Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center

Women’s Cancer Association of UM Announces Annual Donations to Fund Research

05.29.2008

The Women’s Cancer Association of the University of Miami has donated $322,500 to fund six different research projects at the Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine and the University of Miami Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center. The single highest award, the Madelon Ravlin Memorial Award for $100,000, went to Sean P. Scully, M.D., Ph.D., professor in the Department of Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation at UM/Sylvester and Nandor A. Garamszegi, Ph.D., instructor of orthopaedics, to fund their study The Role of Tissue Degradation in Invasion and Metastasis of Osteosarcoma. The donation was made May 8th at the 50th Annual Installation and Grant Distribution Luncheon held this year at the Coral Reef Yacht Club.

“I wish to express how honored we are to be recipients of this year’s award,” said Dr. Scully. The money for Dr. Scully’s research came from fundraising efforts by students at Miami Country Day School, in support of student Harrison Greenberg. Harry, as he’s known, learned he had osteosarcoma, cancer of the bone, when he was 17, last year. As a star lacrosse player and competitive swimmer, Harry made the difficult choice to have his left leg amputated, leaving him with a prosthesis. His teammates dedicated the school’s annual Walk-for-the-Cure event to Harry and raised more than $112,000. Dr. Scully describes him as a “young man of unwavering human spirit.”

Steven E. Lipshultz, M.D., professor and chairman of the Department of Pediatrics, was given the Archie & Bill Clot Memorial Award of $50,000 for the study of doxorubicin cardiotoxicity in long-term survivors of childhood leukemia. Another $50,000, the John D. Nolan Award, was given to Julio Barredo, M.D., Toppel Family Professor of Pediatric Hematology-Oncology, director of the Division of Pediatric Hematology-Oncology, Department of Pediatrics and director of children’s cancer programs at UM/Sylvester, and Guy Leclerc, Ph.D., assistant professor of pediatric hematology, for a study on childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

In addition, $50,000 was awarded to Kavitha Ramachandran, Ph.D., post doctoral associate, and Rakesh Singal, M.D., associate professor of medicine, Miller School of Medicine and member of the Prostate, Bladder, and Kidney Cancer Site Disease Group, for their work with DNA in pancreatic cancer. Teresa Zimmers, Ph.D., research assistant professor in the Department of Surgery also was awarded $50,000 for her work with a novel agent to inhibit tumor growth. G. Patricia Cantwell, M.D., division chief of pediatric critical care medicine, Department of Pediatrics, was given $22,500 for the WCA Pediatric Bereavement Fund, which helps pediatric cancer patients and their families.

Since its inception in 1959, the Women’s Cancer Association has donated more than $10,000,000 to cancer research at the University of Miami. The WCA remains committed to supporting physicians and scientists who treat both pediatric and adult cancer patients.

UM/Sylvester opened in 1992 to provide comprehensive cancer services and today serves as the hub for cancer-related research, diagnosis, and treatment at the University of Miami Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine. UM/Sylvester handles nearly 1,600 inpatient admissions annually, performs 2,700 surgical procedures, and treats more than 3,700 new cancer patients. All UM/Sylvester physicians are on the faculty of the Miller School of Medicine, South Florida’s only academic medical center. In addition, UM/Sylvester physicians and scientists are engaged in more than 200 clinical trials and receive more than $36 million annually in research grants. UM/Sylvester at Deerfield Beach opened in 2003 to better meet the needs of residents of Broward and Palm Beach counties. A major expansion is currently underway, which will double the size of this facility by adding diagnostic imaging services, additional chemotherapy chairs, and expanded exam rooms. Deerfield Beach offers appointments with physicians from 12 of UM/Sylvester’s 15 Site Disease Groups, complementary therapies from the Courtelis Center, and education and outreach events.

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