Category Archives: News

Dresner Foundation Announces 2017 Myelodysplastic Syndrome Research Fund Grant Recipients

The Dresner Foundation is proud to announce its inaugural Myelodysplastic Syndrome (MDS) Research Fund grant recipients.  One grant was awarded to Memorial Sloan Kettering and two were awarded to Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.  These grants totaling $1,075,000 support the research of two early career investigators and one established career investigator.  The principle goal of the research fund is to support cutting-edge MDS research and related programs that will lead to the future standards of care and ultimate cure.

“Joseph Dresner’s struggle with MDS motivated him to help physician researchers find a cure for this disease, and improve the quality of life of others with MDS,” said Dr. Mikkael A. Sekeres of Cleveland Clinic and Chair, MDS Research Fund Scientific Advisory Board. Mr. Dresner’s daughter, and President of the Dresner Foundation said, “My father would be pleased to see that his legacy is helping to fund the best that investigative MDS research scientists and medical institutions have to offer.”

Memorial Sloan Kettering was awarded a grant to support Dr. Stephen Chung’s research titled The Clinical Impact of MDS Stem Cells in Patients Undergoing Allogeneic Transplant.  He will conduct this research with the support of his mentor Dr. Ross Levine to help deeply examine the effectiveness of bone marrow transplant (BMT), the only known cure for MDS.  Their studies will provide new insights into how MDS stem cells resist eradication by BMT and may lead to new diagnostic tests that can identify patients at the highest risk for relapse who may benefit from novel post-BMT therapies.

Dana Farber Cancer Institute received a grant to support the research of Dr. Coleman Lindsley titled The Impact of Somatic STAG2 Mutations on MDS Transformation in GATA2 Deficiency Syndrome.  With the aid of his mentor, Dr. Benjamin Ebert, Dr. Lindsley will study the reasons why different mutations cooperate to cause MDS with the aim to help create a more reliable method to identify the youth with GATA2 most at risk for developing MDS.  In the future, the results of this study may inform the prognosis and choice of treatment for MDS patients, and drive development of better therapies.

The third grant was awarded to Dana Farber Cancer Institute for established researcher Dr. Gregory Abel’s, research titled A New Paradigm of Transfusion Support for Patients with Myelodysplastic Syndromes.  His research takes a novel approach in MDS research and suggests that the key question is not whether transfusions improve quality of life (QOL), but how to tailor transfusion decisions to the QOL changes experienced by individual patients.

Dresner Foundation Announces Strategic Reorganization

The Dresner Foundation announced that Virginia Romano has been appointed Executive Director.

Ms. Romano joined the Foundation in 2014. She has since served as the Managing Director of Programs.

The Foundation’s Board of Directors stated, “after thoughtful consideration, the decision to promote Virginia to executive director was due to her unique combination of extensive experience and knowledge of the philanthropic and nonprofit sectors.”

The Foundation also announced that board member Kevin Furlong will serve as the Board of Directors’ Chair, as well as, the Foundation’s Chief Financial Officer.

Health Research

We are in the process of creating a new MDS research fund that will foster out-of-the-box thinking and actively embrace and support innovation in the field of myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS). An update will be posted when the Foundation begins to accept requests for this fund.

Dresner Foundation Soul Studio – Grand Opening

The Dresner Soul Studio grand opening was held on May 9, 2016. The Soul Studio provides young adults with special needs an opportunity to express themselves creatively through various artistic forms.

Michigan Humane Society Dresner Foundation Animal Care Campus – Dedication

The MHS Dresner Foundation Animal Care Campus was dedicated on May 19, 2016. The Care Campus offers progressive animal care and housing, an expanded veterinary center, a new home for the MHS Cruelty Investigation and Rescue Department, dedicated canine and feline rehabilitation areas and secure and spacious shelter dog play yards.

Exponent Philanthropy Hall of Outsized Impact

Our Grant to the Downtown Boxing Gym Youth Program was selected for highlight in the Hall of Outsized Impact at the recent Exponet Philanthropy Conference in Chicago, IL. Click here to see the rest of the highlighted grants!

Impact Poster

826michigan Detroit Robot Factory – Ribbon Cutting

The 826michigan Detroit Robot Factory ribbon cutting was held on October 5, 2016 complete with flowers and snacks, hard hats for the little ones, joyous sounds from the Detroit Party Marching Band, and even a giant metal bear on wheels. Detroit student author Cassidy Vega did the honors of cutting a giant red ribbon with 826 co-founder Dave Eggers looking on, and the party continued inside our new tutoring and writing lab upstairs.

Dresner Foundation Names Mikkael Aaron Sekeres, MD, MS, as Chair, Myelodysplastic Syndromes Research Fund

The Dresner Foundation Board of Directors announced the appointment of Mikkael Aaron Sekeres, MD, MS, as the Chair of the Foundation’s Myelodysplastic Syndromes (MDS) Research Fund. This national initiative will provide grant support for innovative MDS basic science, clinical and translational research.

“Dr. Sekeres’ energy, experience and passion for this field of work immediately captured the attention of the Directors, who unanimously selected him as the inaugural Chair,” said Lori Dresner, Board President. “Dr. Sekeres aligned with our goal of engaging a national thought leader with demonstrated scientific credibility to advance the understanding and treatment of MDS and related blood disorders and its cure.”

Dr. Sekeres is a Professor of Medicine at Cleveland Clinic in the Department of Hematology and Medical Oncology, Director of the Leukemia Program and Vice-Chair for Clinical Research at the Cleveland Clinic – Taussig Cancer Center. He holds a B.A. in Biology, Master’s of Science in Clinical Epidemiology, and M.D. from the University of Pennsylvania. He completed his Internal Medicine Residency at Massachusetts General Hospital and Hematology-Oncology Fellowship at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, both Harvard University affiliated institutions.

“I am honored and humbled to have been selected to help translate Joseph Dresner’s vision for research in MDS into the next generation of exciting therapies and potential cures.”

Dr. Sekeres formally assumed this role January 1, 2017.

For more information, please contact Virginia Romano, Dresner Foundation, 248-785-0299.

Michigan Humane Society – Marks One-Year Anniversary at the Dresner Foundation Animal Care Campus

Dresner Foundation begins review process of Myelodysplastic Syndromes (MDS) Research Fund applicants

The Dresner Foundation received an impressive amount of LOI submissions from researchers at several distinguished institutions.

In the coming months, the Scientific Advisory Board will review the invited full proposals and recommend to the Dresner Foundation Board of Directors the inaugural three grantees.