The Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation has named Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center’s Dr. Jay F. Sarthy as one of five outstanding young scientists to receive the prestigious Damon Runyon-Sohn Pediatric Cancer Fellowship Award. He will receive $231,000 over four years to study pediatric brain cancers.
Under the mentorship of geneticist Dr. Steven Henikoff and pediatric neuro-oncologist Dr. Jim Olson of the Hutch, Sarthy will aim to develop new, easy-to-use and affordable methods for studying DNA packaging and epigenetics (modification of gene expression) in pediatric cancer with a special focus on glioma and neuroblastoma. These methods may help explain what drives pediatric malignancies and allow clinicians to better monitor treatment response. His ultimate goal: to develop new drugs that restore the ability of cells to package DNA correctly.
“I am very honored to receive the Sohn Foundation Fellowship from the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation,” Sarthy said. “I am fortunate to have two great mentors in Steve Henikoff and Jim Olson and look forward to conducting research on pediatric cancers using the cutting-edge methods and tools developed in each of their labs.”
Since 2012, the Damon Runyon-Sohn award has supported 27 innovative pediatric cancer researchers through more than $3 million in funding. Fellows are selected through a highly competitive process that includes evaluation by a prestigious committee of pediatric oncologists from the leading cancer centers in the U.S.
“Our Damon Runyon-Sohn fellows are committed to making daring discoveries in pediatric cancer pathology,” said Evan Sohn of The Sohn Conference Foundation. “We place our bets on funding bold and innovative ideas from emerging scientists, as they hold the promise of advancing treatment and cures for children with cancer.”
— Based on a Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation news release