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Navin Pinto M.D.
Funded: 07-01-2012 through 06-30-2015
Funding Type: St. Baldrick's Scholar
Institution Location: Chicago, IL
Institution: The University of Chicago affiliated with Comer Children's Hospital

Navin Pinto, M.D., FOX Schools Challenge St. Baldrick's Scholar, studies neuroblastoma, a childhood cancer of the nervous system. Factors such as patient age, extent of tumor spread, and tumor genetics are used to identify patients at highest risk of relapse, and these patients receive the most aggressive treatment. Despite this, more than half of these high-risk patients will die of disease. This project is using patient genetics to identify children that may be resistant to chemotherapy, allowing researchers to further refine the risk stratification and alter therapy for those patients at highest risk of relapse, to ultimately cure more children of this devastating disease. This grant is named for the FOX Schools Challenge, created in 2007 when Chicago area schools and students began to rally around the mission to Conquer Childhood Cancers, inspiring more than 15,000 people to shave and raising more than $5 million for childhood cancer research through the St. Baldrick's Foundation.

Navin Pinto M.D.
Funded: 07-01-2010 through 06-30-2012
Funding Type: St. Baldrick's Fellow
Institution Location: Chicago, IL
Institution: The University of Chicago affiliated with Comer Children's Hospital

African-American children with neuroblastoma treated with chemotherapy die or relapse more often than Caucasian children. This research aims to find the genetic factors that may be involved. Our lab gives chemotherapy to white blood cells from healthy volunteers from all over the world. The entire genome for each of these cells is known. By comparing how sensitive or resistant these cells are to chemo against their genetic code, we can find genetic changes that are associated with chemotherapy resistance. This information will help us to personalize therapy and eventually improve cure rates.