By: Shannon Oconnor
To kick off 2023, Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF) has funded six new childhood cancer projects for both early career and established researchers.
ALSF is committed to changing the future of childhood cancer research by funding scientists and projects that will bring better treatments and cures to children with cancer. Attracting and retaining the best and brightest early career scientists is critical, as the funding at this stage will encourage and steer promising researchers toward long-term careers in pediatric oncology investigation.
That’s why ALSF designed the 'A' Award for early independent career scientists who want to establish careers in pediatric oncology research. This grant funds original projects and offers up to $200,000 per year for four years.
“The ALSF 'A' Award comes at a crucial time while I am trying to build a career in pediatric cancer research. The funding from ALSF enables me to apply cutting-edge genome editing technology to understand why children get leukemia. By finding the root cause of this devastating disease, we have a better chance to eliminate the cancer cells and cure these children.” said, Elvin Wagenblast, PhD, a 2023 ‘A’ Award recipient from Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai who is using his grant to study acute myeloid leukemia (AML). AML is the leading cause of childhood leukemic mortality.
Advancing the pace of innovative research is just as much a priority for ALSF. There are proposals that embrace innovation but have not received National Institutes of Health funding despite being deemed highly important. ALSF takes the risk that yields high impact in this area by granting the R Accelerated Award. This funding encourages established investigators to push their research forward toward childhood cancer breakthroughs and ultimately new clinical interventions and totals $800,000 over four years.
“ALSF has been at the forefront of developing cures for childhood cancers. It is both an honor and privilege to obtain research funding from ALSF. We are deeply grateful to ALSF and all the families who have made this possible.” said Sriram Venneti, MD/PhD, a 2023 R Accelerated recipient from The Regents of the University of Michigan. Dr. Venneti is using his grant to study DIPG, a pediatric brain tumor for which there is no cure.
Here are the childhood cancer research projects ALSF just funded:
- Elvin Wagenblast, PhD, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, Characterizing the Developmental Context of Pediatric Leukemia
- Kristopher Bosse, MD, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Exploiting glypican diversity in neuroblastoma plasticity with bicistronic CAR T cell targeting
- Christian Hurtz, MD, Temple University, Targeting Kinase Inhibitor Induced DNA-Damage Response in Ph-Like ALL
R Accelerated Awardees
- Sriram Venneti, MD/PhD, The Regents of the University of Michigan, Epigenetic Therapies to Concurrently Target DIPG Tumor Cells and Harness the Immune System
- Elias Sayour, MD/PhD, University of Florida, Phase I Trial of Multilamellar mRNA Lipid Particles for Recurrent Pediatric High-Grade Glioma
- Kyle Eagan, PhD, Baylor College of Medicine, GENOME ORIGAMI: Refolding Aberrant Chromosome 3D Structure for Treating NUT Carcinoma
To date, ALSF has funded more than 1,000 critical research projects leading toward new treatments and cures for childhood cancer. Every year, we grant new ‘A’ Awards, and we just launched the R Accelerated in 2022. 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.