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Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF), a national fundraising movement launched by the creativity of one young cancer patient, has provided generous support to expand our capacity for pediatric cancer research. Recently, ALSF awarded more than $1 million in grants to five Stanford scientists using innovative approaches to address important challenges in understanding and treating pediatric cancers.

These awards are providing our Bass Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood Diseases powerful opportunities to translate groundbreaking work in Stanford labs into life-changing benefits for young cancer patients.

Maria Grazia Roncarolo, MD, and Sheri Spunt, MD, MBA, professors of pediatrics and co-directors of the Bass Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood Diseases, received a five-year $625,000 Phase I-II infrastructure grant. Its purpose is to bring a portfolio of unique Stanford-driven discoveries successfully through Phase I and II pediatric clinical trials. Roncarolo is the George D. Smith Professor in Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine and chief of the Division of Pediatric Stem Cell Transplantation and Regenerative Medicine. Spunt is Endowed Professor of Pediatric Cancer and chief of the Division of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology. 

Michael Cleary, MD, Lindhard Family Professor in Pediatric Cancer Biology and professor of pathology, received a two-year $250,000 Innovation Grant to study and characterize individual cells, tracking how they respond when acute leukemia begins to develop. Cleary hopes to use this insight to develop novel treatments with less toxicity and fewer long-term negative effects.

Ramin Dubey, PhD, and Siu Ping Ngok, PhD, both postdoctoral research fellows, each received a two-year $100,000 Young Investigator Grant. Dubey’s research seeks to discover resistance mechanisms and biomarkers that will identify which cancer patients will most benefit from specific chemotherapy drugs. Ngok will investigate the causes of Ewing sarcoma, a common bone cancer in children and young adults, to create methods for preventing its development.

Since 2000, Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation has raised more than $100 million toward fulfilling founder Alexandra “Alex” Scott’s dream of finding a cure and funded more than 500 pediatric cancer research projects nationally.

To learn more about foundation giving, please visit

This article first appeared in the Fall 2015 issue of Lucile Packard Children's News.

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