LOS ANGELES -- The St. Baldrick’s Foundation, the largest private funder of childhood cancer research grants, has announced it is leading the charge to take childhood back from cancer with $105,000 awarded to support summer fellowships at 21 institutions across the U.S.
Each grant is for $5,000 and supports the work of medical school and college students who spend a summer working in a pediatric oncology setting to complete a research project under the leadership of a pediatric oncology expert.
Lauren Bendesky, 19, was a 2014 St. Baldrick’s Ambassador and is a four-year childhood cancer survivor. As a teen, Bendesky fought cancer and became involved with the St. Baldrick’s Foundation, which increasingly fueled her passion for pursuing a career devoted to the treatment of kids with cancer. Now in college and having already completed an oncology research internship at MD Anderson, Bendesky has accepted a St. Baldrick’s Summer Fellowship at Washington University School of Medicine, researching the immune system of patients with pediatric myelodysplastic syndrome (a disease affecting production of blood cells) in hopes she can help kids like her.
Less than four percent of all federal cancer research funding is allocated to pediatric cancer, making this specialty less sought after by aspiring researchers. The St. Baldrick’s Foundation aims to change that by supporting and inspiring some of the best scientific minds to focus on a career in childhood cancer research.
The following institutions will receive a St. Baldrick’s Summer Fellow grant:
- Case Western Reserve University – School of Medicine, Cleveland, Ohio
- Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, Los Angeles, Calif.
- Children’s Cancer Therapy Development Institute, Beaverton, Ore.
- Duke University Medical Center, Durham, N.C.
- Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, Washington, D.C.
- Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah
- Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, Ind.
- Joan & Sanford I. Weill Medical College of Cornell University, New York, N.Y.
- Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Md.
- Miller School of Medicine of the University of Miami, Coral Gables, Fla.
- Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, Oka.
- Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, Ill.
- University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles, Calif.
- University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, Calif.
- University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, Aurora, Co.
- University of Hawaii John A. Burns School of Medicine, Honolulu, Hawaii
- University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Oklahoma City, Oka.
- The University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Memphis, Tenn.
- University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas
- Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, Va.
- Washington University St. Louis, St. Louis, Mo.
This series of grants is the first of several that will be awarded by the Foundation this year. The St. Baldrick’s Foundation funded a total of $24.1 million childhood cancer research grants in 2016.
SOURCE St. Baldrick’s Foundation
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