Valvano said, “We need your help. It may not save my life. It may save my children’s life. It may save someone you love.”

UConn is raising money for the UConn Foundation’s Triple-Negative Breast Cancer Vaccine Fund. Triple-negative breast cancer is an especially aggressive type of breast cancer that is most common in women younger than 40 and accounts for 10 to 15 percent of all breast cancers. The Carole and Ray Neag Comprehensive Cancer Center at UConn Health is a world leader in cancer vaccines.

“What a tremendous way to honor Jim Valvano and his legacy,” says Shane Jacobson, Chief Executive Officer at the V Foundation. “Eight teams coming together to support cancer research and accelerate Victory Over Cancer®. We’re thrilled to collaborate with these institutions to take the Jimmy V Classic to the next level while getting us closer to our end goal and the reason Jim started this all.”

Here’s how the challenge works:

  • Visit the V Foundation website to donate to the UConn Triple-Negative Breast Cancer Vaccine Fund.

  • The money each school raises will be split 50/50 between V Foundation funded grants and local research initiatives supported by each school.

  • 100% of donations go straight to game-changing cancer research.

“At UConn Health, our advancement of scientific research and clinical therapies for cancer is a team sport. Working together, we know we can get a big win against cancer, especially challenging to treat breast cancers,” says Dr. Bruce T. Liang, interim CEO of UConn Health and dean of the School of Medicine. “The V Foundation’s team effort with cutting-edge academic medical centers like UConn Health shows that by coming together, anything is truly possible, including vaccines for striking out breast cancer. Thanks for the public’s generous support of our Carole and Ray Neag Comprehensive Cancer Center and the innovative, world-renowned cancer vaccine research of UConn’s Dr. Pramod Srivastava.”

“There are no satisfactory treatments for triple-negative breast cancer. It is a huge unmet medical need,” explains Pramod Srivastava, Ph.D., MD, who is the director of UConn Health’s Carole and Ray Neag Comprehensive Cancer Center and the Center for Immunotherapy of Cancer and Infectious Diseases. “Vaccines do not have the side effects or the negative impact on quality life that chemotherapy and radiation do.”

The Jimmy V Classic is an annual college basketball showcase that is a part of ESPN’s V Week. The UConn women’s basketball team has a 10-2 record in its previous appearances in the classic, including five wins over this year’s opponent, Notre Dame.

To participate in the Jimmy V Classic Challenge, visit the V Foundation website


The V Foundation for Cancer Research was founded in 1993 by ESPN and the late Jim Valvano, legendary North Carolina State University basketball coach and ESPN commentator. The V Foundation has funded over $310 million in game-changing cancer research grants nationwide through a competitive process strictly supervised by a world -class Scientific Advisory Committee. Because the V Foundation has an endowment to cover administrative expenses, 100% of direct donations is awarded to cancer research and programs. The V team is committed to accelerating Victory Over Cancer®. To learn more, visit v.org.