Curing Kids Cancer Gives $1.5 Million to Childhood Cancer Research Projects

The nonprofit gifted 15 awards to doctors for their exemplary work.

Atlanta, Ga. – Feb 3, 2021 – Curing Kids Cancer announced the 2021 award winners of $1.5 million for childhood cancer research that will be conducted at 14 medical facilities across the United States.  

The Curing Kids Cancer Individual Research Award Winners  

The individual research award is $150,000 provided to each of the top three projects submitted and judged by the Curing Kids Cancer Medical Advisory Board. To be eligible for these awards, the projects must focus on cancer immunotherapy, high-grade brain tumors or the development of targeted therapies using genetics. The recipients are Yale University’s own Dr. Ranjit Bindra, Dr. Yong-mi Kim from Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and Baylor College of Medicine’s Dr. Meenakshi G. Hegde. This is Dr. Hegde’s second time winning the award.

“It has been an unprecedented year, which could have been extremely bad for our mission of funding research. However, to say that our donors have risen to the occasion is an understatement. We were thrilled to give $1.5 million to some of the best projects in the world of childhood cancer research,” said Grainne Owen, Co-Founder and President of Curing Kids Cancer. “Our funding is making even more of a difference this year because of the amazing support we received. We look forward to seeing these projects having a tremendous impact on the future of childhood cancer therapies.”

Curing Kids Cancer continues to fund cutting edge childhood cancer research and treatments across the world. Here are the elite childhood cancer research projects Curing Kids Cancer is funding.

More Projects Funded

• Dr. Oren Becher at Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago received an award for his work on a genetically engineered zebrafish model of Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma “DIPG” as a novel research tool.
• In Cleveland, Ohio, Dr. Alex Huang from Case Western Reserve University – School of Medicine received an award for his work on osteosarcoma, a bone cancer.
• At Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Dr. Stephan Grupp received continued support of his Viral Vector project, which works to manufacture dual targeting CAR T cells.
• Dr. Keith August from Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City continued his work on single-cell next generation sequencing in T-Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia.
• Dr. Daniel Woods from the Children’s Oncology Group received an award for continuing research in ependymomas (brain tumors).
• Indiana University’s Dr. Karen Pollok received further fund ing for her osteosarcoma project.
• The University of Texas Southwestern in Dallas received an award for identifying Microbial Biomarkers to predict CAR-T cell therapy outcomes. Dr. Andrew Koh was the award winner.
• Phoenix Children’s Hospital received a Medtronic Midas Rex, a surgical tool that can remove a bone so that the surgeon can better remove the tumor and reduce the equipment needed in the operation room.

“The pediatric oncology community is grateful to Curing Kids Cancer for their support of research to develop improved therapies for children with cancer,” said Alan S. Wayne, MD, Director, Cancer Blood Disease Institute at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. “It is an honor to serve as co-chair for the Curing Kids Cancer Medical Advisory Board.”

As well as individual projects, Curing Kids Cancer is also funding several amazing long-term projects.

Multi-Year Commitments

• Curing Kids Cancer is more than half way to completing its $1.2 million endowment at Prisma Health Children’s Hospital – Midlands in Columbia, S.C. When completed, the clinic will be named the Gamecocks Curing Kids Cancer Clinic.
• At Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, Curing Kids Cancer is funding the development of the Cellular Therapy Lab, which is being led by Dr. Douglas Graham. When the funding is complete it will be named the Killian Owen Curing Kids Cancer Cellular Therapy Lab.
• The Killian Owen Curing Kids Cancer Research Endowment at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles brings together a team of investigators who work to apply the latest laboratory discoveries to the development of new practical therapies in the Cancer Center for Blood Diseases research program.
• Finally, Curing Kids Cancer has a new scholar at Texas Children’s Cancer Center. This multi-year project will be for Dr. Shoba Nava to train as the Curing Kids Cancer Research Scholar in Cellular Immunotherapy.

About Curing Kids Cancer:

Grainne and Clay Owen founded Curing Kids Cancer, a 501(c)3 nonprofit devoted to funding cutting edge pediatric cancer therapies, after they lost their son, Killian, to leukemia in 2003. He was only nine years old. Since it was founded in 2005, Curing Kids Cancer has raised $18.5 million to fund new childhood cancer treatments and pediatric cancer research in more than 45 pediatric cancer institutions.

For more information on how to help, please contact Curing Kids Cancer at 1-866-933-CURE (2873) or visit to learn more.

Media Contact
Company Name: Curing Kids Cancer
Contact Person: Abigail NeSmith
Email: Send Email
City: Marietta
State: GA
Country: United States

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