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Elias Sayour M.D., Ph.D.
Funded: 07-01-2016 through 06-30-2019
Funding Type: St. Baldrick's Scholar
Institution Location: Gainesville, FL
Institution: University of Florida affiliated with Shands Hospital for Children

For children affected by medulloblastoma, the development of more effective and specific therapies that will not add further toxicity to existing treatments is critical in improving clinical outcomes. Dr. Sayour, the Hannah'’s Heroes St. Baldrick'’s Scholar, is investigating methods to harness the immune system to destroy these tumors though the use of nanoparticle vaccines. Nanoparticles can deliver messages to the immune system teaching it to kill cancer cells. Dr. Sayour is studying possible immune targets for nanoparticles in medulloblastoma, identifying underlying tumor resistance mechanisms, and establishing an optimum vaccine approach which he will evaluate in medulloblastoma models. This grant is named for Hannah'’s Heroes, a St. Baldrick'’s Hero Fund created in honor of Hannah Meeson and pays tribute to her fight by raising awareness and funding for all childhood cancers.