UH News

$412,594 Awarded in Childhood Cancer Research Grants to UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital

Monday, September 16, 2013

Part of More than $22 million Awarded in New Grants by the St. Baldrick’s Foundation

CLEVELAND (September 11, 2013) – The St. Baldrick’s Foundation, a volunteer-driven and donor-centered charity dedicated to raising money for childhood cancer research, is proud to award a total of $412,594 in pediatric cancer research grants to support the work of two physician-researchers at University Hospitals (UH) Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital.

Robin Norris, M.D., M.S., M.P.H., received a $330,000 St. Baldrick’s Scholar award to support her work focused on developing new treatments for children and adolescents with relapsed cancer.

“We are evaluating a new type of chemotherapy called CDK5 inhibitors that we hope will help children with cancer,” explains Dr. Norris. “Using information from prior studies in adults together with information we learn in our laboratory, we hope to discover the best way to use this new drug in the fight against pediatric cancer.”

Based on progress to date, Agne Petrosiute, M.D., was granted an $82,594 extended St. Baldrick’s Fellow award to fund an optional third year of her project focused on medulloblastoma, the most common malignant brain tumor diagnosed in children. Dr. Petrosiute is studying the role of a target protein, CDK5, and related molecules in controlling the invasion and spread of medulloblastoma.

“Despite current aggressive therapy approaches, survival in high-risk medulloblastoma patients remains at 60 percent,” said Dr. Petrosiute. “With the help of St. Baldrick funding we hope to uncover a protein in medulloblastoma tumor cells that is helping cancer cells grow. It is possible that if we use a medicine to knock this protein down, the tumor may become weak and easier to treat.”

Through the vigorous efforts of volunteers and supporters in the U.S. and around the world, the Foundation is not only honored to award this local grant, but will fund a total of more than $22 million in its 2013 summer grant cycle.

To locate or organize an event in your community, sign-up to shave, donate or volunteer, visit www.StBaldricks.org. Also become a fan on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and visit the Foundation’s YouTube and Vimeo channels.

About St. Baldrick’s Foundation

The 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. St. Baldrick’s coordinates its signature head-shaving events worldwide where participants collect pledges to shave their heads in solidarity with kids with cancer, raising money to fund research. Since 2005, St. Baldrick’s has awarded more than $125 million to support lifesaving research, making the Foundation the largest private funder of childhood cancer research grants. St. Baldrick’s funds are granted to some of the most brilliant childhood cancer research experts in the world and to younger professionals who will be the experts of tomorrow. Funds awarded also enable hundreds of local institutions to participate in national pediatric cancer clinical trials, and the new International Scholar grants train researchers to work in developing countries. For more information about the St. Baldrick’s Foundation please call 1.888.899.BALD or visit www.StBaldricks.org.

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