Microscope | July 2017


New Blood Cancer Research Funded

The Leukemia Research Foundation (LRF) is proud to announce the recipients of its 2017-2018 funding of blood cancer research. The LRF awards one-year, $100,000 grants to support research projects that will result in a better understanding blood cancers, as well as bolster the careers of “New Investigators”, a key niche of innovative scientists who are beginning to establish their own laboratories and are no longer under the tutelage of a senior scientist mentor. The funding enables New Investigators to act on their ideas, and try new procedures and experiments that will lead to significant breakthroughs.

The list of grantees, institutions, and projects funded is as follows:

Francine E. Garrett-Bakelman, M.D., Ph.D., University of Virginia
Determination of age-appropriate risk classification in Acute Myeloid Leukemia

Austin L. Brown, Ph.D., Baylor College of Medicine
Pharmacometabolomic Biomarkers of Neuropsychological Outcomes following Pediatric Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia Therapy

Meelad M. Dawlaty, Ph.D., Albert Einstein College of Medicine
Epigenetic regulation of hematopoietic malignancies by Tet enzymes

Wei Du, Ph.D., West Virginia University
Targeting niche-stem cell interaction for leukemia therapy

Katherine Hyde, Ph.D., University of Nebraska Medical Center
The Role of CBFB-MYH11 in the Maintenance of Leukemia Stem Cells

Jing Li, M.D., Ph.D., Shanghai Normal University, Shanghai, China
The role of Sirt2 in the pathogenesis of acute myeloid leukemia

Sheng Li, Ph.D., Jackson Laboratory, Bar Harbor, ME
Uncovering Hydroxymethylation-mediated 3D Genome Dynamics in AML

Parvathi Ranganathan, Ph.D., The Ohio State University
Inhibition of PRMT5: a double-edged sword strategy to target acute Graft-versus-Host Disease and relapse/residual disease

Sarah A. Slavoff, Ph.D., Yale University
Discovery and functional evaluation of non-annotated microproteins in leukemia cells

Britta Will, Ph.D., Albert Einstein College of Medicine
Leukemia maintenance through chaperone-mediated autophagy

“Every year the work of thousands of volunteers and supporters of the LRF culminates in this commitment of funds to find cures and improve treatments for blood cancers,” said LRF Executive Director Kevin Radelet. “The awards not only help to alleviate a gap in research funding but also ensures that important discoveries are facilitated early in the process.”

Read more about the Hollis Brownstein Research Grants Program and the FY 2018 research projects here.


Multiple Myeloma Rounds Expands to Five States

The LRF is proud to announce the continuation of Multiple Myeloma Rounds, now a national, accredited series of continuing education meetings for medical professionals. Three meetings will take place in Chicago and two will take place in Atlanta, New York/New Jersey, Seattle, and Florida. The program, which focuses on current issues facing healthcare providers who treat patients with multiple myeloma, includes case studies, expert-led critical analysis of the most pertinent clinical trial data, and perspectives on the utilization of optimal treatment options and therapeutic strategies.

The first meeting in Chicago will be held on Wednesday, August 23 and the first meeting in Seattle will be held on Wednesday, August 30. Meetings in the other cities will be announced soon. More than 500 medical professionals attended the Multiple Myeloma Rounds programs in 2016.

Click here to visit the Multiple Myeloma Rounds website to get more details and register for meetings.

Nominate Your Favorite Nurse for the 2017 Nurse of the Year Award

The LRF seeks nominations of nurses who treat blood cancers such as leukemia, lymphoma, multiple myeloma and myelodysplastic syndromes patients for its annual Nurse of the Year Award. Patients, family members, caregivers, coworkers, and colleagues are all invited to nominate an outstanding nurse for the award.

Nomination guidelines are as follows:

  • Candidates must work in the state of Illinois or within 100 miles of Chicago. (includes portions of Northwest Indiana, Southwest Michigan and Southeast Wisconsin)
  • Candidates must hold an RN or an LPN certification and care for or serve blood cancer patients.
  • Nominations must be submitted on the official LRF nomination form and filled out completely.

The deadline for nominations is Thursday, August 18, 2017. Nomination forms are available on the LRF website, by emailing Linda@LRFmail.org or calling 847.424.0600.


Blood Cancer Awareness Month is Coming

September is Blood Cancer Awareness Month and the LRF is using it as an opportunity to raise awareness about these diseases, provide some helpful ways for patients and families to cope, and introducing you to heroes in the hospital and in the community.

We’re looking for a few volunteer patients and caregivers who are willing to share their story with the public on the LRF website and social media. Please contact the LRF at info@LRFmail.org or call 847.424.0600 to help. Keep an eye out on the LRF website and social media channels leading up to and during September and get involved with the LRF.

Successful ABC 7 Gibbons 5K Run and 3K Walk

Nearly 2,000 runners, walkers, patients, survivors, and volunteers crossed the start line at the 23rd Annual ABC 7 Gibbons 5K Run and 3K Walk the evening of Thursday, June 15. The event, hosted by the LRF, generated $100,000 to fund blood cancer research and provide education and support programs for blood cancer patients and their families.

Honorary chairs Janet Davies and Dionne Miller sounded the air horn to start the run and walk. The run start was broadcast live on ABC 7 Chicago. Ninety running and walking teams, some with 100 members participated in the event, adding friendship and camaraderie to an already exciting evening. Winners and more details available here.

After the run and walk people stayed for a party in the park, featuring music by Daily Special, food and beer while children enjoyed the Kids Tent and dozens visited the Heroes for Hope Tent to share good wishes and get to know blood cancer patients, survivors and caregivers.

Visit www.Gibbons5K.com to see photos and other highlights. Fundraising continues for the ABC 7 Gibbons 5K Run and 3K Walk through July 15. To support a team, an individual fundraiser, or make a general donation to the cause, visit www.Gibbons5K.com/donate. Planning is underway for the 2018 event and the committee is looking for more volunteers. Contact Arleen at 847.424.0600 or Arleen@LRFmail.org to get involved.


Provide a World Free of Blood Cancers

You can be part of our dream to realize the elimination of all blood cancers. Since the 1960s, the overall five-year relative survival rate for leukemia has more than quadrupled. Thousands of people are alive today because of research we funded. 

Including the LRF in your estate plans lets you do well AND do good – for yourself, your family and the mission of the LRF: dedicated to conquering all blood cancers by funding research into their causes and cures, and enriching the quality of life of those touched by these diseases. Here are three ways to make a charitable impact by naming the LRF in your long-term plans:

  1. Retirement plan assets. When you leave your retirement plan assets to an individual, that person will be subject to income taxes when a distribution is made from the account. A tax-exempt organization such as the LRF can inherit the assets without paying taxes.
  2. A life insurance policy. Your need for life insurance most likely declines with age, increasing its popularity as a charitable gift to the LRF. You make a generous gift in the future without giving up assets today. You can also adjust your plans at any time.
  3. Financial accounts. Most states allow you to designate loved ones and favorite causes to benefit from your bank or brokerage accounts after your passing. For the LRF to benefit from your accounts, you must place a designation on the accounts to make them payable or transferable to the LRF. The LRF Federal Tax ID is 36-6102182.

Speak directly with your financial planner about how a gift through your estate or financial plans can benefit you while supporting the work of the LRF for years to come. For more information on how you can provide a legacy gift of any size, see our brochure or contact Cindy Kane, LRF’s Senior Director of Development at Cindy@LRFmail.org or call 847.424.0600.


Patient Programs

Wardell Winfrey was diagnosed with multiple myeloma in 2014. He was pleased to attend LRF's Patient Education Programs and gain a better understanding of his disease and  meet others living with a blood cancer.

How did you become aware of the LRF’s Patient Education Programs?

"I learned about the LRF from the Northwestern Memorial Hospital Patient Support Team."

How long have you been attending LRF’s Patient Education Programs and which ones have you attended?

"I’m new to the LRF’s Patient Education Program. I have attended the Town Hall Meeting and the Treatment Options for Blood Cancer Patients Conference, both held in Skokie, Ill. in 2017." 

Do you find the Patient Programs helpful and why?

"Yes because the patient programs include a panel of doctors live on stage, explaining and answering questions along with pamphlets and brochure to help me understand this disease and how I can help fight it."

Would you recommend the LRF to others and why?

"Yes I would recommend LRF to others because they are truly supportive. I've learned a lot already and plan to continue attending the meetings whenever they're offered."



July  21
Joey's Angels Chapter
Angels in the Fairway Golf Outing

July  22
John & Tony's All Day Fundraiser
with the Nicholas Orjuela "Little Lefty" Memorial Chapter

July 30
Jessica Shayne Magid
"Chai" Chapter
Zumbathon Benefiting Leukemia Research
Foundation: Let it Move You Toward a Cure

August 4 - 6
14th Annual Kingfish Shootout
Carrabelle, Florida


September 9
6th Annual Fall Fishing Festival

September 17
71st Annual Medical Awards Luncheon

September 30
Steve "Grimey" Grimes
Memorial Chapter
2nd Annual Nite Capper Ball
St. Louis

February 8-13, 2018
Donald Davidson-Alan Brin
Memorial Chapter
Ski for Research

Visit our website to view more upcoming events.

We will continue to keep you apprised of our noteworthy achievements. Please visit us on social media for regular updates.

Thank you again for your incredible support. You make our work possible. Stand for life. Fight for life. Give for life. #LRF4LIFE.



191 Waukegan Road, Ste 105

Northfield, IL 60093

Office: 847.424.0600  |  Fax: 847.424.0606