Children’s Cancer Research Fund Names First Recipients of Endowed Chairs Formed to Advance Pediatric Cancer Research Discoveries

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Children’s Cancer Research Fund now funds six endowed chairs at the University of Minnesota, the largest number of endowed chairs by any philanthropic organization to the University of Minnesota, its Medical School or the Masonic Cancer Center.

Children’s Cancer Research Fund (CCRF) has funded and appointed a new endowed chair, the Suzanne Holmes Hodder Chair in Pediatric Cancer Research, the sixth endowed Chair at the University of Minnesota (U of M) Masonic Cancer Center supported by CCRF. Pediatric cancer researcher Julie Ross, Ph.D., has been named to the permanently endowed, $5 million chair.

In addition to their latest endowment, CCRF and the U of M have named John Ohlfest, Ph.D., as the inaugural holder of the $2 million Hedberg Family/Children’s Cancer Research Fund Chair in Brain Tumor Research.

Combined, the chairs provide a valuable resource to the University of Minnesota’s Masonic Cancer Center. An endowed chair honors and recognizes the distinction of superior faculty while providing invaluable financial support for use in research, teaching or service activities. Endowed chairs also help recruit and retain leading researchers with national and international reputations and demonstrate excellence in research, education and clinical practice.

The Suzanne Holmes Hodder Chair in Pediatric Cancer Research

The newly established Suzanne Holmes Hodder Chair in Pediatric Cancer Research supports translational pediatric cancer discoveries that can lead to prevention and earlier diagnosis, new molecular and genetic targets for therapies, and reduction in the long-term effects of treatment. The chair was established in memory of Suzanne Holmes Hodder, a loyal friend of Children’s Cancer Research Fund who lost her battle to breast cancer in July 2011. Her family created the chair as a lasting tribute to their wife and mother.

In awarding Ross the latest endowed chair, CCRF is demonstrating support to one of the leading epidemiologists in the world. Ross is professor and director of the Division of Pediatric Epidemiology & Clinical Research in the Department of Pediatrics and has considerable experience in molecular biology; she directs a laboratory that is investigating the genetic and environmental causes of cancer. She has received numerous NIH grant awards for her work in pediatric cancer and previously held the Children’s Cancer Research Fund Chair.

Ross also chairs the epidemiology committee in the Children's Oncology Group, a consortium of hospitals and institutions in North America that treat approximately 90 percent of all children diagnosed with cancer.

The Hedberg Family/Children’s Cancer Research Fund Chair in Brain Tumor Research

John and Jean Hedberg recently made a lasting gift to further pediatric cancer research within the Masonic Cancer Center, establishing the Hedberg Family/Children’s Cancer Research Fund Chair in Brain Tumor Research in honor of their granddaughter who is a brain tumor survivor.

The University of Minnesota Medical School selected Dr. John Ohlfest as its inaugural recipient.

Ohlfest is assistant professor of pediatrics in the University’s Division of Hematology, Oncology and Blood and Marrow Transplantation, as well as an assistant professor of neurosurgery within the Department of Medicine. Ohlfest’s research is focused on brain tumor immunology, immunotherapy and other experimental therapies of brain tumors. The long-term goal of this research is to change the disappointing treatment outcomes by developing safe, less toxic, therapies for treatment of the most malignant forms of brain cancer.

Children’s Cancer Research Fund now funds six endowed chairs at the University of Minnesota, the largest number of endowed chairs by any philanthropic organization to the University of Minnesota, its Medical School or the Masonic Cancer Center.

Children’s Cancer Research Fund’s steadfast support will help advance pediatric cancer research well into the future.

About Children’s Cancer Research Fund                                                                            
Children’s Cancer Research Fund has a focused and clearly defined goal — to eradicate childhood cancer. The funds this nonprofit organization provides enable the University of Minnesota Masonic Cancer Center, a leading pediatric cancer research facility, to continue its pioneering efforts in the prevention, diagnoses, treatment and cure of childhood cancers.

Many discoveries funded by Children’s Cancer Research Fund have revolutionized the way childhood cancer is treated worldwide. To learn more, visit http://www.ChildrensCancer.org.

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KRIS HUSON
Children's Cancer Research Fund
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