CureSearch to fund new cutting-edge study for rare blood cancer in children

Project will examine how and why children develop AML, the leading cause of childhood leukemia mortality 

Bethesda, Md. – April 20, 2023 – CureSearch for Children’s Cancer, a national nonprofit on a mission to end childhood cancer by driving targeted and innovative research in an accelerated time frame, announced today it will fund an innovative project to study acute myeloid leukemia (AML), a rare blood cancer in children. 

Elvin Wagenblast, PhD
Elvin Wagenblast, PhD

Elvin Wagenblast, PhD, of The Tisch Cancer Institute at Mount Sinai, received a CureSearch Young Investigator Award to develop a better understanding of AML in order to guide treatment for patients where standard chemotherapy is ineffective. 

Leukemia is one of the most frequent cancers in children. Although AML only accounts for 20% of pediatric acute leukemias, it is the leading cause of death in children diagnosed with the disease.  

“My vision is to understand the earliest steps of how and why childhood leukemia initiates, and to use this knowledge to innovate therapeutic intervention,” said Dr. Wagenblast.

Dr. Wagenblast is investigating how a normal blood stem cell can become cancerous. In leukemia, these genetic mutations can occur as early as during fetal development. His team is using state-of-the-art genome editing to uncover novel disease mechanisms and understand vulnerabilities of the disease like never before. 

“Dr. Wagenblast’s research is unique, technical, and highly innovative,” said Holly Zink, Director of Research and Programs at CureSearch. “He is among very few investigators who have the potential to pursue this type of research to identify new therapeutic targets in this devastating type of pediatric leukemia.” 

About the CureSearch Young Investigator Award 

The CureSearch Young Investigator Award encourages promising scientists, early in their careers, to remain in their field of research by providing financial support, career development and mentoring opportunities. These grants are limited to truly transformational science designed to deliver innovative cancer treatments toward clinical trials and train the next generation of pediatric cancer researchers. 

This project is supported in part by Team Steve: the Steven Crowe Legacy Fund, which was established to raise meaningful funds for childhood cancer research in honor of Steven Crowe who passed away from AML in 2005.  

To learn more about how you can support innovative projects like these and help advance childhood cancer research, visit

About CureSearch for Children’s Cancer 
CureSearch for Children’s Cancer, a national nonprofit organization that works to end childhood cancer by driving targeted and innovative research with measurable results in an accelerated time frame. Using a unique funding strategy, CureSearch only funds translational research projects with the strongest potential to become a new treatment and quickly reach patients. To learn more visit 

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