5 For The Fight announces new cancer research fellows
Provo —5 For The Fight, a nonprofit started by Qualtrics and fueled by thousands of private donors, announced today that seven new cancer researchers will get a boost for their work thanks to $1.1 million in grants.
The five women and two men, who are part of the multi-year 5 For The Fight Cancer Research Fellows program, were vetted and chosen in part for their pledge to focus on research designed to:
- Advance cancer prevention and survival in minority populations
- Create more effective treatment approaches for gynecological cancer
- Find new methods of imaging for pediatric cancers
- Better understand cellular changes that can lead to cancer and other diseases
- Advance development of new clinical trials & treatments for leukemia
- Understand how and why certain tumors resist treatments
- Engineer strategies to safely amplify the body’s immune response to cancer
“What these cancer researchers have in common is grit and innovation,” says Mike Maughan, 5 For The Fight co-founder. “Their important work – along with the work of other fellows in the program – brings us one step closer to our goal to eradicate cancer. We are excited to fuel their progress and help give them a real chance to advance the field and help mentor those that come after them.”
This is the third class of 5 For The Fight Cancer Research Fellows, which now totals over 30 researchers. Each researcher receives funding for three years and provides updates on findings annually. 5 For The Fight also has 15 cancer centers through other grants. Past 5 For The Fight Fellows have reported progress on research in colon cancer screenings for Black and Indigenous men, the study of how and why melanomas form, and the role of B cells in solid tumors, among other achievements. To date, 5 For The Fight has raised nearly $30 million to help eradicate cancer with 100 percent of those funds donated directly to the world’s leading cancer researchers.
All seven of the new fellowship recipients are located at Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah. For information on how to donate to support future fellows as well as other cancer researchers, please visit www.5forthefight.org
About 5 For The Fight
5 For The Fight, a nonprofit started by Qualtrics in 2017, is a global campaign inviting everyone to donate $5 to the fight against cancer. Each donation is made in honor of someone who is battling or has been touched by the disease. 5 For The Fight is featured on the Utah Jazz jersey patch and is the only cause-related jersey patch in the NBA. To join the fight, please visit www.5forthefight.org.
5 For The Fight Cancer Research Fellows
Robert L. Dood, MD, MSCE is fighting to improve survival rates in people with gynecologic cancers. A surgeon-scientist specializing in gynecologic cancer and an assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Utah, Dood will pursue research to better understand specific tumor traits, and use these findings to advance insights into more effective treatment approaches. Dood completed his medical degree and a master of epidemiology at the University of Pennsylvania, followed by fellowship training in gynecologic oncology at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center.
Shreya Goel, PhD is fighting to improve imaging in pediatric cancer patients. Imaging is a tool used by doctors to assess whether a patient is responding to treatment. A pediatric cancer researcher and an assistant professor of pharmaceutics and pharmaceutical chemistry, Goel will advance study of new methods of imaging for pediatric cancers. She completed her PhD in materials science at the University of Wisconsin, followed by postdoctoral training in nanomedicine and cancer systems imaging at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center.
Crystal Lumpkins, PhD, MA is fighting to prevent cancers and improve outcomes in African American and Black immigrant populations through genetic testing and more effective communication. A cancer population scientist and associate professor of communication, Lumpkins will test new tools to improve communication about reducing cancer risk in minority populations. Lumpkins received her doctorate from the University of Missouri-Columbia and holds master’s degrees in media communications and management from Webster University in St. Louis, Missouri.
Matt Miller, PhD is fighting to understand the underlying cellular changes that can lead to cancer and other diseases. A cancer biochemist and assistant professor and assistant professor of biochemistry, Miller is working to answer fundamental questions about how microscopic changes in chromosomes can lead to defects that precipitate the development of diseases like cancer and to use these insights to inform more effective strategies for prevention and treatment. Miller received his PhD in cell biology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, followed by postdoctoral training in biochemistry and biophysics at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.
Ami Patel, MD is fighting to develop better treatments that will improve outcomes for people with blood cancers. As a physician-scientist and an assistant professor of internal medicine, Patel cares for patients with leukemia and will use the fellowship award to advance development of new clinical trials to assess treatments that will target leukemia cells. She completed medical training and an internal medicine residency at Northwestern University, followed by fellowship training in hematology-oncology at the Salt Lake Veterans Affairs Medical Center and the University of Utah.
Melissa Reeves, PhD is fighting to understand how certain tumor characteristics resist treatments. Reeves oversees a cancer research laboratory and is an assistant of pathology at the University of Utah. Reeves studies a tumor trait called heterogeneity. Heterogeneous tumors respond poorly to immunotherapy, and are common across many tumor types, including melanoma, lung cancer, bladder cancer, and kidney cancer. Yet they are resistant to all available treatments. Reeves plans to understand the barriers the immune system encounters fighting heterogeneous tumors and develop treatment strategies that will improve outcomes for patients. She completed her PhD in biomedical sciences from University of California San Francisco.
Arabella Young, PhD is a cancer immunologist and assistant professor of pathology who is fighting to understand how to safely deliver immunotherapy treatments for certain types of cancer. Almost all cancers can benefit from immunotherapy treatment – meaning treatments that harness a patient’s own immune system to fight their tumor. Yet some internal systems in the patient’s immune system can create resistance to treatments. Young aims to engineer strategies that safely amplify the immune response to cancer. She completed a PhD in immunology from the University of Queensland, and postdoctoral training in tumor immunology and autoimmunity from University of California San Francisco.