Microscope | July 2018


research image spread out lab

$1.167 Million in Research Grants Funded

The Leukemia Research Foundation (LRF) is proud to announce its 2018-2019 funding of blood cancer projects at institutions in the United States and Europe. The LRF provides one-year grants of up to $100,000 to New Investigators, scientists who are establishing their own laboratories and are no longer under the tutelage of a senior scientist mentor. The grants allow this critical niche of researchers to expand on groundbreaking research ideas that could lead to significant breakthroughs. The list of grantees, institutions and projects funded is as follows.

Shunji Egusa, Ph.D. - The University of North Carolina
Au nano-linker: Turning standard AML drugs into lineage-targeted therapeutics

Kishore Challagundla, Ph.D. - University of Nebraska Medical Center
Exosomic miRNAs and PD-L1 in AML Therapy Resistance

Daniel Herranz Benito, Ph.D. - Rutgers Cancer Institute
Dissecting the role of PKM2 in NOTCH1-induced T-ALL

Russel J. H. Ryan, M.D. - University of Michigan
Identifying Unique /myc Enhancer Dependencies in B-Lymphoblastic Leukemia

Esther A. Obeng, M.D., Ph.D. – St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
Uncovering how SF3B1 and TET2 mutations cooperate to develop aggressive MDS

Matthew Mei, M.D. - City of Hope National Medical Center
The Impact of Somatic /mutations on Allogeneic Transplantation Outcomes in Chronic Myelomonocytic Leukemia

Jin Seon Im, M.D., Ph.D. - The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
Third Party Gene-Modified iNK t cells to Prevent GVHD and Relapse after Transplantion

Brittany Knick Ragon, M.D. - Levine Cancer Insititute
Identification of molecular and genetic determinants of response to hypomethylation agents in AML

Cristina Scielzo, Ph.D. – IRCCS (Milan, Italy)
Decipher the dynamic expression of targetable signalling pathways in CLL tissues by exploiting new 3D models

Paulina Podszywalow-Bartnicka, Ph.D. - Nencki Institution of Experimental Biology (Warsaw, Poland)
Synthetic lethality in leukemia - effect of PARP1 inhibitors in bone marrow niche

Chintan Parekh, M.D. - Children's Hospital Los Angeles
Molecular characterization of minimal residual disease cells in pediatric ALL

Yue Wei, Ph.D. - The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
Characterize the pathological role and therapeutic potential of histone demethylase KDM6B in MDS

Learn more about these research projects in the lay abstracts found on the LRF website.

Jaehyuk_Choi MD PhD

Jaehyuk Choi, M.D., Ph.D.

Leukemia Research Foundation-funded Researcher Earns New Innovator Award

Congratulations to Jaehyuk Choi, M.D., Ph.D., a recipient of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director’s New Innovator Award. The Award, established in 2007, was created to support highly innovative research that has the potential for significant impact. The Award includes up to $1.5 million to be used over a five-year project period.

Doctor Choi is the Ruth K. Freinkel Assistant Professor in the Department of Dermatology and the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. His research was funded by the Leukemia Research Foundation in 2016.



Save the Date: Blood Cancer Educational Event in Spanish

The Leukemia Research Foundation is partnering with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society to host the Annual Event in Spanish, a blood cancer educational program on Saturday, September 8 from 9:00 a.m. until 12:00 p.m. at the Consulate of Mexico, 204 S. Ashland Avenue in Chicago. Online registration will be available soon. Details can be found here.


planned giving image-KRRESIZED

Make a Lasting Gift

Scientific progress has led to significant developments during our lifetimes, but so much more can be done. For more than seven decades, the Leukemia Research Foundation has been funding dedicated researchers and making inspired breakthroughs that improve the lives of people with blood cancer.

Including the LRF in your estate plans helps serve our important mission: dedicated to conquering all blood cancers by funding research into their causes and cures, and enriching the quality of life of those touched by these diseases.

For more information on how you can provide a legacy gift of any size, see our brochure and contact Cindy Kane, Senior Director of Development, at cindy@LRFmail.org or call (847) 424-0600.

Speak directly with your financial planner about how a gift through your estate or financial plans can benefit you, while supporting the work of the LRF for years to come.


BCAM-generic image for MicroscopeRESIZED

Get Ready for Blood Cancer Awareness Month

September was designated as National Blood Cancer Awareness Month in 2010 by the United States Congress. Blood Cancer Awareness Month begins September 1. The Leukemia Research Foundation will spend the entire month raising awareness about blood cancers and the important work we’re doing to fund research to find cures and support patients and families. 

Follow us on FacebookTwitterLinkedInYouTube, to see all of our activities and messages during September!

run start with Wintrust-smallerRESIZED

Soggy Yet Successful ABC 7 Gibbons 5K Run and 3K Walk Presented by Wintrust

Rain all morning and into the afternoon subsided long enough for hundreds of blood cancer survivors and patients, runners, walkers, volunteers and supporters to take part in the 24th Annual ABC 7 Gibbons 5K Run and 3K Walk Presented by Wintrust on Thursday, June 21 in Chicago’s Grant Park. This signature event benefiting the Leukemia Research Foundation generated more than $100,000 to fund critical blood cancer research and support patients and families living with a leukemia, lymphoma, multiple myeloma, or myelodysplastic syndromes diagnosis. Results and event photos can be found here.

Honorary co-chairs were Janet Davies and Dionne Miller from ABC 7 Chicago, which broadcast the start of the event live during its 6 p.m. newscast. The LRF is also grateful for the live interview of Team #SuperDeclan during the 4 p.m. news on ABC 7, which featured two-year-old leukemia patient Declan Erickson and his five-year-old sister and Team Captain, Finnleigh, with their parents. Video of the interview can be seen here.

Participants enjoyed a post-event party in the park, food and drink, DJ Dan Luna and another opportunity to save lives by signing up for the marrow registry. Online fundraising continues for the event through July 13.

Planning is already under way for the 25th Annual Event, scheduled for June 13, 2019. Get involved by emailing arleen@LRFmail.org.


Camilla with family-2RESIZED

Camilla Petersson at five years with father and older sister, then at graduation

I Wish I Had Known

Camilla Petersson learned of the Leukemia Research Foundation through one of its fundraisers and shared this story about her experience with leukemia as a child.

“I was four when while attending a family party people began to notice that I was sick. I turned pale and was running a pretty high fever and I was weak. My parents decided to take me to the hospital and after a bunch of tests, I got the diagnosis. I had acute myeloid leukemia (AML).

I stayed in the hospital for a few months and had chemotherapy, radiation and eventually, a cord blood stem cell transplant. My Mom, on the other hand, was diagnosed with breast cancer during the same time. So there was a time during my young life when my Mom and I were having the same kind of treatment experiences. Unfortunately, my Mom did not survive breast cancer. In fact, she died the day after I was scheduled for the transplant.

As it turns out I was one of the first 50 or so in the world and 28th in the U.S., back in 1995. I was five by then. The treatment was successful. My older sister and family helped me remember my Mom. These days, I’m 27 now, I still go in for checkups and to monitor my thyroid function, the only holdover condition from my AML experience.

I recently became aware of the LRF and I think the organization is great! Having this disease was pretty overwhelming and to know that there’s an organization out there to help families learn about the disease, hear from oncologists at various meetings and get some help to pay for treatment is really great. I know my family would have appreciated having this kind of help when I was younger. One of the things that kept me going as a child was having my family and friends around all the time, especially in the hospital. They encouraged me and told me never to give up. Now that I know that the LRF provides so much support, I will tell anyone I meet who is living through AML or any other blood cancer to look up the LRF.”


August 3-5
Kingfish Shootout
Carrabelle, Florida

August 10
Joey's Angels Chapter
17th Angels in the Fairway Golf Outing

Blood Cancer Awareness Month

September 8
Annual Event in Spanish

September 29
Steve "Grimey" Grimes
Memorial Chapter
3rd Annual Nite Capper Ball

September 30
72nd Annual Medical Awards Luncheon

Posted in

Leukemia Research Foundation

Leave a Comment