Vera and Joseph Dresner Foundation Announces 2021 Myelodysplastic Syndrome Research Fund Grant Recipients

The Vera and Joseph Dresner Foundation is pleased to announce its fifth annual Myelodysplastic Syndrome (MDS) Research Fund grant recipients. Grants were awarded to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, University of Pennsylvania, and the University of Texas – MD Anderson. These grants totaling more than $975,000 will 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.

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital received a grant to support the early career work of Dr. Marcin Wlodarski. Dr. Wlodarski will be working closely with his mentor, Dr. John Crispino. The major goal of this research is to dissect the mechanisms of genetic rescue encountered in SAMD9/9L syndromes and use this information to develop new therapeutic approaches.

The second early career grant was awarded to Dr. Koichi Takahashi, through University of Texas – MD Anderson. Dr. Takahashi, working closely with his mentor Dr. Andrew Futreal, will aim to understand the pathogenesis of therapy-related MDS with deletion 7q by investigating the role of HIPK2 in cellular fitness and differentiation of hematopoietic cells.

The University of Pennsylvania was awarded a grant to support Dr. Saar Gill, an established investigator. The goal of this project is to probe the impact of the interactions between MDS cells and immune cells in the marrow in allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation.