Linda Holmfeldt, Ph.D., received a $100,000 St. Baldrick’s Research Grant to support her project focused on hypodiploid acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). Patients with this subtype of leukemia, in which the leukemic cells have lost multiple chromosomes, have a much lower chance of survival. Dr. Holmfeldt and her team have identified multiple gene mutations that are believed to be responsible for allowing the cancer to grow.
Benjamin Mizukawa, M.D., received a three-year, $330,000 St. Baldrick’s Scholar award to support his work focused on acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Although most leukemia cells are readily killed by chemotherapy, if the leukemia stem cell is not killed in treatment, chances of survival are very low.
“We are studying how leukemia stem cells maintain self-renewal, or the ability to give rise to new leukemia cells,” Dr. Mizukawa explained. “By understanding the signals needed for self-renewal, we hope to identify new drugs to eliminate the leukemia stem cell and prevent relapsed disease.”