Cancer Research Foundation: Fletcher Scholars Award


In 1988, the Cancer Research Foundation received a bequest from the estate of Eugene and Dorothy S. Fletcher. Under the terms of their trust, this money was “to be held as a permanent fund to be known as the Eugene and Dorothy Fletcher Memorial Endowment with income only to be used for laboratory research.” This generous gift was used to establish the Cancer Research Foundation Fletcher Scholars Program, which provides funding to individual senior cancer scientists doing cancer research of exceptional import, using income earned from the endowment.

The first recipient, Richard Schilsky, M.D., received a Young Investigator Award from the Foundation in 1986. The $100,000 Fletcher Scholars Award in 1989 supported Dr. Schilsky’s work in developing drugs to be used against cancer. Dr. Schilsky, Professor of Medicine at the University of Chicago, is considered to be one of the leading Midwest authorities on cancer drug development and toxicity. Dr. Schilsky previously served as a medical consultant to the Cancer Research Foundation.

Michelle M. LeBeau, Ph.D., the 1993 Fletcher Scholar, is the Arthur and Marian Edelstein Professor in the Department of Medicine at the University of Chicago Medical Center, and director of the Cancer Cytogenetics Laboratory. Dr. LeBeau’s work focuses on identifying the genetic mutations that are involved in the pathogenesis of human tumors, with an emphasis on chromosomal abnormalities. She has made significant contributions to the study of chromosomal and genetic abnormalities in cancer cells. Her research characterizes chromosomal abnormalities at the molecular level, and identifies the genes whose altered function results in malignant transformation. Dr. Le Beau now leads the Interdisciplinary Leukemia Project as one of its principal investigators.

We are pleased to announce that Lucy Godley, MD, Ph.D., has been chosen as the 2016 Fletcher Scholar. Dr. Godley is a Professor in the Department of Medicine, Hematology/Oncology at the University of Chicago. She was a past recipient of the 2003 Young Investigator Award for her work on “Deciphering the Molecular Basis for the DNA Methylation Patterns in Cancer Cells,” as well as a scientific team member of The Interdisciplinary Leukemia Project.

What if we were also able to identify a link between the solid tumor growth genes and bone marrow or blood derived cancers? Imagine how many more cancers could be caught before they became deadly.

Dr. Godley’s project for the 2016 Cancer Research Foundation Scholar Award is titled, “CHEK2 Mutations as Predisposition Alleles for Inherited Hematopoietic Malignancies.”

Learn more about her proposal and her fight against cancer. Link to full article: “Mutation of CHEK2 May Confer Risk to Blood and Bone Marrow Cancers.”

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