2018 CureSearch Young Investigators to Deliver Next Generation of Cancer Treatments

2018 CureSearch Young Investigators to Deliver Next Generation of
Cancer Treatments

CureSearch is thrilled to announce the recipients of the 2018 Young Investigators grants for children’s cancer research. Dr. Loretta Li of the Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Center and Dr. Avery Posey of The University of Pennsylvania are this year’s recipients who will use their extensive expertise to help deliver the next generation of cancer treatments to children who need them most.

Dr. Li in the lab
Dr. Loretta Li working to develop new treatments for childhood cancer

The CureSearch Young Investigator Awards provide significant financial support to investigators early in their research career. Early-career investigators are the most vulnerable to federal funding shortages and they rely more than ever on the support of organizations like CureSearch in order to continue their research.

Dr. Li and her team will focus on acute lymphoblastic leukemia (B-Cell ALL) – her study will help develop compounds of the JAK2 inhibitor that are suitable for human study. A compound that is suitable for humans could help create a highly-effective drug for children with B-Cell ALL. In the first year, Dr. Li expects to identify two to three lead compounds for further drug development. She expects to initiate drug development work with the goal of translating her research into pediatric clinical trials.

“I am incredibly grateful to CureSearch for supporting my research and honored to be joining the CureSearch family of investigators. I really see this Young Investigator Award as an investment from CureSearch in my future,” said Li. “Funding from the CureSearch award will allow me to develop novel targeted therapeutics for children with high-risk leukemia.”

Dr. Posey is developing a novel CAR-T cell therapy – a type of treatment in which a patient’s T-cells are changed in the laboratory so they attack cancer cells. His goal is to translate this work to pediatric clinical trials within three to four years.

“New avenues of investigation will bring next-generation cancer treatments to children and potentially improve their quality of life,” said Posey. “With this grant, CureSearch is leading the path to developing cures for childhood cancers.”

Dr. Avery Posey
Dr. Posey working to create cures for children’s cancer

The Young Investigator Awards come at a critical time when more than 15,000 children are diagnosed with cancer each year. In funding innovative research, our end goal remains the same – to end childhood cancer by driving targeted and innovative research with measurable results in an accelerated time frame. We hope you will follow along as our researchers embark on this critical journey to end children’s cancer.

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