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Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation Announces 2018 Epidemiology Grant Recipients

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Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation Announces 2018 Epidemiology Grant Recipients 

The Epidemiology Grant provides critical funding to researchers studying epidemiological characteristics of childhood cancers.

Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF), a nonprofit dedicated to finding cures for all children with cancer, awarded two 2018 Epidemiology Grants to Richard Aplenc, MD/PhD of Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and Catherine Metayer, MD/PhD of University of California, Berkeley. The Epidemiology Grant, worth $200,000 over the course of two years, provides critical funding to shed light on epidemiological characteristics of childhood cancer that are not yet understood.

Richard Aplenc, along with his co-investigators Dr. Yimei Li, Dr. Tamara Miller and Dr. Marla Daves, will implement a new way to build a cohort of patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) to study racial and ethnic disparities in the disease. The cohort will study kidney damage during treatment for AML, based on prior data showing racial differences in the risk of kidney damage and limited data showing the cause of this disparity. In addition to establishing a new approach to cohort-building, it may also identify a way to reduce risk of kidney damage during AML treatment.

Catherine Metayer, along with her co-investigators Dr. Libby Morimoto and Dr. Robert Gunier, will lead the first study to assess the effects of fetal exposure to endocrine disrupting chemical (EDC) pesticides. No studies have explored the potential link between fetal exposure to EDCs and risk of testicular germ cell tumors (TGCT). The study will fill key gaps in current knowledge of the fetal origin of TGCT.

The Epidemiology Grant allows investigators to pursue research studies in specific human populations, using epidemiological approaches in order to significantly contribute to the understanding of childhood cancers. Studies may focus on risk factors, early detection, prevention or treatment outcomes of pediatric cancers. This grant is part of ALSF’s Accelerator Program, which works to advance the pace of innovative research. These projects have been deemed highly important, but have not received National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding. ALSF takes calculated risks to fund these proposals, resulting in high-impact findings.

Research funded by ALSF has been featured in The New England Journal of Medicine, Blood, Journal of Clinical Oncology, Molecular Therapy, AACR Journal, Oncogene, Nature and more. In addition to the Epidemiology Grant, ALSF funds several other grant categories. For more information, visit ALSFgrants.org.