Where the Money Goes

Everyone talks about finding cures, but no one has a plan. We have the plan—and the plan is the Crazy 8 Initiative.

Since the beginning Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF) has been about collaboration and working together to find cures.

As ALSF continues to distinguish itself as a leader in funding childhood cancer research and accelerating cures, the Foundation has also facilitated unprecedented collaboration between the brightest minds in childhood cancer research from around the globe.

In the spirit of growing that collaboration, ALSF has launched the Crazy 8 Initiative with the purpose of detailing roadmaps for cures for specific, hard-to-treat childhood cancers and pressing topics of the childhood cancer community. We want to know what needs to happen to move the needle for kids with cancer and how much it will cost.

The Crazy 8 Initiative kicked off with a meeting that brought together an expansive group of over 90 top scientists and researchers from around the world to share their expertise in eight key areas to tackle the big question: How can we find better treatments and cures for childhood cancer?

Support the Crazy 8 Initiative

The Commitment

ALSF will continue to fund its current, innovative grant opportunities. But the roadmaps and outcomes of The Crazy 8 Initiative will create a new funding pillar for ALSF, allowing the Foundation to tackle specific cancers and topics in an impactful way.

ALSF has committed $25 million to support the launch of The Crazy 8 Initiative. As the roadmaps continue to develop, ALSF will commit as much funding as it takes to make the goals of the Crazy 8 a reality. To jump start research ideas that have come out of the Crazy 8 Initiative, ALSF will support 10 Pilot Projects starting in February of 2019, listed below.

We will create a future free of childhood cancer. 

Tell me more about The Crazy 8 Initiative

Crazy 8 RFA

Following the Pilot funding, ALSF issued a request for applications (RFA) to the research community focusing on the eight topics outlined in the Crazy 8 Initiative: catalyzing clinical trials, big data, embryonal brain tumors, fusion-negative sarcomas, fusion-positive sarcomas, high-grade glioma, leukemia, and neuroblastoma. These grants provide funding for large-scale collaborative projects in the $1-5 million range. The awards will fund innovative and rigorous approaches that directly address the most intractable issues in pediatric cancer research today. After submission of letters of intent, 100 applicants were asked to submit full applications in January 2020, and finalists for the award will present in person in Philadelphia in April 2020.

Download The Crazy 8 Initiative Award Program Application Guidelines

The Crazy 8 Launch Meeting - September 2018

Chaired by Nada Jabado, MD/PhD, McGill University and John Maris, MD, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, the Crazy 8 Initiative held its inaugural meeting in Philadelphia, PA from September 13-15, 2018.

Over 90 thought leaders in the childhood cancer world gathered for topical discussions and planning sessions on the eight most pressing concerns in the childhood cancer world.  There were interactive, collaborative, topic-based meetings and cross-topic, dynamic and innovative discussions between researchers and scientists bringing all attendees together. The researchers and scientists brainstormed and presented addressable problems and solutions to overcome these obstacles to make cures a reality.

Subsequent meetings will be scheduled to assess progress, realign where needed and continue to design the roadmaps that began in Philadelphia.

The Crazy 8 Pilot Funding – February 2019

Big Data

Practical, Reproducible, and Statistically-Rigorous Workflows for Single-Nucleus Analysis of Childhood Cancer Data

Principal Investigator: Stephanie Hicks, PhD, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Harmonizing Data Sharing Efforts Towards a Federated Data Model

Principal Investigator: Olena M. Vaske, PhD, University of California, Santa Cruz
Principal Investigator: David Haussler, PhD, University of California, Santa Cruz
Collaborator: Alejandro Sweet-Cordero, MD, University of California, San Francisco

Clinical Trials

Multiplex Ion Beam Imaging of Pediatric Cancers

Principal Investigator: Crystal L Mackall, MD, Stanford University
Co-Principal Investigator: Kara Davis, DO, Stanford University
Co-Investigator: John Maris, MD, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
Co-Investigator: R. Michael Angelo, MD/PhD, Stanford University

Overcoming Obstacles to Drug Development in Pediatric Cancer

Principal Investigator: Crystal L Mackall, MD, Stanford University
Co-Principal Investigator: Mark Kieran, MD/PhD, Bristol-Myers Squibb
Co-Investigator: Peter Adamson, MD, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
Co-Investigator: Lia Gore, MD, Children’s Hospital of Colorado
Co-Investigator: Melinda Merchant, MD/PhD, Astra-Zeneca
Co-Investigator: Martha Donoghue, MD, FDA
Co-Investigator: Wendy Long, PhD, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Co-Investigator: Maureen O’Brien, MD, Cincinnati Children’s

Embryonal Brain Tumors

Live-Cell Surface Proteomic Characterization of Atypical Teratoid Rhabdoid Tumors Using High Throughout Multi-Color Flow Cytometry

Principal Investigator: Siddhartha S Mitra, PhD, University of Colorado School of Medicine
Collaborator: Olivier Ayrault, PhD, Institut Curie, France
Collaborator Rajeev Vibhakar, MD/PhD, University of Colorado Denver

Targeting the Surface-Ome of Embryonal Brain Tumors

Principal Investigator: Dr. Olivier Ayrault, PhD, Institut Curie, France
Collaborator: Pr. Stéphanie Puget, Neurosurgeon, MD, Necker Hospital, France
Collaborator: Dr. Siddhartha S Mitra, PhD, University of Colorado Denver

Fusion Negative Sarcoma

A Comprehensive Public Resource for Fusion-Negative Sarcoma Sequencing Data

Principal Investigator: E. Alejandro Sweet-Cordero, MD, University of California San Francisco
Principal Investigator: Richard Gorlick, MD, MD Anderson Cancer Center

Fusion Positive Sarcoma

Targeting Fusion-Driven Sarcomas

Principal Investigator: Javed Khan, MD, NIH/NCI/Center for Cancer Research
Principal Investigator: Kimberly Stegmaier, MD, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Principal Investigator: Olivier Delattre, MD/PhD, Institut Curie
Co-Investigator: Scott Armstrong, MD/PhD, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Co-Investigator: Alex Bishop, DPhil, Greeney CCRI, UT Health SA
Co-Investigator: Brian Crompton, MD, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Co-Investigator: Lee Helman, MD, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles
Co-Investigator: Heinrich Kovar, PhD, Children’s Cancer Research Institute
Co-Investigator: Andrew Kung, MD/PhD, Memorial Sloane Kettering Cancer Center
Co-Investigator: Marc Ladanyi, MD, Memorial Sloane Kettering Cancer Center
Co-Investigator: Beth Lawlor, MD/PhD, University of Michigan Rogel Cancer Center
Co-Investigator: Stephen Lessnick, MD/PhD, Nationwide Children’s Hospital
Co-Investigator: Miguel Rivera, MD, Massachusetts General Hospital
Co-Investigator: Poul Sorensen, MD/PhD, BC Cancer Research Center, Vancouver

High Grade Glioma

Dissecting Microenvironmental Interactions in Pediatric High-Grade Gliomas That Promote Tumor Growth

Principal Investigator: Mariella Filbin, MD/PhD, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School
Collaborator: Michelle Monje, MD/PhD, Stanford University

Leukemia

Platform Development for Target Identification in High Risk Pediatric Leukemia

Principal Investigator: Adolfo Ferrando, MD/PhD, Columbia University
Principal Investigator: Charles Mullighan, MD, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

Neuroblastoma

Targeting MYCN

Principal Investigator: Yael Mosse, MD, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
Principal Investigator: Julie Park, MD, Seattle Children’s Hospital
Collaborator: John Maris, MD, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
Collaborator: Martin Eilers, Prof, University of Wuerzburg
Collaborator: Bill Weiss, MD/PhD, University of California, San Francisco
Collaborator: Frank Speleman, Prof, Ghent University
Collaborator: Steve Dubois, MD, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Collaborator: Kate Matthay, MD, University of California San Francisco
Collaborator: Michel Hogarty, MD, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
Collaborator: Garrett Brodeur, MD, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
Collaborator: Mark Lemmon, PhD, Yale University School of Medicine
Collaborator: Hubert Caron, MD/PhD, F.Hoffmann - La Roche Ltd.

Crazy 8 Researchers Map - coming from all over the world

Crazy 8 Topics & Teams

Neuroblastoma

  • Yael Mosse, MD, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (co-lead)
  • Julie Park, MD, Seattle Children's Hospital (co-lead)
  • Garrett Brodeur, MD, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
  • Hubert Caron, MD/PhD, F.Hoffmann - La Roche Ltd.
  • Steven DuBois, MD, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
  • Martin Eilers, Prof, University of Wuerzburg
  • Mike Hogarty, MD, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
  • Mark Lemmon, PhD, Yale University School of Medicine
  • Kate Matthay, MD, University of California San Francisco
  • Paul Sondel, MD/PhD, University of Wisconsin, Madison WI
  • Frank Speleman, Prof, Ghent University
  • John Maris, MD, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (co-chair of Crazy 8)

Embryonal Brain Cancers

  • Robert Wechsler-Reya, PhD, Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute (co-lead)
  • William Weiss, MD/PhD, University of California San Francisco (co-lead)
  • Olivier Ayrault, PhD, Curie Institute
  • Pratiti (Mimi) Bandopadhayay, MBBS/PhD, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
  • Livia Garzia, PhD, McGill University
  • Annie Huang, MD/PhD, Hospital for Sick Children
  • Duane Mitchell, MD/PhD, University of Florida
  • Siddhartha Mitra, PhD, University of Colorado School of Medicine
  • Paul Northcott, PhD, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
  • Jim Olson, MD/PhD, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Institute
  • Rachael Sirianni, PhD, University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston
  • Michael Taylor, MD/PhD, The Hospital for Sick Children

High Grade Gliomas (Including DIPG and Ependymoma)

  • Suzanne Baker, PhD, St Jude Children's Research Hospital (co-lead)
  • Michelle Monje, MD/PhD, Stanford University (co-lead)
  • Oren Becher, MD, Northwestern/Lurie Children's
  • Benjamin Deneen, PhD, Baylor College of Medicine
  • David Ellison, MD, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
  • Mariella Filbin, MD/PhD, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute/Boston Children's Hospital
  • David Jones, PhD, Hopp Children's Cancer Center (KiTZ)
  • Stephen Mack, PhD, Texas Children's Hospital
  • Hideho Okada, MD/PhD, University of California San Francisco
  • Josh Rubin, MD/PhD, Washington University School of Medicine
  • Rosalind Segal, MD/PhD, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
  • Uri Tabori, MD/PhD, Hospital for Sick Children
  • Nada Jabado, MD/PhD, McGill University (co-chair of Crazy 8)

Leukemia

  • Adolfo Ferrando, MD/PhD, Columbia University (co-lead)
  • Soheil Meshinchi, MD/PhD, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center (co-lead)
  • Charles Mullighan, MBBS/MD, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital (co-lead)
  • Marie Bleakley, MD/PhD, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
  • Stephanie Halene, MD/PhD, Yale University School of Medicine
  • Stephen Hunger, MD, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
  • E. Anders Kolb, MD, Nemours/Alfred I duPont Hospital for Children
  • Jatinder Lamba, PhD, University of Florida
  • Thomas Look, MD, Dana Farber Cancer Institute
  • Akiko Shimamura, MD/PhD, Dana Farber/Boston Children's Cancer and Blood Disorders Center
  • Jun Yang, PhD, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital

Fusion Positive Sarcoma

  • Olivier Delattre, MD/PhD, Inserm - Institut Curie (co-lead)
  • Kim Stegmaier, MD, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (co-lead)
  • Scott Armstrong, MD/PhD, Dana- Farber Cancer Institute
  • Alex Bishop, DPhil, Greehey CCRI, UT Health San Antonio
  • Lee Helman, MD, Children's Hospital Los Angeles
  • Heinrich Kovar, PhD, Children´s Cancer Research Institute
  • Andrew Kung, MD/PhD, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
  • Marc Ladanyi, MD, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
  • Beth Lawlor, MD/PhD, University of Michigan Rogel Cancer Center
  • Stephen Lessnick, MD/PhD, Nationwide Children's Hospital
  • Miguel Rivera, MD, Massachusetts General Hospital / Harvard Medical School

Fusion Negative Sarcoma

  • Richard Gorlick, MD, MD Anderson Children's Cancer Hospital (co-lead)
  • Alejandro Sweet-Cordero, MD, University of California San Francisco (co-lead)
  • Adrienne Flanagan, MB/BCH/BAO/FRCPath/PhD/FMedSci, University College London - UCL Cancer Institute
  • Mark Hatley, MD/PhD, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
  • Katherine Janeway, MD/MMSc, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
  • Rosie Kaplan, MD, Pediatric Oncology Branch/National Cancer Institute/NIH
  • Javed Khan, MD, NIH/NCI/Center for Cancer Research
  • David Langenau, PhD, Massachusetts General Hospital
  • Brendan Lee, MD/PhD, Baylor College of Medicine
  • Nicola Mason, B.Vet.Med./PhD, University of Pennsylvania
  • Troy McEachron, PhD, University of Southern California
  • Poul Sorensen, MD/PhD, BC Cancer Research Centre
  • Lisa Wang, MD, Baylor College of Medicine

Big Data

  • Casey Greene, PhD, Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation (co-lead)
  • Trevor Pugh, PhD, FACMG, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre (co-lead)
  • Stephanie Hicks, PhD, Johns Hopkins University
  • John Hogenesch, PhD, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center
  • Larry Hunter, PhD, University of Colorado School of Medicine
  • Claudia Kleinman, PhD, McGill University
  • Olena Morozova, PhD, University of California Santa Cruz
  • Sofie Salama, PhD, University of California Santa Cruz
  • Pavel Sumazin, PhD, Baylor College of Medicine
  • Sam Volchenboum, MD/PhD, University of Chicago
  • Jinghui Zhang, PhD, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital

Catalyzing Clinical Trials

  • Crystal Mackall, MD, Stanford University (co-lead)
  • Mark Kieran, MD/PhD, Bristol-Meyers Squibb (co-lead)
  • Peter Adamson, MD, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
  • Lia Gore, MD, Children's Hospital Colorado
  • Wendy London,PhD, Dana-Farber/Boston Children's Cancer & Blood Disorders Center
  • Melinda Merchant, MD/PhD, AstraZeneca
  • Maureen O'Brien, MD/MS, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center
  • David Poplack, MD, Baylor College of Medicine