By: Trish Adkins
Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF) is kicking off another year of innovative pediatric oncology research with the announcement of 15 new pediatric oncology research grant awards. In 2023, ALSF funded 120 projects, bringing the total projects funded by the Foundation to over 1,500.
“We want to live in a world where children never die from cancer,” said Dr. Loren Walensky, from Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Dr. Walensky received one of the 13 Innovation Grants awarded in this last grant cycle. The Foundation also awarded two Research Catalyst Grants.
Both these funding categories are available to experienced investigators. Innovation grants provide significant seed funding to researchers with novel and promising approaches to discovering causes and cures of childhood cancer.
“The support from ALSF on our early-stage projects really helped us to identify novel targets and novel chemical strategy for the development of effective and low toxic drugs specifically designed for pediatric cancer patients,” said Jun Qi, PhD, who received an Innovation Grant in this last round of funding. Dr. Qi previously received three other ALSF grants, including two Young Investigator Grants.
The Research Catalyst grant category is an invitation only grant, designed to fund gaps and advance the pace of innovative pediatric cancer research.
Scientific research continues to become more expensive and funding sources continue to be limited for pediatric oncology researchers. However, support from ALSF continues to be critical for researchers at all phases of research.
“What causes pediatric cancer and why do pediatric cancers recur, even in the face of chemotherapy, radiation, immunotherapy, bone marrow transplantation and all of the latest therapies? More research will provide the answers to these urgent questions – and those answers will save countless lives. Grant support from ALSF has been, and continues to be, absolutely instrumental to the research operations of my laboratory and the advancements we have achieved,” said Dr. Walensky.
Here are the 15 new pediatric oncology grants that ALSF funded:
- David Libich, PhD, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, Structure-guided de Novo Design of Molecules that Selectively Target EWS-FLI1
- Ankur Saxena, PhD, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Inducing Neuroblastoma Differentiation In Vivo
- David Loeb, MD/PhD, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, The Impact of the Intestinal Microbiome on Sarcoma Metastasis
- Alex Shcheglovitov, PhD, University of Utah, Ectopic Neuroligin Signaling in Pediatric Glioblastoma
- Timothy Hallstrom, PhD, The Regents of the University of Minnesota, Mechanisms to Redirect Tumor Associated Macrophages to Target Retinoblastoma Cells
- Alan B. Cantor, MD/PhD, Boston Children’s Hospital, Development of RADARS-based Therapy to Treat Fusion Molecule Driven Pediatric Malignancies
- Loren Walensky, MD/PhD, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Stapled Oncolytic Peptides for Treatment-Resistant Pediatric Leukemias
- Jun Qi, PhD, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Targeting Chromatin Remodeling Complexes for Rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS) Therapy
- Nathan Dahl, MD, University of Colorado Denver Anchutz Medical Campus, CDK12 Links Radiation Response to PARPi Sensitivity in Pediatric Glioma
- Andrea Ventura, MD/PhD, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, Desmoplastic Small Round Cell Tumors: Investigation of its Pathogenesis and Development of Novel Therapies
- Aaron James, MD/PhD, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Targeting Neurons in the Osteosarcoma Microenvironment with Non-Opioid Analgesic Lipid Nanoparticles
- Stephen Fancy, PhD, DVM, Novel Resilience Genes Required for Cerebellum Development and Medulloblastoma Survival
- Masataka Suzuki, PhD, Baylor College of Medicine, In Situ CD19.CAR-T Generation Using TRIDENT System for Pediatric B Cell Malignancies
- Pietro Genovese, PhD, Aflac Cancer Center and Blood Disorders Service of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, Boston Children’s Hospital, Empowering Specificity of AML Immunotherapies by HSC Engineering
- Jaclyn Biegel, PhD, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, Development of a Comprehensive Liquid Biopsy-Based Genomics Platform for Pediatric Solid Tumors
To date, ALSF has funded more than 1,500 critical research projects leading toward new treatments and cures for childhood cancer. These projects are only because of generous donations from supporters like you. Your donations fund research that brings better treatments and cures to children with cancer.