Dr. Sam Behjati is a highly respected expert, based in the UK, who is doing cutting-edge pediatric cancer research. He’s the first-ever recipient of the Robert J. Arceci International Innovation Award from St. Baldrick’s, having received the grant in 2016. And he’s been laser-focused on finding the developmental origins of childhood cancers, including cells that might predict cancer in children, specifically in the kidneys.
But, in a recent interview to share his findings for the first time since winning the award, a surprising word came up a few times from Dr. Behjati: “wacko.”
“What the award has done is completely liberated me, to take a plausible idea and come up with the experiment and have the ability to stick out my neck and take a chance with wacko research.”
“Same old, same old … doesn’t count.” Bob Arceci didn’t think that old methods were going to tackle pediatric cancers. As you can hear him talk about in this video, he was looking for new ideas, for thinking that wasn’t just “out of the box,” but never really in the box in the first place.
Today, Feb. 15, 2019, marks this year’s International Childhood Cancer Day.
While the St. Baldrick’s Foundation might be thought of as just an American organization, the fact is that the research we fund has global reach – so we thought that we’d share a few snapshots of just how global our organization really is, and how our funding and your support are making a true impact for kids with cancer throughout the world.
Just over three years ago, the St. Baldrick’s Foundation created its Robert J. Arceci Innovation Award. Designed to give innovative childhood cancer researchers unfettered freedom to explore, it has become one of the most unique and impactful initiatives in pediatric cancer funding.
Today, St. Baldrick’s is pleased to announce that Dr. Laura Broutier of Lyon, France, is the newest recipient of the award.
Dr. Laura Broutier of Lyon, France, the newest recipient of the Robert J. Arceci Innovation Award.
Pediatric oncologist and scientist Dr. Alex Kentsis isn’t afraid to dig into what makes childhood cancer tick, especially if his hard work results in better treatments for kids with cancer. That’s why he’s our newest winner of the St. Baldrick’s 2018 Robert J. Arceci Innovation Award — a unique three-year, $250,000 grant that gives researchers the freedom to follow the science, without the restrictions of traditional grants. Read on to learn about the innovative work he’s already doing for kids with cancer and how the Arceci award will move his promising research forward.
Dr. Alex Kentsis is a pediatric oncologist and scientist at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, a father of two and the newest Robert J. Arceci Innovation Award winner. Unlike traditional grants which come with restrictions and are specific and constrained in their scope, this three-year, $250,000 grant allows researchers the freedom and flexibility to follow their passion for kids’ cancer research, their curiosity and the science, wherever it leads.
Dr. Kentsis is a big fan of asking, ‘Why?’ – especially when it comes to the fundamental nature of childhood cancer. Unlike adults, kids haven’t had time to damage their DNA. They haven’t aged, smoked or stayed out in the sun too long — so why do they get cancer?
What happens when you give a researcher funding and freedom to follow the science?
Just ask the Robert J. Arceci Innovation Award winner Dr. Kimberly Stegmaier. For her, that powerful combination of funding and freedom led to the discovery of a promising combination of molecules that could change the lives of kids with Ewing sarcoma, the second most common bone cancer found in children.
Meet the newest winner of the Robert J. Arceci Innovation Award — Dr. Kim Stegmaier. Dr. Stegmaier always loved kids but never thought she’d work in a lab trying to help them. Never say never! Read on to learn more about Dr. Stegmaier, her pioneering work in kids’ cancer research and her memorable meeting with Dr. Arceci himself.
Dr. Kim Stegmaier is the Vice Chair of Pediatric Oncology Research at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the co-director of the Pediatric Hematologic Malignancy Program at Boston Children’s Hospital and Dana-Farber. Photo by Samuel Ogden
In her fifth year of medical school, Dr. Kimberly Stegmaier fell in love.
No, she didn’t fall in love with a cute fellow student. And no, she wasn’t pining for a lab tech either.
Instead of being bound to a specific project, researchers who receive the Robert J. Arceci Innovation Award are given the resources and the freedom to go wherever their curiosity, pioneering spirit, and passion for kids’ cancer research takes them — and the newest awardee, London’s Dr. Sam Behjati, has those three characteristics in spades. Read on (and watch the video!) for more about this innovative award and its first international winner.
Where do cancer tumors come from?
That is the question that gets Dr. Sam Behjati’s gears turning. It keeps the researcher combing through genes in his lab near London. It’s the question he wants to answer to help kids with cancer.
And as the first international winner of the Robert J. Arceci Innovation Award, it’s a question Dr. Behjati can now explore freely — wherever it may take him.
Today we’re announcing a new childhood cancer research grant unlike any other. Rather than funding a specific research project, this award is giving one talented researcher the freedom to pursue whatever discoveries he finds over the next three years. Read on for more about why this award is so revolutionary, the brilliant man who inspired it, and the lucky winner who’s changing lives of kids with cancer.
The Robert J. Arceci Innovation Award was inspired by Dr. Arceci, a beloved childhood cancer researcher, innovator, and champion of researchers everywhere.
There’s a big problem with childhood cancer research today. And it goes beyond the funding shortage.