St. Baldrick's Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to raising money for childhood cancer research, recently awarded $330,000 to fund Alex Huang, M.D., Ph.D., of the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, as a St. Baldrick's Scholar for three years.
Huang is one of the first doctors to be funded as a St. Baldrick's Scholar, and overseeing him will be John Letterio, M.D. Part of a new funding program to further the research of promising young pediatric oncologists, these awards bridge the funding-gap between their fellowships and sources of funding available to more established researchers. These awards also will provide much-needed research funding to doctors during this critical stage of their careers.
Huang's research project is entitled, "Enhancing Immune Surveillance In Pediatric Sarcomas." His work aims to incorporate the immunological arm of cancer therapy into standard therapeutic protocols to provide life-saving treatments for children with osteosarcoma, a type of bone cancer, and rhabdomyosarcoma, a form of sarcoma—cancers that develop from connective tissues.
St. Baldrick's began as a challenge between friends, and has exploded into the world's largest volunteer-driven fundraising program for childhood cancer research. Worldwide, 160,000 children are diagnosed with cancer each year and in the United States, cancer is the leading cause of death by disease among children.
The St. Baldrick's Foundation coordinates worldwide head-shaving events, with volunteer "shavees" raising money to support childhood cancer research. Since 2000, head-shavings have taken place in 18 countries and 48 U.S. states, raising more than $50.8 million, and shaving more than 72,490 heads.
The St. Baldrick's Foundation will fund $110,000 per year for three years for Huang's work, after which he may apply for an additional two years of funding.
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