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Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation Announces Pediatric Oncology Student Training (POST) Grant Recipients

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Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation Announces Pediatric Oncology Student Training (POST) Grant Recipients

The POST grant supports research of 53 undergraduate, graduate & medical student projects in 2018

In an effort to fund childhood cancer researchers at critical, early stages in their careers, Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF) awarded 53 new Pediatric Oncology Student Training (POST) Grants to undergraduate, graduate and medical students across the country. The grants provide students who’ve shown an interest in pediatric oncology with the opportunity to train under a research mentor for the summer. The mentors, who are top childhood cancer researchers, provide students with hands-on experience in the lab and encourage them to pursue careers in the field.

The students receiving grants will work with their mentors at 21 different institutions across the country. Each student is awarded $5,000, dedicating at least eight full weeks to the program, either joining a research project underway in a mentor’s lab or beginning an original investigation. A list of the students receiving grants, their mentors, institutions and titles of their projects is included on the following page.

Introduced in 2011, the POST Program was created with four goals in mind: exposure to the field of pediatric oncology, development of practical research skills, experience in a real-time research project and development of a mentoring relationship with a pediatric oncology researcher. The Foundation’s primary focus is to find better treatments and ultimately cures for all kids with cancer. Recognizing the importance of young researchers in achieving this goal, ALSF aims to foster the interest in young, promising students through the POST program grants.

“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, medical and graduate 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.”

In addition to the POST Grants, ALSF funds several other grant categories to researchers on the front lines of the childhood cancer fight. For more information, visit ALSFgrants.org.

2018 Funded POST Grant Recipients

Students’ home institutions are listed in parentheses.

Several student grants are generously supported by the Cohn Endowment, Northwestern Mutual, Love Your Melon and The Swifty Foundation, as noted.

 

Annie Kennedy (Haverford College), University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA

Mentored by Dr. Nicole Anderson, Co-funded with Cohn Endowment

Defining the Role of DLST in MYCN-Driven Neuroblastoma

 

Joseph Park (Drexel University College of Medicine), Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA

Mentored by Dr. Richard Aplenc, Co-funded with Cohn Endowment

Improving Chemotherapy Experiences for Children with AML

 

Gabrielle Helton (Dartmouth College), Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA

Mentored by Dr. Susan Rheingold, Co-funded with Love Your Melon

Analysis of Unexpected, Potentially Avoidable Admissions to a Pediatric Oncology Unit

 

Dalton Brunson (Harvard University), Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA

Mentored by Dr. David Langenau, Co-funded with Love Your Melon

Assessing Combinatory Effect of PARP Inhibitor with DNA Damaging Agent on Rhabdomyosarcoma at Single Cell Resolution

 

Ryan McLean (University of Connecticut), Yale University, New Haven, CT

Mentored by Dr. Ranjit Bindra, Co-funded with Love Your Melon

Small Molecule Screening for Novel DIPG Inhibitors

 

Ashlyn Parkhurst (Mississippi State University), Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD

Mentored by Dr. Jeffrey Rubens, Co-funded with Love Your Melon

Combining Glutamine Metabolic Inhibitors with Carboplatin to Target MYC Amplified AT/RT

 

Luz De Leon (Skidmore College), Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX

Mentored by Dr. Stephen Mack, Co-funded with Love Your Melon

Ion Channels as Molecular Targets in RELA Fusion Driven Ependymoma

 

Caroline Wechsler (Harvard College), Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, MA

Mentored by Dr. Kimberly Stegmaier, Co-funded with Love Your Melon

Combination Therapies with CDK4/6 Inhibitors in Pediatric Solid Tumors

 

Joshua Choi (Princeton University), Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD

Mentored by Dr. Charles Eberhart, Co-funded with Love Your Melon

Nodal Signaling Promotes Retinoblastoma Invasion and Growth

 

Orlandi Valencia Novak (Dickinson College) Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD

Mentored by Dr. Eric Raabe, Co-funded with Love Your Melon

Targeting Choline Kinase in AT/RT

 

Anna Cole (Rice University), Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX

Mentored by Dr. Robin Parihar, Co-funded with Love Your Melon

Understanding the Effect of IL-15 on Tumor Microenvironment to Enhance Cell-Based Therapies for Pediatric Solid Tumors

 

Lucy Soo-Yeon Im (Temple University), Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA

Mentored by Dr. Karen Bride, Co-funded with Love Your Melon

Knocking out CD38 in T Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia

 

Betty Yingchun Shen (University of Southern California), Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD

Mentored by Dr. Linda Smith Resar, Co-funded with Love Your Melon

Dissecting Metabolic Vulnerabilities of Relapsed ALL

 

Hannah Lewis (University of Texas at Austin), Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX

Mentored by Dr. David Poplack, Co-funded with Love Your Melon

Implementation Research for Improving Care Processes in Pediatric Oncology for Global HOPE Uganda

 

Amandeep Mahal (Yale University), Yale University, New Haven, CT

Mentored by Dr. James Yu, Co-funded with Love Your Melon

Impact of Racial Disparities on Survival for Children and Adolescents: A Gamma Knife Retrospective Population-Based Study

 

Xin Yue (Jodi) Mao (Eastern Virginia Medical School), Yale University, New Haven, CT

Mentored by Dr. Ranjit Bindra, Co-funded with Love Your Melon

Probing the Metabolome in DIPG

 

Chelsea M. Young (Drexel University College of Medicine), Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA

Mentored by Dr. Kelly Getz, Co-funded with Love Your Melon

Clinical Epidemiology Evaluations of Treatment Outcomes in Children with Acute Myeloid Leukemia

 

Briyana Chisholm (University of Delaware), Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD

Mentored by Dr. Linda Smith Resar, Co-funded with Love Your Melon

Elucidating HMGA Pathways to Target in Therapy for Refractory Pediatric Leukemia

 

Colin Hayes (Penn State University), Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA

Mentored by Dr. John Maris, Co-funded with Love Your Melon

Optimal Combinatorial Strategies for RAS-Driven Neuroblastomas

 

Jasmin Martin (American University of Antigua), Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD

Mentored by Dr. Charles Eberhart, Co-funded with Love Your Melon

Analysis of Pediatric Spinal Glioma Models

 

Allison Hare (University of Pennsylvania), Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA

Mentored by Dr. Kristopher Bosse, Co-funded with Love Your Melon

Validating GPC2 as an Immunotherapeutic Target in Medulloblastoma

 

Rachel Burga (George Washington University), George Washington University, Washington D.C.

Mentored by Dr. Rohan Fernandes, Co-funded with Love Your Melon

Treatment of Pediatric Head and Neck Cancers with a Novel Immune Cell-Nanoparticle Bio Hybrid Therapy

 

Kai Vorhies (Grinnell College) University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN

Mentored by Dr. Beau Webber, Co-funded with Northwestern Mutual

Identifying Drivers of Ewing Sarcoma Using Engineered iPSC of European and African Ancestry

 

Kevin Huang (University of Michigan) University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI

Mentored by Dr. Challice Bonifant, Co-funded with Northwestern Mutual

Quantitative Evaluation of CAR-T Cell Inhibition Mediated by PD1

 

Lindsay Anne Caprio (Georgetown University), Georgetown University, Washington D.C.

Mentored by Dr. Joanna Kitlinska, Co-funded with Northwestern Mutual

The Role of Neuropeptide Y and Its Y5 Receptor in Dissemination of Refractory Neuroblastoma

 

Sabina London (University of Pennsylvania), Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA

Mentored by Dr. Yael Mossé, Co-funded with Northwestern Mutual

Targeting SHP2 in Receptor Tyrosine Kinase-driven Neuroblastomas

 

Spandana Jarmale (Brown University), Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, MA

Mentored by Dr. Rameen Beroukhim, Co-funded with Northwestern Mutual

Characterizing PPM1D Mutations as Oncogenic Drivers of Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma

 

Rachel Vaizer (Augusta University), Augusta University Research Institute, Augusta, GA

Mentored by Dr. Theodore Johnson, Co-funded with Northwestern Mutual

Phenotype of Tumor-Associated Antigen Presenting Cells after Blocking Indoleamine 2, 3-Dioxygenase

 

Kenneth Mc Sherry (University College Dublin), Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX

Mentored by Dr. Will Parsons, Co-funded with Northwestern Mutual

Investigating the Interplay Between Nucleophosmin and Caspase-2 in Determining Chemosensitivity in Childhood AML

 

Yvonne Lee (Oakland University), Stanford University, Stanford, CA

Mentored by Dr. Kathleen Sakamoto, Co-funded with Northwestern Mutual

Targeted Inhibition of CREB for the Treatment of Pediatric Acute Myeloid Leukemia

 

Taylor Pearl (Ohio State University), Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Columbus, OH

Mentored by Dr. Kevin Cassady, Co-funded with Northwestern Mutual

PDL-1 Expression on Tumor Cells Mediates C8 Cytotoxic T Cell (CTL) Resistance

 

Ashish Vaswani (Oregon State University), Children’s Cancer Therapy Development Institute, Beaverton, OR

Mentored by Dr. Charles Keller, Co-funded with Northwestern Mutual

Be a Dog’s Best Friend, Help a Child

 

Shannon Wong-Michalak (University of California, Berkeley), University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CA

Mentored by Dr. William Weiss, Co-funded with The Swifty Foundation

Exploring Synthetic Lethality of One-Carbon Metabolism Genes and mTORC1 Inhibition in MYCN Amplified Medulloblastoma

 

Austin Proudfit (Washington & Jefferson College), The Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Cleveland, OH

Mentored by Neetu Gupta

Targeting the Function of Ezrin in Rhabdomyosarcoma

 

Jim Lu (Harvard University), Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, MA

Mentored by Dr. Rani George

Validation of CDK12 Inhibition in Osteosarcoma

 

Sydney Lambert (Vassar College), Huntsman Cancer Institute, Salt Lake City, UT

Mentored by Dr. Kevin Jones

Immunity in Alveolar Soft Part Sarcomagenesis

 

Kyle Wierzbicki (University of Michigan), University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI

Mentored by Dr. Carl Koschmann

CSF Digital Droplet PCR Analysis for Pediatric High-Grade Glioma Diagnosis and Therapy Response

 

Sydney Treichel (University of Michigan), University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI

Mentored by Dr. Elizabeth Lawlor

The Wnt/Beta-Catenin Pathway and Ewing Sarcoma Metastasis

 

Gheeda Mourtada (McMaster University), Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, MA

Mentored by Dr. Loren Walensky

Direct Molecular Sensitization of BAX to Lower the Apoptotic Threshold in Chemo Resistant Pediatric Leukemia

 

Cher Sha (University of Michigan), University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI

Mentored by Dr. Mark Chiang

Disrupting Protein-Protein Interactions in Notch1-Induced T-ALL

 

Kelly Roberts (Xavier University), Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, Cincinnati, OH

Mentored by Dr. H Leighton Grimes

Translational Utility of New Models of Human AML

 

Vamsi Chintagumpala Mohan (Boston College), Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX

Mentored by Dr. David Poplack

Implementation Research for Improving Medical Information Management in Global HOPE Uganda

 

Wei Chang (Penn State University) Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA

Mentored by Dr. Jo Lynne Harenza

Investigating the Epigenomic Effects of Genetic Alterations in High-Risk Neuroblastoma

 

Zachary Corey (Penn State University), Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA

Mentored by Dr. John Maris

Investigating DLL3 as a Candidate Immunotherapeutic Target in Neuroblastoma

 

Elena Christen (St. Joseph’s University), Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA

Mentored by Dr. Garrett Brodeur

Germline Findings in Hereditary Retinoblastoma

 

Alexei Kopelevich (University of California, Irvine) Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA

Mentored by Dr. Anat Erdreich-Epstein

Novel Molecular Aspects of the Growth-Suppressive Function of PID1 in Childhood Medulloblastoma

 

Razina Aziz-Bose (Stanford University), Stanford University, Stanford, CA

Mentored by Dr. Michelle Monje

Role of GRP78 and CRTAC1 in Glioma Invasion

 

Nabila Reem Khondakar (SUNY Downstate College of Medicine), Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, MA

Mentored by Dr. Andrew Lane

Testing Small Molecules that Target a Pediatric Leukemia-Associated Oncogene for Chromatin-Modifying Activity

 

Doreen Z. Chang (Drexel University), Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA

Mentored by Dr. Kelly Getz

Clinical Epidemiology Research to Improve Treatment Outcomes and Supportive Care in Pediatric AML

 

Kavitha Muralidharan (University of Pennsylvania), Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA

Mentored by Dr. Vinodh Pillai

Predicting Cytokine Release Syndrome Before Chimeric Antigen Receptor Therapy in B Lymphoblastic Leukemia

 

Reshma Vohra (Rutgers University), New York University, New York, NY

Mentored by Dr. William Carroll

Discover the Functional Role of Loss-of-Function Mutations in SETD2 in Pediatric B-ALL

 

Alberto Guerra (University of Pennsylvania), Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA

Mentored by Dr. Yael Mossé

ALK as an Immunotherapeutic Target in Neuroblastoma

 

Meryl V. Hahne (Tulane University), Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX

Mentored by Dr. Rikhia Chakraborty

Characterize the Effect of Risk Variant in SMAD6 (Rs12438941, G>A) on Langerhans Cell Histiocytosis Disease Pathogenesis