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Three researchers receive awards to study pediatric cancer

Kara Davis, Melissa Mavers and Liora Schultz awarded St. Baldrick’s Foundation grants.

Three School of Medicine researchers have received grants from the St. Baldrick’s Foundation to study pediatric cancer.

Kara Davis, DO, instructor of pediatrics, was awarded $115,000 to study the differences between acute lymphoblastic leukemia cells and normal developing blood cells. The study will combine single-cell measurements of childhood leukemia samples and healthy bone marrow with machine-learning techniques to identify cells associated with relapse at the time of diagnosis.

Melissa Mavers, MD, PhD, a Tashia and John Morgridge Endowed Postdoctoral Fellow in Pediatric Translational Medicine, was awarded $195,000 from the foundation’s Rays of Hope Hero Fund to study methods to improve stem cell transplantation so that the likelihood of graft-versus-host disease is reduced while maintaining graft-versus-leukemia effect.

Liora Schultz, MD, instructor of pediatrics, was awarded $330,000 to develop targeted methods to disrupt inhibition of anti-tumor immune cells.

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