U CAN-CER VIVE Foundation Awards Henry Ford $440,000 in Cancer Research Grants

June 11, 2019
Valeriote   News DETROIT – The U CAN-CER VIVE Foundation, a philanthropic arm of LaFontaine Automotive, will award Henry Ford Health System two grants for pancreatic cancer research at 10:30 a.m. on June 11, 2019 at TechTown Detroit, 440 Burroughs St. Detroit, MI 48202. 

The grants 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.

“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.”

One grant of $391,250 over two years will support research led by Dr. Khan 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. 
     
Another grant of $48,610 over two years will support a study 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. 

“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.”

Founded by siblings Ryan and Kelley LaFontaine, the U CAN-CER VIVE Foundation aims to provide vital funding for cancer research to create a cancer free world. To date, the foundation has raised more than $1,000,000 to benefit five research grants that are currently active in the State of Michigan.

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MEDIA CONTACT: Jeff Adkins / (586) 307-2027 / jadkins6@hfhs.org