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PRESS RELEASE: Northwestern Mutual Funds $600,000 in New Grants for Childhood Cancer Research

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Northwestern Mutual Funds $600,000 in New Grants for Childhood Cancer Research

Grants awarded through Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation support young scientists making strides in developing treatments and cures for childhood cancer patients

Northwestern Mutual is committed to the fight against childhood cancer, and the company, through its Foundation, today announced the funding of four new grants to support additional research for better cures and treatments. Awarded through Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation’s (ALSF) Young Investigator program, the grants support scientists who are early in their careers and are committed to finding innovative and more effective therapies.

“These scientists are revolutionizing how we treat and care for children affected by cancer,” said Eric Christophersen, president of the Northwestern Mutual Foundation. “Only through better treatments and cures can we create a brighter future for thousands of kids and families across the U.S. We are proud to support this work and enable researchers to focus on their research, rather than how to fund it.”

Each Young Investigator grant recipient will receive $150,000 from Northwestern Mutual over three years. The four new Young Investigator grant recipients include:

  • Satoru Osuka, M.D./Ph.D. at Emory University (Atlanta, Georgia): Dr. Osuka’s research explores new therapies to inhibit the metastasis of medulloblastoma, the most common pediatric brain tumor.
  • Adam Durbin, M.D./Ph.D. at Dana-Farber Cancer Center (Boston, Massachusetts): Dr. Durbin’s work focuses on disrupting protein networks that promote the growth of high-risk neuroblastoma.
  • Zibo Zhao, Ph.D. at Northwestern University (Chicago, Illinois): Dr. Zhao’s research will seek new therapeutic approaches for the treatment of mixed-lineage leukemia.
  • Colin Godwin, M.D. at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center (Seattle, Washington): Dr. Godwin’s work focuses on improving immunotherapies (which engineer the body’s immune system to fight disease) for acute myeloid leukemia.

Young Investigator grants are awarded following a competitive review process based on scientific merit, potential to advance cures and treatments and the investigator’s dedication to childhood cancer research.

Northwestern Mutual is also sponsoring the sixth annual ALSF Young Investigator Summit being held in Milwaukee, Wisconsin from October 15 -16, more than 60 young scientists will present their research to an audience of current and past Young Investigators, principal investigators and members of the ALSF medical review board. Northwestern Mutual has supported the Young Investigator Summit since its inception in 2012 and has funded 26 Young Investigator grants over the six years, totaling $3,300,000.

Northwestern Mutual launched its national philanthropic focus on childhood cancer in 2012 to find better cures and treatments for childhood cancer while also providing family, patient and survivor support. With the help of its employees and financial advisors nationwide, the program has contributed more than $20 million to the cause, funding more than 240,000 hours of research. The program also leverages nonprofit partners, including ALSF, to help more kids and families live life to the fullest.

About Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation
Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF) emerged from the front yard lemonade stand of cancer patient Alexandra "Alex" Scott (1996-2004). In 2000, 4-year-old Alex announced that she wanted to hold a lemonade stand to raise money to help find a cure for all children with cancer. Since Alex held that first stand, the Foundation bearing her name has evolved into a national fundraising movement, complete with thousands of supporters across the country carrying on her legacy of hope. To date, Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation, a registered 501(c)3 charity, has raised more than $150 million toward fulfilling Alex's dream of finding a cure, funding over 800 pediatric cancer research projects nationally. In addition, ALSF provides support to families affected by childhood cancer through programs such as Travel For Care and SuperSibs. For more information on Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation, visit AlexsLemonade.org.

About Northwestern Mutual Foundation 
The mission of the Northwestern Mutual Foundation is to improve the lives of children and families in need. The Foundation has given more than $320 million since its inception in 1992 and is designed to create lasting impact in the communities where the company's employees and financial representatives live and work. We accomplish this by combining financial support, volunteerism, thought leadership and convening community partners to deliver the best outcomes. Our efforts are focused nationally on curing childhood cancer, and locally on education, neighborhoods and making our hometown of Milwaukee a great destination. Visit Northwestern Mutual Foundation to learn more.

About Northwestern Mutual
Northwestern Mutual has been helping families and businesses achieve financial security for more than 160 years. Through a distinctive, whole-picture planning approach, we empower our clients to make the most of every single day and plan for important moments in their future. We combine the expertise of our financial professionals with a personalized digital experience to help our clients navigate their financial lives every day. With $265.0 billion in assets, $28.1 billion in revenues, and more than $1.8 trillion worth of life insurance protection in force, Northwestern Mutual delivers financial security to more than 4.5 million people who rely on us for life, disability income and long-term care insurance, annuities, brokerage and advisory services, trust services, and discretionary portfolio management solutions. The company manages more than $125 billion of client assets through its wealth management and investment services. Northwestern Mutual ranks 97 on the 2017 FORTUNE 500 and is recognized by FORTUNE® as one of the “World’s Most Admired” life insurance companies in 2018.

Northwestern Mutual is the marketing name for The Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company (NM), Milwaukee, WI (life and disability insurance, annuities, and life insurance with long-term care benefits) and its subsidiaries. Northwestern Mutual and its subsidiaries offer a comprehensive approach to financial security solutions including: life insurance, long-term care insurance, disability income insurance, annuities, life insurance with long-term care benefits, investment products, and advisory products and services. Subsidiaries include Northwestern Mutual Investment Services, LLC (NMIS) (securities), broker-dealer, registered investment adviser, member FINRA and SIPC; the Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Company® (NMWMC) (fiduciary and fee-based financial planning services), federal savings bank; and Northwestern Long Term Care Insurance Company (NLTC) (long-term care insurance).