The St. Baldrick's Foundation has awarded a $175,612 fellowship grant to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and a $5,000 Summer Fellowship grant to the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC).
St. Baldrick's is a not-for-profit organization based in Monrovia, California, and the nation's largest private funder of childhood cancer research grants.
Volunteers went bald last month at various St. Baldrick's head-shaving events across the nation - including Tennessee - to help raise funds now going to support the next generation of pediatric oncologists.
Dr. Lisa Force, at St. Jude and St. Baldrick's Fellowship awardee, will determine what the best interventions are to improve outcomes for children and adolescents with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). She will take into consideration the major disparities between countries in access to optimal treatment, early abandonment of therapy despite the potential for a cure, and availability of quality supportive care.
Dr. Susan Miranda, at UTHSC and a St. Baldrick's Summer Fellow, will have a medical student train in her lab to learn and assist in understanding the molecular mechanisms for estrogen silencing in osteosarcomas. It is estimated that 800 children will be diagnosed with osteosarcoma and it is thought that sex hormones play a role in the onset of the disease, as the cancer develops at the time of puberty.