• Press Release
  • For Immediate Release
  • Media Contact:
    • Michele Franco
    • 626.792.8247 ext. 264
    • michele.franco@stbaldricks.org

St. Baldrick’s Foundation Grant Allows Researcher to Explore Outside the Box Ideas and Test the Unconventional

St. Baldrick’s Robert J. Arceci Innovation Award provides scientists
opportunity to pursue unrestricted research

MEMPHIS (July 9, 2020) – Research funding often has restrictions that prevent a scientist from exploring beyond the parameters of the project originally proposed. However, the St. Baldrick’s Foundation Robert J. Arceci Innovation Award allows researchers to do just that with the hopes that this freedom will lead to breakthroughs in the treatment of childhood cancers. This year’s North America recipient is Paul A. Northcott, Ph.D., at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tenn.

Dr. Northcott will receive $250,000 a year for three years, with no research restrictions except to report on his results every six months.

Dr. Northcott’s Lab is working to better understand why children develop medulloblastoma, a common and too often deadly form of brain cancer. For the past 15 years, Dr. Northcott has been studying the biological basis of medulloblastoma in large collections of patient tumors and has become a leader in the field of medulloblastoma genomics. From these efforts, his team has discovered that medulloblastoma is not a single disease, but rather a collection of different diseases referred to as subgroups, each of which is associated with distinct genetics, age of onset, and survival patterns.

His team is currently pioneering and implementing innovative technical approaches to study medulloblastoma patient samples at a molecular level in order to understand the unique characteristics of these subgroups and improve treatments and outcomes for children affected by these diseases.

“Receiving the prestigious St. Baldrick’s Robert J. Arceci Innovation Award provides my lab with the opportunity to more aggressively tackle additional high-risk, high-reward research projects that address fundamental questions in medulloblastoma that would not otherwise be feasible,” said Dr. Northcott. “Funding for biomedical research is vital to continue progress toward finding cures for life-threatening diseases. I am thus most grateful to have been selected for this award and to receive this generous level of support for my research program.”

This one-of-a-kind award was created in memory of the late Dr. Robert J. Arceci. Although cancer research has continued to progress, many don’t realize that researchers are very restricted when it comes to exploring new discoveries or having the freedom to switch gears to follow a new path once they’ve received funding for a project. Dr. Arceci was known for thinking outside the box and before his death in 2015, he was working with the St. Baldrick’s Foundation on a type of funding that would support this more unfettered research.

Now, five years later, St. Baldrick’s is proud to continue his legacy through the St. Baldrick’s Foundation Robert J. Arceci Innovation Award and provide support to the next generation of childhood cancer research breakthroughs. Support the Robert Arceci Memorial Fund.

Learn more about St. Baldrick’s funded research on the St. Baldrick’s blog. To get involved visit www.StBaldricks.org, and connect with St. Baldrick’s on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and Vimeo.

About St. Baldrick’s Foundation
Every 2 minutes a child somewhere in the world is diagnosed with cancer. The St. Baldrick’s Foundation, the largest private funder of pediatric cancer research grants, is on a mission to defy childhood cancers by supporting the most promising research to find cures and better treatments for all childhood cancers. When you give to St. Baldrick’s, you don’t just give to one institution–you give to virtually every institution treating kids with cancer across the U.S. and beyond. As a leader in the pediatric cancer community, St. Baldrick’s works tirelessly to ensure that current and future children diagnosed with cancer will have access to the most cutting-edge treatment from the best leaders in the pediatric oncology field. Join us at StBaldricks.org and help #DFYchildhoodCancers.