Research and Training Grants in Childhood Cancer

We fund individual investigators engaged in cancer research or training at medical schools, universities, research institutes and hospitals throughout the U.S. Following rigorous and independent peer review, the most innovative research projects are selected for support.

Spotlight on Childhood Cancer Grantees

The following are some of the top scientists funded by the American Cancer Society who are working to find the answers that will save more lives from pediatric cancer.  

David Teachey, MD, The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia

Teachey, a physician and researcher at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, has a lab set up specifically to look for drugs that will work on 2 recently identified types of acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) – Ph-like ALL and ETP ALL – that are extremely difficult to treat. Teacher is testing a number of different drugs in mice that have been injected with these types of leukemia cells. Teachey and his team are attempting to target one cellular pathway in particular – the JAK-STAT signaling pathway – as Teachey has found that many of the leukemia samples he has looked at are “addicted to that pathway.” Teachey thinks that if he can turn off that pathway with drugs, the leukemia cells may die.  

Shahab Asgharzadeh, MD, Children's Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA)

Asgharzadeh, a pediatric oncologist at Children's Hospital Los Angeles has developed a test to help doctors make better treatment decisions for children with medulloblastoma, the most common type of brain cancer in the young. Asgharzadeh’s test helps doctors determine which children will benefit most from – or absolutely need – radiation, a treatment that has significant long-term side effects in children. He is now trying to develop an even easier and faster test to ensure children with medulloblastoma get the right treatments.

Rene L. Galindo, MD, PhD, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center

Galindo is studying the cause of the muscle-type tumor rhabdomyosarcoma, an aggressive tumor that strikes children. By correcting the defective behavior of the genes identified in a model system, cells lose their tumor behavior. The goal is to inform the development of a new drug treatment for this tumor.

Andras Heczey, MD, Texas Children’s Hospital

Heczey is working to setup a clinical trial for children with neuroblastoma to test a new theraputic approach to treatment using a type of immunotherapy. Heczey's research is being funded by TODAY show viewers through the “Shine a Light” campaign and subsidized by the American Cancer Society.

Michelle Fortier, PhD, University of California, Irvine

Fortier is exploring using mobile technology to collect a diary of pain and symptoms that will address the significant gap in knowledge of pain and symptoms management of children’s cancer.

Anne E. Kazak, PhD, ABPP, Alfred I. DuPont Hospital for Children of The Nemours Foundation in Wilmington, Delaware

Kazak is working to assure that all children and family members facing cancer are assessed and provided with access to emotional and social support they may need to minimize distress and improve quality of life and functioning.

Sean Morrison, MD, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

Morrison, a palliative care expert at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and director of the Lilian and Benjamin Hertzberg Palliative Care Institute and the National Palliative Care Research Center has spent his career working to improve and increase the availability of palliative care. Morrison is now working to do even more to enhance this type of care for cancer patients using an American Cancer Society Clinical Research Professor grant. The grant will work to expand two programs. One of these is dedicated to funding researchers in the area of pediatric palliative cancer care. Morrison’s goals are to generate much-needed research in this area and to encourage young researchers to come into the field.

From Our Researchers

The American Cancer Society employs a staff of full-time researchers who relentlessly pursue the answers that help us understand how to prevent, detect, and treat cancer, including childhood cancer.

Childhood Cancer Research Videos

Watch our videos to learn more about our childhood cancer research.