Society-funded researchers express thanks, share their work, and support Relay fundraising efforts
American Cancer Society funded researchers take time out of their busy schedules to attend Relay For Life events around New England and express to our volunteers first hand the importance of their contributions and support.
In April, Tovah Day, PhD, provided the Relay For Life of Acton-Boxborough committee members and team captains a glimpse into the lifesaving work she conducts every day at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Volunteers from surrounding Relays were invited to this special community presentation.
On May 18, Daniel Ferullo, PhD, of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology spoke during the opening ceremony at the Relay For Life of Needham, Dedham, Wellesley. Dr. Ferullo spoke to the predominantly youth audience not only of his important research work, but of the importance Relay contributions are to supporting researchers like himself.
Todd Miller, PhD, (pictured above) of the Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center Norris Cotton Cancer Center, spoke during the opening ceremony at the Relay For Life of Greater Nashua on June 14. In an interview at the event with WMUR, Dr. Miller shared how important dollars raised at Relay For Life are to the fight to end cancer and how proud he is to support the Relay.
Even our previously funding researchers turn out to support Relay For Life. Surjit Chandhoke, PhD of Yale University, was an American Cancer Society New England Division Postdoctural Fellow from 2009-2012. Dr. Chandhoke was a 'pay-if' researcher, meaning her fellowship was made possible through donations secured specifically for research that showed tremendous promise, but was not funded unless additional dollars were raised. Dr. Chandhoke, second from left, is pictured here with her Relay team.
"I became involved in Relay in early 2010 because I wanted to give back to the American Cancer Society and thank them for funding the early part of my research career. The irony is that at the same time, my uncle was diagnosed with colon cancer (my field of research, too). I looked for Relay events near where I live and decided to attend the kick-off event for the Relay For Life of Newington. The Society staff partner invited me to say a few words at kickoff. It was a great way to meet people in the Newington Relay community," says Dr. Chandhoke.
"I started attending meetings and became a team captain. After Relay, which was wonderful, I decided to join the 2011 planning committee. In 2013, I was the online chairperson, with my new biology teaching job (educating future researchers/doctors!), I knew I could manage that role, but not much more. My Relay family is awesome and if I stay in Connecticut or move elsewhere, I will always be a Relayer. I now Relay in memory of my uncle, unfortunately, but the support system of Relay is so essential." In addition to all her work on the committee and as a team captain, Dr. Chandhoke has enrolled in CPS-3 and spoke at the Mini Relay For Life University event in Southern Connecticut.
Photo: Todd Miller, PhD, Society-funded researcher at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center Norris Cotton Cancer Center, being interviewed by WMUR at the Relay For Life of Greater Nashua