2017 PRECIOUS JULES GRANT WINNER
RYAN SUMMERS, MD, FAAP - RECIPIENT OF OUR 2017 PRECIOUS JULES PEDIATRIC ONCOLOGY RESEARCH GRANT OF $25,000
Dr. Summers received his B.S. degree from the University of Georgia and his M.D. degree from the Emory University School of Medicine. He went on to complete his residency in Pediatrics at Emory and served an additional year as Chief Resident. He began his fellowship training in Pediatric Hematology/Oncology at the Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorders Center of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and Emory University in July 2015. Dr. Summers works in the research lab of Dr. Douglas Graham studying early T-precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ETP-ALL). ETP-ALL is a type of leukemia that is often difficult to treat with currently available chemotherapy. As a result, children with ETP-ALL have high rates of relapse of their leukemia, as well as poorer survival rates than children with other types of ALL. MERTK is a protein that is found on the surface of leukemia cells. Recently, Dr. Graham's lab developed a new medicine that has few toxic side-effects and can be used to kill leukemia cells that have MERTK. Dr. Summers’ research aims to determine whether this new medicine could be used to more effectively treat children with ETP-ALL, leading to improved outcomes and better quality of life.
Ryan Summers, MD, FAAP
Chief Fellow and CURE Childhood Cancer Fellow, Pediatric Hematology/Oncology
Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorders Center
Children's Healthcare of Atlanta
Department of Pediatrics, Emory University School of Medicine
2016 PRECIOUS JULES GRANT WINNER
DR. SUZANNE MACFARLAND - RECIPIENT OF OUR 2016 PRECIOUS JULES PEDIATRIC ONCOLOGY RESEARCH GRANT OF $20,000
Suzanne MacFarland is a Philadelphia native, who did her undergraduate degrees at Penn State and her medical training at NYU. She was very excited to return to Philadelphia to complete her residency training at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, and has remained there for her Hematology/Oncology fellowship, where she is currently finishing her third and final year. Suzanne has been passionate about research throughout her career, and is particularly interested in cancer predisposition syndromes. The funding from this award will work towards understanding mutations in Juvenile Polyposis Syndrome, a syndrome that causes polyp formation in children, and in 50% of patients leads to gastrointestinal cancer at an early age. Early diagnosis and treatment of patients and their family members is life-saving. Unfortunately, the genetic cause of the syndrome is only known in about 30% of affected patients. We will work with Juvenile Polyposis Syndrome patients and their families to uncover the genetic cause, which will allow earlier cancer detection and treatment. Our hope is that, by understanding the pathogenesis of cancer in patients with cancer predisposition, we can catch these cancers at an earlier stage, and better develop less toxic, more targeted treatment. Suzanne is incredibly grateful to the Precious Jules Foundation for the opportunity to move forward with this important work.