Mayo Clinic launches eleven cancer researchers with money from E - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Mayo Clinic launches eleven cancer researchers with money from Eagles Cancer Telethon on KTTC

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Telethon Director Teresa Chapman said donations kept coming in, totaling $1.1 million Telethon Director Teresa Chapman said donations kept coming in, totaling $1.1 million
Robert B. Diasio, M.D. thanks Fifth District Eagles volunteers and KTTC-TV Robert B. Diasio, M.D. thanks Fifth District Eagles volunteers and KTTC-TV
Stephanie Carlson, M.D.'s research involves finding new and better ways to hone in on malignant pancreatic cancer tumors Stephanie Carlson, M.D.'s research involves finding new and better ways to hone in on malignant pancreatic cancer tumors
ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) -

Mayo Clinic Cancer Center's leadership team took time Monday evening to thank the hundreds of volunteers who raised money for cancer research the past year as part of the Eagles Cancer Telethon on KTTC and the CW Rochester in January.  And the Clinic honored eleven cancer researchers, launching their work with telethon donation funds.

Telethon Director Teresa Chapman announced that donations continued in the days after the telethon giving the 2017 fundraiser a total of more than $1.1 million. 

"This will enable us to once again give a check for a million dollars in the next Eagles Cancer Telethon next January," said Chapman, to the delight of hundreds gathered for an appreciation dinner at Mayo Clinic's Siebens Building.

The money raised in the telethon is divided between Mayo Clinic, the Hormel Institute in Austin, and the University of Minnesota's Masonic Cancer Center in Minneapolis.  The institutions often use the funds for cutting-edge research, since it comes with no strings attached. 

The Director of the Mayo Clinic Cancer Center, Robert B. Diasio, M.D., said the $680,000 raised in the last telethon cycle for Mayo is going to eleven people who competed before a committee with their ideas.  They include four fellowship recipients:

  • Laura Evgin, Ph.D.
  • Yanina Natanzon, Ph.D.
  • Ameet Mishra, Ph.D.
  • Kay Pepin, Ph.D.

In addition, Eagles Cancer Telethon funding will support these pilot project recipients, five for new investigators and the last two for established researchers:

  • Andrea Wahner Hendrickson, M.D.
  • Gita Thanarajasingam, M.D.
  • Jennifer Le-Rademacher, Ph.D.
  • Mei-Yin Polley, Ph.D.
  • Raj Kannan, Ph.D.
  • John Hawse, Ph.D.
  • Wilson Gonsalves, M.D.

One of last year's recipients, Stephanie Carlson, M.D., spoke about her own research, an exploration to find better ways to track and measure pancreatic cancer with a new technology only in use in some ten research institutions in the U.S.  Her unique work involves identifying lethal pancreatic cancer tumors by measuring their metabolic behaviors, thereby distinguishing them from benign tumors.

There was great enthusiasm at the appreciation dinner for the work of the new cancer research investigators, which ranges from Evgin's “Developing Oncoloytic Virus Specific EGFRvIII CAR T cells for Solid Tumor Therapy” to Pepin's work in “Assessment of Tissue Mechanical Properties as a Biomarker of Prostate Cancer Using MR Elastography and Slip Interface Imaging” and Kannan's "Development of a Platform to Test Proliferative and Early Chemopreventive Responses in Oncogenic BRCA (1mut/+)/Breast Tissues.” 

Each of the eleven cancer researchers stood when recognized to the thundering applause of the crowd gathered.

The complex and brilliant investigative work being done in Mayo Clinic's cancer research laboratories may not be easily understood by the thousands of people in southeast Minnesota, northern Iowa and beyond.  But the fundraising tradition of the Eagles Cancer Telethon on KTTC, which in 2018 will be in its 64th year, gives anyone the chance to be a part of this great work of our time--the battle against cancer.

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