Frontiers Pelotonia Special Edition 2017
The Director's Perspective
Imagine your frustration if a bright idea popped into your head—an idea that could help many of people—but you had no means of pursuing it. Instead, it could only flit erratically in your mind like a moth around a porch light, benefiting no one.
Brilliant scientists and students who have innovative ideas that might benefit people with cancer can relate to this scenario. They may have creative insights into how cancer happens, but following up on it would be costly, and federal research funding for cancer has been flat for years. It’s become difficult for these innovators— particularly students and junior faculty investigators—to obtain the resources they need to launch their promising projects. Their ambitions are stifled; global progress against this disease is hindered.
Fortunately, thanks to a generous and caring community, we have Pelotonia, our local, annual grassroots bicycle tour, to help fill some of this funding gap. Pelotonia has raised millions of dollars to support cancer research at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC – James).
Since Pelotonia’s first cycling tour in 2009, riders, virtual riders and donors in this internationally known event have raised more than $130 million, every cent of which goes directly to cancer research at Ohio State. This is possible thanks to our generous funding partners, who underwrite Pelotonia’s administrative costs.
A large share of the money raised by the event nurtures the next generation of cancer researchers through fellowships awarded to Ohio State students in all disciplines and levels of scholarship, providing them an opportunity to do cancer research in the labs of faculty mentors. Pelotonia revenue also supports “Idea Grants” that enable teams of faculty scientists to undertake innovative proof-of-concept projects. Idea Grant recipients can then publish their findings and use them to apply for larger grants to conduct more definitive studies.
I extend my sincerest gratitude to everyone who plays a part in Pelotonia: riders, donors, volunteers, planners, coordinators, communicators, funding partners, roadside well-wishers—the list goes on. Pelotonia helps fuel our shared pursuit of a cancer-free world. The road ahead may be long, but through your combined efforts and support, it grows shorter every year.