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Brenton Mar M.D., Ph.D.
Funded: 07-01-2014 through 06-30-2018
Funding Type: St. Baldrick's Scholar
Institution Location: Boston, MA
Institution: Boston Children's Hospital affiliated with Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School

Based on progress to date, Dr. Mar was awarded a new grant in 2017 to fund an additional year of this Scholar award. Although many children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) are being cured today, a significant number still relapse. New targeted therapies that specifically attack the biology of ALL have great potential to improve outcomes; however, few specific biological vulnerabilities have been identified so far. Dr. Mar's team recently used a method to find novel biological vulnerabilities specific to ALL. As the Ben's Green Drakkoman Fund St. Baldrick's Scholar, Dr. Mar is studying those novel vulnerabilities in leukemia models, with the goal to understand why they are essential to ALL, and to determine their suitability for therapy. This grant is named for the Ben's Green Drakkoman Fund, created to honor the memory of Ben Stowell who battled osteosarcoma with an inspiring determination to live life fully. The fund is named after a super hero Ben created named the Green Drakkoman who defeats his enemy, the Evil Alien.