Vera and Joseph Dresner Foundation Announces 2020 Myelodysplastic Syndrome Research Fund Grant Recipients

The Vera and Joseph Dresner Foundation is pleased to announce its fourth annual Myelodysplastic Syndrome (MDS) Research Fund grant recipients. Grants were awarded to Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Johns Hopkins University and Yale University. These grants totaling $1,000,000 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 ultimately, a cure.

Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center received a grant to support the early career work of Dr. Stanley C. Lee. Dr. Lee will work closely with his mentor, Dr. Joachim Deeg. The aim of this research is to identify, validate and translate novel therapeutic targets with the goal of expanding treatment options for patients with MDS.

The second early career grant was awarded to Dr. Kristen E. Schratz, through Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Schratz, working closely with her mentor Dr. Mary Armanios, will examine the role of telomere shortening in the evolution of myelodysplastic syndromes. She will study the genetic mechanisms underpinning progression from clonal hematopoiesis to overt malignancy and has the potential to both change the standard of care and uncover novel mechanisms of clonal evolution underlying MDS biology.

Yale University was awarded a grant to support Dr. Stephanie Halene, an established investigator. The goal of this research project is to develop combination therapies that exploit DNA damage repair defects in IDH mutant MDS and to take the most effective therapies to the clinic.