Home » St. Baldrick’s Foundation Grants a Total of $327,769 to Baylor College of Medicine Researchers
HOUSTON – July 26, 2011 – St. Baldrick’s Foundation
It takes life-saving research to Conquer Kids’ Cancer! The St. Baldrick’s Foundation, a volunteer-driven charity dedicated to raising money for childhood cancer research, has awarded two new research grants to Baylor College of Medicine (BCM); a $130,267 Fellow award to Rishikesh Chavan, M.D., and a $197,502 Consortium Research Grant led by Jack Su, M.D.
Dr. Rishikesh Chavan, a postdoctoral fellow in pediatrics-hematology/oncology at BCM, and Dr. Jack Su, assistant professor of pediatrics-hematology/oncology at BCM, are pediatric oncologists at the Texas Children’s Cancer Center, a joint program of Baylor and Texas Children’s Hospital.
Worldwide, more than 160,000 children are diagnosed with cancer each year, and it remains the leading cause of death by disease among children in the United States. With only 3 percent of all federal cancer research funding dedicated to pediatric cancer research, St. Baldrick’s Foundation grant funds are critical to continue the battle against this devastating disease.
Dr. Chavan is one of 13 new St. Baldrick’s Fellows in 2011. Overseeing his fellowship is mentor Donald “Will” Parsons, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor of pediatrics-hematology/oncology at BCM. Dr. Chavan’s research project will focus on alterations in the genetic material of tumor cells. The identification of these mutations has allowed the development of targeted treatments, resulting in remarkable clinical advances for a few specific cancer types.
Dr. Chavan will use sequencing technologies to analyze hepatoblastoma, the most common liver cancer of children. Successful accomplishment of this project will dramatically shift current research and treatment paradigms by directing investigators to the most relevant genes causing hepatoblastoma, which are currently largely unknown.
The Consortium Research Grant will support the Texas-Oklahoma Pediatric Neuro-Oncology Consortium (TOPNOC), focusing on pediatric brain tumors. One of the major obstacles in pediatric brain tumor research is the limited number of patients and tumor samples. By forming a consortium of prominent pediatric neuro-oncology cancer centers in Texas and Oklahoma, these researchers are pooling tumor samples and scientific expertise to conduct innovative, biology-driven clinical trials to improve survival in children with brain tumors.
“Physician-scientists at the Texas Children’s Cancer Center are committed to conducting research that leads to better treatment and potentially to cures for childhood cancers,” said Dr. David Poplack, director of the Texas Children’s Cancer Center and professor of pediatrics-hematology/oncology at Baylor College of Medicine. “We know that the St. Baldrick’s Foundation shares in our commitment, and we’re very grateful for the support our physician-scientists received from the Foundation.”
These grants are part of more than $19.6 million in new grants awarded by the St. Baldrick’s Foundation, bringing the total to more than $21 million awarded for the fiscal year. All funding applications were peer-reviewed by leading pediatric cancer researchers who volunteer their time and expertise and make funding recommendations to the St. Baldrick’s Foundation’s board of directors. The Foundation’s next round of grants will be announced in October.
St. Baldrick’s signature head-shaving events are the fastest growing, volunteer-driven fundraising opportunity benefitting childhood cancer research. In 2011, the Foundation’s volunteers and supporters have led the way to raising a record-breaking $26 million by organizing more than 980 St. Baldrick’s events and shaving more than 43,437 heads to stand in solidarity with kids with cancer.
Everyone can do their part to support St. Baldrick’s! To locate or organize an event in your community, sign-up to shave, donate or volunteer, visit www.StBaldricks.org. You can also become a fan on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, join our letsCONQUER movement and visit the Foundation’s YouTube and Vimeo channels.
St. Baldrick’s Foundation is a volunteer-driven charity committed to funding the most promising research to find cures for childhood cancers and give survivors long and healthy lives. For more information about the foundation, including information on organizing a community event, visit the St. Baldrick’s Foundation website at www.stbaldricks.org, visit our news archives for more articles about how the St. Baldrick’s Foundation is helping patients at Texas Children’s Cancer Center, or discover how to connect with St. Baldrick’s on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or Vimeo.
St. Baldrick’s Media Contact
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