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Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation Announces Launch of Country’s First Bioinformatics Lab Using ‘Big Data’ to Cure Childhood Cancer
Announcement comes as ALSF attends National Cancer Moonshot Summit in Washington, D.C. with Vice President Joe and Dr. Jill Biden
Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF), a leading national childhood cancer charity, announced that that it will open a state-of-the-art bioinformatics lab, using ‘big data’ to advance the pace of childhood cancer research. This announcement comes as Liz Scott, co-executive director of ALSF and Alex’s mom, attends the National Cancer Moonshot Summit in Washington, D.C., hosted by Vice President and Dr. Biden as a participant and advocate of pediatric cancer research and awareness.
The bioinformatics lab will utilize data scientists, computer scientists, bio-informaticians, computational biologists and other scientists to analyze and decipher the huge amount of childhood cancer data being generated in research facilities across the country. The first informatics lab of its kind, discoveries will be shared to inform more research, find targets and develop new cures. By leveraging data, it will be a resource for ALSF funded researchers to provide first rate analysis of their data to further enhance their ability to accelerate cures.
“We are excited to be able to harness the power of big data and open the ALSF Data Lab,” said Jay Scott, co-executive director and Alex’s dad. “Currently, the childhood cancer research community does not have a non-affiliated center to objectively analyze existing science and look for patterns to share with scientists. This is a true privilege to be able to offer this resource to the community and ultimately advance the pace of finding cures. We anticipate this new model of improving research to be up and running in the next 12 to 18 months.”
In addition to announcing the establishment of the bioinformatics lab, ALSF also revealed its commitment to doubling its investment for childhood cancer research projects and family services to $150 million in the next 5 years. Kids and their families, businesses and other supporters do a simple action - hold a lemonade stand - to support the cause, among other ways.
In combination, these two initiatives will address three of the primary goals of the Moonshot Initiative and will make significant progress in providing better treatments for children with cancer. The goal of the Cancer Moonshot is to accelerate the rate of progress in cancer prevention, diagnosis, treatment and care over the next five years and to ultimately end cancer as we know it. Vice President Joe Biden called for the Summit, happening June 29 at Howard University, to bring communities together to discuss how cancer affects them and collaborate on ways to push forward. Researchers, doctors, scientists, philanthropists, advocates, patients and survivors are invited to attend the event. Liz Scott will be participating in discussions on clinical trials, treatments, philanthropy and advocacy.