Fellowship funded by Dallas Cowboys QB and SU2C ambassador Dak Prescott in honor of his late mother who died of the disease
Credit: Stand Up To Cancer
(Los Angeles- March 25, 2019) – Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C) today announced the recipient of its inaugural Stand Up To Cancer Peggy Prescott Early Career Scientist Award in Colorectal Cancer Research, which was funded by Dallas Cowboys QB and SU2C Ambassador Dak Prescott in memory of his mother who passed away from the disease in 2013. The fellowship provides $50,000 in research funding over a two-year term to a rising star in the colorectal cancer field.
Awardee Karin Pelka, PhD, of the Broad Institute of Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard, will conduct research focusing on bypassing immunotherapy resistance in colorectal cancer treatment. Dr. Pelka’s research proposes to study immune cell types present within colorectal tumors using a combination of single cell RNA sequencing methods, molecular pathology techniques, and functional assays. Her goal is to identify cell states and networks that are beneficial or detrimental to anti-tumor responses. Manipulating these cell populations and their interactions could be a useful method for enhancing immunotherapy in colorectal cancer treatment. Dr. Pelka will collaborate with the SU2C Colorectal Dream Team members Ryan B. Corcoran, MD, PhD, Director of the Gastrointestinal Cancer Center Program at the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center and Nir Hacohen, PhD, Director of the MGH Center for Cancer Immunotherapy and Co-director of the Cell Circuits Program at the Broad Institute.
“I’m proud to support SU2C in the fight to eradicate colorectal cancer,” said Prescott. “Funding research is critical in winning the battle against this devastating disease. This is a cause that’s close to my heart, having lost my mother to colon cancer in 2013. I’m honored to further keep her memory alive through the creation of this research award.”
“SU2C is grateful to Dak Prescott for his commitment to colorectal cancer research,” said Stand Up To Cancer President and CEO, Sung Poblete, Ph.D., RN. “Dak’s support will be a lasting tribute to his mother, Peggy, and will both support the next generation of cancer researchers and the progress that is being made in the fight against this disease.”
Dr. Pelka was selected by a committee comprising Nobel Laureate and Chair of the SU2C Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC) Philip A. Sharp, Ph.D., Institute professor, Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; SAC Vice Chair William Nelson, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Johns Hopkins Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer; and SAC Vice Chair Arnold Levine, Ph.D., professor emeritus of systems biology at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey. The fellowship is targeted at early career scientists, including postdoctoral fellows and clinical fellows, performing research in colorectal cancer.
Since launching in 2008, SU2C has brought together more than 1,500 of the best and brightest research scientists from over 180 leading institutions in seven countries to work together on 91 Team Grants, including 25 of SU2C’s signature “Dream Teams.” SU2C has also funded 46 early-career, innovative scientists carrying out high-risk, potentially high-reward projects. SU2C’s innovative research portfolio is aimed at ending cancer’s reign as a leading cause of death worldwide. SU2C-funded researchers have planned, launched or completed more than 180 clinical trials involving over 12,000 patients.
About Stand Up To Cancer
Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C) raises funds to accelerate the pace of research to get new therapies to patients quickly and save lives now. SU2C, a division of the Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF), a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, was established in 2008 by film and media leaders who utilize the industry’s resources to engage the public in supporting a new, collaborative model of cancer research, and to increase awareness about cancer prevention as well as progress being made in the fight against the disease. A Scientific Advisory Committee led by Nobel Laureate Phillip A. Sharp, PhD, with the support of the SU2C Science Strategy and Management Department, conduct rigorous, competitive review processes to identify the best research proposals to recommend for funding, oversee grants administration, and provide expert review of research progress.
Current members of the SU2C Council of Founders and Advisors (CFA) include Katie Couric, Sherry Lansing, Lisa Paulsen, Rusty Robertson, Sue Schwartz, Pamela Oas Williams, Ellen Ziffren, and Kathleen Lobb. The late Laura Ziskin and the late Noreen Fraser are also co-founders. Sung Poblete, PhD, RN, has served as SU2C’s president since 2011.
For more information on Stand Up To Cancer, please visit StandUpToCancer.org.
Jane E. Rubinstein