NEW YORK, Nov. 11, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The T.J. Martell Foundation for Leukemia, Cancer & AIDS research and Global Action Platform announced the Young Investigator Award for Sarcoma Research to be presented at this year's Global Action Summit to take place in Nashville, Tennessee on Tuesday, November 18, 2014 at the Music City Center. The award will be presented to Chunlei Jin from the Department of Pediatrics Research at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. Jin's focus is on the mechanism of tumor metastasis in osteosarcoma, a form of cancer that claimed the life of Lindsay Walleman, the Northeast and Midwest Regional Promotion Manager for Warner Music Nashville who lost her battle with Sarcoma in 2013. The Young Investigator Award for Sarcoma Research was created in her memory.
Walleman was a young, vibrant 28 year old when diagnosed with the aggressive form of cancer and given only a few months to live. During that time Lindsay was fighting for her life, the Warner Music team rallied around her creating a promotion called "For the Linds" (FTL). Lindsay gathered her family, friends and colleagues as she was dying and asked them to raise money for Sarcoma Research. Her hope was to give others with the disease a chance at living longer lives. Len Blavatnik, owner of Warner Music Group and founder of the Blavatnik Family Foundation generously agreed to make a matching $50,000 gift to the Young Investigators Award for Sarcoma Research in memory of Lindsay Walleman. Additionally, Warner Music Group employees across the country have contributed more than $100,000 to help in this important effort.
In October of this year, The T.J. Martell Foundation also awarded Jian An, Ph.D the foundation's first annual Research Fellow Award. He is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and Urology at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. His current research focuses on the role of SPOP Mutations in Prostate Cancer Pathogenesis under the mentorship of Haojie Huang, Ph.D., an Associate Professor at Mayo Clinic Dr. Donald J. Tindall.
Both the Research Fellowship Award and the Young Investigator Award celebrates the scientific research and future of the role of young scientists and medical specialists in finding cures for leukemia, cancer and AIDS. Each grant presented to the recipients is based on scientific quality and the establishment of strengthening of research collaboration with T.J. Martell Foundation's funded institutions, an awarded Post-doctoral Fellow, the actual research and being a foreign national.
The Global Action Summit takes place November 17-18, 2014 at the Music City Center in Nashville, Tennessee. The summit is the most dynamic, agile, innovative and fastest growing forum for today's global leaders in food, health and prosperity. Approximately 400-500 top senior level decision makers from the corporate, government, academic, media, investments and NGO communities will attend the invitation only summit.
The scope of what the T.J. Martell Foundation does in science gets deeper and broader each year. The scientific personnel involved with the T.J. Martell Foundation include some of the most important names in research and medicine today.
Outstanding statistics of what the T.J. Martell Foundation has been able to accomplish include:
- Funding success at the Los Angeles Children's Hospital has resulted in a 35x return on investment. Neuroblastoma, a deadly form of cancer attacking young children, had a survival rate of less than 15% for those with the high-risk form of the disease. For 30 years, the T.J. Martell Foundation has supported Dr. Robert Seeger's outstanding research in this area and now the cure rate is 45%. Drs Seeger, Yves DeClerck, and Shahab Asgharzadeh are improving our understanding of tumor growth and developing new treatments for targeting the microenvironment (soil) and tumor cells (seed) that may improve survival of children with neuroblastoma. The T.J. Martell Foundation has helped these investigators obtain numerous peer-reviewed research grants from the National Cancer Institute, the Department of Defense, and several other foundations so that they are a leading group in neuroblastoma research.
- The T.J. Martell Foundation funded internationally known researcher Dr. Brian Druker at the Oregon Health & Science University who developed the drug Gleevac, a powerful weapon against myeloid leukemia. Because of the T.J. Martell Foundation funding Gleevac revolutionized the way cancer is now treated. Before Gleevac, 50% of patients with CML survived the disease, now nearly 90% survive.
- The foundation has raised over $260 million through its efforts to research cures for Leukemia, Cancer and AIDS
- The creation of the Frances Williams Preston Laboratories at the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center has exceeded and projected results in programming, research and its efforts to give back to the community. The Vanderbilt-Ingram Center also houses a web based program where patients and students can get high quality information and a network of investigators can communicate for further research. Frances Williams Preston laboratories were created as the cornerstone of the facility and to create a "laboratories without walls."
- The creation of the field of psycho-oncology by Dr. Jimmie Holland is due solely as a result of the work of the T.J. Martell Foundation. This collaboration at Memorial Sloan Kettering essentially established an entire field of study and research. There the department runs communication modules which are mandatory for every physician on staff.
- TJ's Friends has funded high school students in the lab of Dr. Larry H. Boise, Ph.D at Emory University School of Medicine.
- The T.J. Martell Foundation is proud of the risks it continues to take which has resulted life-changing opportunities for patients.
In the past the array of funded research at the summit included a study of molecular epidemiology of HIV/AIDS in remote villages of Botswana where 20% of the adult population is infected with the virus. This research enabled the concept of "treatment as prevention," an idea that gained Science Magazine's Breakthrough of the Year Award – a high scientific honor.
Other examples of seed funding by T.J. Martell of high-risk, high value science led to full scale NIH grants. These included studies to prevent pneumonia in patients with Leukemia, measuring levels of stress in patients with breast cancer, understanding the importance of the tumor environment to the behavior of malignant cells and learning how breast and prostate cancer become resistant to hormone treatments.
Contact: Caroline Galloway 440-591-3807 or [email protected]
SOURCE T.J. Martell Foundation