by Beth Hill
Cancer research studies being conducted by Karen S. Aboody, M.D., in the divisions of Hematology & Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation and Neurosciences, recently received additional funding totaling $75,000 in the form of the three-year Isadore Familian Memorial Grant.
This special seed grant award was established by philanthropists Sandy and Marvin Smalley, patrons of the STOP CANCER Foundation. City of Hope matches this funding in-kind, in effect doubling the size of the grant to $150,000.
This is the second grant Aboody has received specifically for this work. The first, also from the Smalleys and STOP CANCER, was a $150,000 development award paid out in three years. It, too, was matched by City of Hope.
Aboody is a Harvard-trained neuroscientist whose translational research centers on therapeutic applications of neural stem cells for cancer. These cells have remarkable powers, including the ability to directly target invading tumor cells within the brain, and possibly throughout the body.
“City of Hope is committing considerable resources to developing powerful new cancer therapies using stem cells,” said Aboody. “My work has concentrated on delivering gene-based therapies directly to invasive brain tumors using neural stem cells. With the combined expertise of City of Hope scientists, and the pharmaceutical manufacturing capability of the City of Hope Center for Biomedicine & Genetics, we are refining techniques that will expand the beneficial uses of neural stem cells in various cancer treatments, including metastatic neuroblastoma, melanoma and breast carcinoma.”
The Smalleys have been loyal supporters of City of Hope for the past 50 years. They serve as the liaisons between the institution and STOP CANCER, a nonprofit, philanthropic organization based in Southern California. It is dedicated to helping find a cure for cancer by funding cancer research at National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer centers, such as City of Hope.
The focus of STOP CANCER is to provide grants to scientists who are engaged in innovative cancer research and its subsequent clinical applications.
“STOP CANCER is a steadfast partner in our fight against cancer,” Aboody said. “Its ongoing support enables City of Hope researchers to prevail in our tradition of breakthrough scientific research and brings us one step closer to making cancer not only treatable, but curable, and ultimately preventable.”
Funding from the STOP CANCER Foundation also has facilitated the formation of a strong collaborative translational stem cell research program at City of Hope.