Colleen Annesley, M.D., and Kathy Ruble, Ph.D., both of Johns Hopkins Kimmel CancerCenter's Division of Pediatric Oncology, have been awarded grants totaling $204,865 by the St. Baldrick's Foundation, a volunteer-driven charity dedicated to raising money for childhood cancer research.
Drs. Annesley and Ruble received the grant at a check presentation at the Johns Hopkins Hospital on Tuesday.
Dr. Annesley's project will focus on two specific gene mutations that have been demonstrated in a significant number of children with acute myeloid leukemia (AML). This research will attempt to prove that two specific mutations can work together to contribute to the formation of leukemia, and it may allow for the development of a drug that interferes directly with one of these mutations to improve cure rates in patients with AML.
Dr. Ruble is studying ways to make survivors healthy by participating in physical activity, as less than 50 percent of survivors get adequate amounts of exercise, which increases the risk of developing health problems including heart disease.
Since 2005, St. Baldrick's has awarded more than $100 million to support lifesaving research, making the Foundation the largest private funder of childhood cancer research grants. This year, Baltimore hosted four St. Baldrick's signature head-shaving events, shaving more than 280 heads and raising more than $210,000. Dan Jarkiewicz,volunteer event organizer for the annual Martin's East head-shaving event will also be in attendance.