Smith receives SpinOdyssey grant for breast-cancer research

Last March, more than 480 people in Norwalk, Conn., pedaled for up to six hours on Schwinn stationary bikes to raise funds for breast-cancer research through SpinOdyssey™. Friends and spin instructors Amelie Babkie and Delia Thompson created the event eight years ago in honor of Delia's sister, who was diagnosed in 2000 with breast cancer.

Each year, riders and others — including cancer survivors, volunteers and spin instructors — collaborate with the American Cancer Society to determine the best allocation for funds raised. This year, Dr. Eric Smith, postdoctoral research fellow in the Malik Lab, received a grant of $138,000 — from a total of more than $500,000 raised at March event.

"The funds raised give us an opportunity to reach each possible corner to find a cure for breast cancer, especially through new and young researchers who are able to come up with new questions and hypotheses about this disease," Babkie said.

Smith will use the grant to further his research into the association between rapidly evolving genes and cancer. He is currently studying genes involved in programmed cell death, a process that is disrupted in cancer.

Smith said, "The grant provides me the means to pursue new and exciting research opportunities. I am very grateful for the support of SpinOdyssey and the American Cancer Society."

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