U CAN-CER VIVE Foundation Supports Groundbreaking Cancer Research
The U CAN-CER VIVE Foundation, a philanthropic arm of LaFontaine Automotive, recently awarded two grants totaling more than $440,000 to Henry Ford Health System researchers and physicians to uncover more about how to treat and prevent pancreatic cancer, one of the deadliest types of cancer in the United States.
Founded by siblings Ryan and Kelley LaFontaine, the U CAN-CER VIVE Foundation aims to provide vital funding for cancer research to uncover more about how to detect, treat, prevent and destroy cancer. To date, the foundation has raised more than $1,000,000 for critical research across Michigan.
“The amazing research the dedicated team at Henry Ford Health System is doing toward creating a cancer-free world should be applauded,” said Kelley LaFontaine, founder, U CAN-CER VIVE. “Ryan and I are confident these grants will move this necessary research in the right direction.”
The Foundation’s generosity will support research studies led by Gazala Khan, M.D., a Henry Ford oncologist, and Fred Valeriote, Ph.D., a Henry Ford hematology oncology researcher.
The first grant furthers Dr. Khan’s work on the development of a novel treatment approach utilizing a whole genomic sequencing platform to perform DNA and RNA sequencing of patient tumors before and after chemotherapy. The results from this genomic sequencing will be analyzed, with the aim of developing a personalized treatment algorithm to improve clinical outcomes.
A second grant supports research by led by Dr. Valeriote on the anti-cancer activity of natural product compounds, which have clinical potential for the treatment of pancreatic cancer. Dr. Mani Maheshwari, a post-doctoral fellow at Henry Ford, will examine compounds in tissue culture models and in mouse models of pancreatic cancer, under the supervision of Dr. Valeriote.
“We are thrilled to partner with the U CAN-CER VIVE Foundation to advance innovative research into pancreatic cancer,” said Mary Jane Vogt, senior vice president and chief development officer, Henry Ford Health System. “We deeply appreciate their commitment to supporting cancer research that will impact the lives of so many.”