FULL REPORT: 2015 Childhood Research Grants

June 10, 2015

The Pablove Foundation recently announced a $250,000 package of grants that aim to significantly boost pediatric cancer research in several under-funded areas. These grants support a range of innovators in childhood cancer research who are investigating unique ways to increase survivorship and decrease complications, enabling kids to lead healthy lives after cancer. The 6-year-old Pablove Foundation surpassed the $1,000,000 mark in total support given to cancer research amounting to $1,150,000!

We are incredibly proud of reaching the $1,000,000 milestone with our childhood research grants,” said CEO and co-founder, Jo Ann Thrailkill. “Our awards enable the brightest minds with the most unique science to flourish and establish a solid foundation toward eradicating pediatric cancer.”

The Pablove Foundation is announcing grants to five institutions that are fundamentally redesigning the outcomes kids with cancer experience. The foundation’s investments include granting $50,000 to each of the following:

  • Glypican-3 Specific T-cells for the Adoptive Immunotherapy of Pediatric Liver Cancers, Andras Heczey M.D., Baylor College of Medicine

Dr. Andras Heczey will be receiving funding for the second year in a row for his promising research, which seeks to develop an effective immunotherapy for rare pediatric liver cancers, including hepatoblastoma and hepatocellular carcinoma. Dr. Heczey’s proposal will generate T-cells from a patient’s own immune system to attack the liver tumor cells. The data has the potential to rapidly introduce a new, effective treatment for pediatric liver cancers.

  • Modification of Onconeuronal Antigens in the Neuroblastoma of Paraneoplastic OMS by Free RNA, Prof. Dr. Franz Blaes, Justus-Liebig-University

Dr. Franz Blaes project will investigate the amount of free RNA in children with neuroblastoma with and without opsoclonus-myoclonus syndrome (OMS), which is a devastating autoimmune disease that affects kids with neuroblastoma, and determine whether the free RNA influences the reactivity of OMS autoantibodies. The outcome aims to test if RNA release will influence tumor growth.

  • Autoantigen Discovery in OMS – An Innovative Multidisciplinary Approach
    Jessica Panzer, M.D., Ph.D., Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and Miriam Rosenberg, Ph.D.,Weizmann Institute of Science

Dr. Jessica Panzer and Dr. Miriam Rosenberg will forge a three-pronged study on opsoclonus-myoclonus syndrome (OMS), which will research the culprit antigens that cause this disease and yield in the future new OMS diagnostics and drug targets, and give clues about how to harness the immune system to fight deadly neuroblastoma.

  • Critical Contributions of CRM1 to Pediatric Leukemogenesis
    Jessica L. Heath, M.D., University of Vermont

Dr. Jessica Heath seeks a better understanding of leukemia especially the types that harbor a CALM-AF10 translocation, which will lead to improved treatments for malignancies. Leukemia is the most common cancer in childhood, and accounts for 25% of cancers in children under the age of fifteen.

  • Development of a Material Hardship Intervention
    Kira Bona, M.D., M.P.H.
    Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Dr. Kira Bona will investigate improving childhood cancer treatment and disparities in outcomes by studying the effects of material hardships – food, housing, and energy insecurities — in children with cancer who live in poverty. New evidence suggests that poorer children are more likely to die of their cancer than wealthier children in the U.S. despite identical treatment.

Funding these creative ‘out of the box’ projects is what the Pablove Foundation is all about- fighting childhood cancer with love,” said Dr. Leo Macarenhas, Scientific Advisory Committee Chair of The Pablove Foundation. “To the best of my knowledge, there is not a single foundation out there who has actually been bold enough to fund this kind of research. I must congratulate my colleagues at the board of directors for selecting these very innovative grants to fund.

Learn more about our childhood cancer research grants selection process


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