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Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation Announces 2020 Pediatric Oncology Student Training (POST) Grants

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Philadelphia, PA (November 10, 2020) – Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF), a nonprofit foundation devoted to finding cures for all children with cancer, awarded 20 Pediatric Oncology Student Training (POST) grants to undergraduate, graduate, and medical students across the United States. The grants support students who have demonstrated an interested in pediatric oncology research by providing them with the opportunity to work on a research project with a pediatric oncology mentor over the summer term.

Sneha Jariwala, a 2020 POST awardee and college senior working with Dr. Olena Vaske at the University of California, Santa Cruz, states, “The POST program gave me the chance to study pediatric leukemia, the disease that took my sister's life. I'm thankful to have joined the ALSF community because the people here are very welcoming and encouraging. This program was a fantastic beginning to my career in pediatric oncology. I learned skills that I wouldn't have learned in a traditional classroom setting, which makes this program irreplaceable."

Each student received a $5,000 grant and worked in research labs at 16 different institutions across the country. A list of the students who received grants, their mentors, institutions and titles of their projects is included below.

“ALSF has always believed in the power of young people to make a difference in the lives of others,” said Liz Scott, Co-Executive Director of ALSF. “The POST Program is an extension of this belief, showing college, graduate and medical students their power to change the course of childhood cancer treatments and cures. These students hold the key to future research breakthroughs, and we are honored to support them.”

For more information about Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation and its mission to find cures and better treatments for pediatric cancer, visit http://www.AlexsLemonade.org/. To learn more about how ALSF supports childhood cancer research through its grant program, visit here.

2020 Pediatric Oncology Student Training (POST) Program Recipients 
(student’s home institutions are listed in parentheses)

Nicole Bonan (George Washington University)
Mentor/Institution: Rohan Fernandes, PhD, George Washington University
Project: Developing a Heparanase and NK Cell-Based Nanoimmunotherapy to Treat Neuroblastoma

Phoebe Brosnan (Boston University)
Mentor/Institution: Kristin Long, PhD, Boston University
Project: Understanding Barriers and Facilitators to Implementing Sibling-specific Services to Siblings of Children with Cancer

Sydney Burke (Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine)
Mentor/Institution: Philip Lupo, PhD, MPH, Baylor College of Medicine
Project: Genetic Ancestry and Acute Leukemia Outcomes

Ananya Chandra (Geisinger School of Medicine)
Mentor/Institution: Alix Seif, MD, MPH, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
Project: Center-level Resource Availability and Septic Shock Detection in Children with Leukemia and Other Tumors

Thomas DeAngelo (Colby College)
Mentor/Institution: Loren Walensky, MD/PhD, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Project: Stapled Peptide Degraders for Pediatric Cancer Therapy

Natalie Gulrajani (Duke University)
Mentor/Institution: Kyle Walsh, PhD, Duke University
Project: In Utero Exposures, Epigenetic Alterations, and Risk of Childhood Brain Tumors

Ava Hansen (Washington University in St. Louis)
Mentor/Institution: Abby Green, MD, Washington University in St. Louis
Project: Synthetic Lethal Interactions of APOBEC3A Deaminase with DNA Repair Inhibition in Acute Myeloid Leukemia

Sneha Jariwala (University of California, Santa Cruz)
Mentor/Institution: Olena Vaske, PhD, University of California, Santa Cruz
Project: Comparative Gene Expression Analysis of Pediatric Leukemias

Abed Rahman Kawakibi (University of Michigan)
Mentor/Institution: Carl Koschmann, MD, University of Michigan
Project: Elucidating the Regional Response to ONC201 in H3 K27M-mutant Pediatric High-grade Glioma

Mitchelle Matesva (Yale School of Medicine)
Mentor/Institution: Richard Aplenc, MD/PhD, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
Project: Describing Therapy and Outcomes for Patients with Relapsed Acute Myeloid Leukemia

Madeline Ngo (Rice University)
Mentor/Institution: Stephen Mack, PhD, Baylor College of Medicine
Project: Identification and Validation of C11ORF95-RELA Interacting Proteins

Allison Powell (George Washington University)
Mentor/Institution: Conrad Russell Cruz, MD/PhD, Children’s National Medical Center
Project: Off the Shelf T Cell Immunotherapies Targeting Endogenous Retroviruses in Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma

Christopher Roberts (Rhodes College)
Mentor/Institution: Suzanne Baker, PhD, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
Project: Identifying Core Regulatory Circuitry in Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma

Lillian Miles Schaeffer (University of Maryland Medical School)
Mentor/Institution: David Lyden, MD/PhD, Weill Medical College of Cornell University
Project: The Role of Exosomal DNA as an Activator of the Anti-tumor Immune Response in Metastatic Pediatric Osteosarcoma

Taylor Sheehy (Vanderbilt University)
Mentor/Institution: John Wilson, PhD, Vanderbilt University
Project: Molecular Engineering of Tumor Targeted STING Agonists to Enhance Neuroblastoma Immunotherapy

Luke Shelton (Drexel University College of Medicine)
Mentor/Institution: Kelly Getz, PhD, MPH, University of Pennsylvania
Project: Cardiotoxicity in Pediatric Patients with AML

Julia Tager (University of Wisconsin Milwaukee)
Mentor/Institution: Michael Burke, MD, Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin
Project: Treatment Effects in Children and Adolescents/Young Adults with Leukemia or Lymphoma

Shiraya Thompson (University of California, Los Angeles)
Mentor/Institution: Julia Heck, PhD, MPH, University of California, Los Angeles
Project: Pesticides and Childhood Central Nervous System Tumors

Audley White (New York University)
Mentor/Institution: Alfred Thomas Look, MD, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Project: Development of Novel Allosteric Activators of PP2A for Pediatric Cancers

Rachel Yan (Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School)
Mentor/Institution: Mark Souweidane, MD, Weill Medical College of Cornell University
Project: Characterizing the Blood Brain Barrier of Pediatric Brain Tumors