DUARTE, Calif., January 29, 2013 — STOP CANCER, an organization committed to funding the most promising and innovative cancer scientists, has awarded four City of Hope researchers a total of $475,000 in career development money and seed grants. The researchers were recognized for their investigations in leukemia, lymphoma and brain tumor treatment – receiving two STOP CANCER Research Career Development Awards, one Smalley Family Isadore Familian Memorial Seed Grant and one Allison Tovo-Dwyer Memorial Research Career Development Award.
Ching-Cheng Chen, Ph.D., and Vu Ngo, Ph.D., both assistant professors in the Division of Hematopoietic Stem Cell and Leukemia Research, each received $150,000 Research Career Development Awards. Chen’s research focuses on the bone marrow microenvironment and how cancer can change that “niche” to favor leukemia development. Ngo’s research is focused on finding molecules specific to lymphoma that can be used to develop new targeted therapies for the disease.
Karen Aboody, M.D., associate professor in the Department of Neurosciences, received the $25,000 Smalley Family Isadore Familian Memorial Seed Grant in support of her work with neural stem cells. Aboody is developing a targeted therapy that uses neural stem cells to deliver treatment directly to tumors, sparing the surrounding healthy tissue. City of Hope is currently conducting a clinical trial using a version of Aboody’s neural stem cell-based treatment targeting brain tumors. Aboody is now testing other versions of the therapy in the laboratory against other types of cancers, including one version using nanoparticles to destroy the tumor.
Marcin Kortylewski, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Department of Cancer Immunotherapeutics and Tumor Immunology, received the $150,000 Allison Tovo-Dwyer Memorial Research Career Development Award. Kortylewski is developing immunotherapeutics – treatments that enlist a patient’s own immune system to fight cancer – based on short strands of DNA and RNA, called oligonucleotides. He has demonstrated in laboratory studies that the oligonucleotides can overcome cancer’s defenses against the immune system.
STOP CANCER was established in 1988 by Armand Hammer, philanthropist and founder of the Occidental Petroleum Corporation, and by Sherry Lansing, former chairman of Paramount Pictures. The organization funds early research into all forms of cancer prevention, treatment, cures and subsequent clinical applications. For more information, visit www.stopcancer.org.