43 New Pelotonia Fellowships Awarded for Cancer Research at Ohio State

The Pelotonia Fellowship Review Committee recently awarded 43 fellowships to Ohio State students who want to conduct cancer research in the labs of faculty mentors.

Pelotonia Fellowship Manager Marie Gibbons says the committee—co-led by Pelotonia Fellowship Program Director Joanna Groden, PhD, and by Janice Kiecolt-Glaser, PhD—awarded fellowships to 26 undergraduates, 14 graduates and three postdoctoral fellows. The undergraduates will receive funding for one year; the graduates and postdoctoral fellows will receive funding for two years.

The fellowships are funded by Pelotonia, the annual grassroots bicycle tour that raises millions of dollars for cancer research at Ohio State.

Awardees span Ohio State’s colleges of Medicine, Arts and Sciences, and Engineering. Gibbons notes that two of the undergraduate awardees are the first in their families to attend college. Additionally, two of the graduate awardees are the first in their families to attend college, and nine are the first in their families to attend graduate school.

Since it started in 2010, the Pelotonia Fellowship Program has allocated $2 million a year (except for the first year, when it allocated $1 million) for training grants for students in any discipline or at any level of scholarship at Ohio State, Nationwide Children’s Research Institute and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.

To date, the Pelotonia Research Fellowship Program has provided more than $13 million to support more than 400 research projects undertaken by Ohio State students working with cancer faculty mentors. This program offers a variety of experiences, from an eight-week lab experience to multi-year research fellowships and participation in an international exchange program to conduct cancer research in laboratories in India and Brazil.

“The impact of these scholarships actually goes deeper than providing students with a unique opportunity to do cancer research,” says Michael A. Caligiuri, MD, director of The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center and CEO of the James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute. “With college affordability continuing to be a concern for many working families, we are able to provide meaningful financial support to these talented young people so they can continue to pursue their dream. And it is from the investment in these bright minds that we will eventually achieve our vision of a cancer-free world.

OSUCCC – James Leader Caligiuri Receives "Outstanding Investigator Award" From National Cancer Institute

The National Cancer Institute (NCI) has given a prestigious $6.5 million, seven-year Outstanding Investigator Award to Michael A. Caligiuri, MD, director of the OSUCCC and CEO of the James.

The award supports the Caligiuri lab’s international leadership to develop natural killer (NK) cell-based immunology to treat cancer — a crucial component in the body’s first line of cancer defense.

Compelling data now shows that the innate immune cells, such as NK cells, are an important component in antibody therapy, Caligiuri says. He and his team, co-led by Jianhua Yu, PhD, will use the NCI award to gain a more complete understanding of human NK cell development and then use that knowledge to optimize the cells’ cancer-fighting abilities.

Caligiuri believes his team’s work on this project over the grant period could result in clinical trials in acute myeloid leukemia, multiple myeloma and glioma that demonstrate significant antitumor activity – important work that may lead to prolonged survival for patients with cancer.

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