Cancer League Endowed Chair Press Release
Cancer League of Colorado bolsters pediatric cancer research AURORA, Colo. (June 12, 2015) – Cancer League of Colorado continues its support of innovative research at University of Colorado Cancer Center with the Cancer League of Colorado Endowed Chair. The first recipient is Rajeev Vibhakar, MD, PhD, MPH, CU Cancer Center investigator and director of pediatric neuro-oncology at Children’s Hospital Colorado.
“It’s so gratifying that CU Cancer Center is committing to my research long-term with this endowed chair,” says Vibhakar. “I will be able to expand my lab and work even harder towards making a difference in the lives of children with brain tumors and their families.”
Vibhakar, who also is an associate professor of pediatrics at University of Colorado School of Medicine at the Anschutz Medical Campus, studies the genetic mechanisms that turn brain cells into cancer and how genetic differences can help pediatricians diagnose and treat kids with brain tumors more effectively. He specializes in medulloblastoma.
“Dr. Vibhakar’s research will help some of our youngest patients,” says Dan Theodorescu, MD, PhD, director of CU Cancer Center and professor of surgery and pharmacology at CU School of Medicine. “This endowed chair allows us to commit to important pediatric cancer research and helps further solidify CU Cancer Center’s national leadership in pediatric cancer research.” Over the past 30 years, Cancer League has provided more than $10 million in grant funding to CU Cancer Center investigators. The endowed chair takes Cancer League’s support one step further with perpetual funding for a leading cancer scientist.
“It has become clear that in order to maintain our ranking as one of the best cancer centers in the country, we need to attract and retain the best scientists in the country,” says Gary Reece, Cancer League’s president. “That is our goal with this endowed chair.”
With the additional resources, Vibhakar plans to test seven genes to see what, if any, role they may play in pediatric brain tumors. He also will continue his collaborations with other University of Colorado scientists looking at molecular similarities between brain tumors and leukemia and brain tumors and breast cancer.
“Dr. Vibhakar is one of the world’s leading pediatric neuro-oncologists. He is not only a brilliant scientist and compassionate doctor, he is an innovator, a collaborator and inspiration to the future of this field of medicine,” says Jena Hausmann, president and chief executive officer at Children’s Colorado. “We are fortunate to partner with him and the CU Cancer Center to advance today’s clinical therapies and tomorrow’s cures for children across the world.”
About University of Colorado Cancer Center The University of Colorado Cancer Center, located at the Anschutz Medical Campus, is Colorado’s only National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center, a distinction recognizing its outstanding contributions to research, clinical trials, prevention and cancer control. CU Cancer Center’s clinical partner for adult care, University of Colorado Hospital is ranked 15th by U.S. News and World Report for cancer care and Children’s Hospital Colorado is ranked 9th by the same organization. The CU Cancer Center is a member of the prestigious National Comprehensive Cancer Network®, an alliance of the nation’s leading cancer centers working to establish and deliver the gold standard in cancer clinical guidelines. CU Cancer Center also is a member of the Oncology Research Information Exchange Network (ORIEN), a unique research partnership among North America’s top cancer centers leveraging multiple data sources and matching patients to targeted treatments. CU Cancer Center is a consortium of approximately 400 researchers and physicians at three state universities and three clinical institutions, all working toward one goal: Translating science into life. For more information visit Coloradocancercenter.org and follow CU Cancer Center on Facebook and Twitter.
About Cancer League of Colorado Cancer League of Colorado’s mission is to secure the cure or control of cancer by raising funds to support innovative cancer research and cancer-related services in the state of Colorado. Established 45 years ago, this 100% volunteer/100% Colorado nonprofit organization is unique. For more information, visit www.cancerleague.org. and follow Cancer League on Facebook and Twitter
About Children’s Hospital Colorado Children’s Hospital Colorado (Children’s Colorado) has defined and delivered pediatric health care excellence for more than 100 years. Founded in 1908, Children’s Colorado is a leading pediatric network entirely devoted to the health and well-being of children. Continually acknowledged as one of the nation’s top ten Best Children’s Hospitals by U.S. News & World Report and Parents magazine, Children’s Colorado is known for both its nationally and internationally recognized medical, research, education and advocacy programs, as well as comprehensive everyday care for kids throughout Colorado and surrounding states. Children’s Colorado also is recognized for excellence in nursing from the American Nurses Credentialing Centers and has been designated a Magnet® hospital since 2005. The hospital’s family-centered, collaborative approach combines the nation’s top pediatric doctors, nurses and researchers to pioneer new approaches to pediatric medicine. With urgent, emergency and specialty care locations throughout Metro Denver and Southern Colorado, including its campus on the Anschutz Medical Campus, Children’s Colorado provides a full spectrum of pediatric specialties. For more information, visit www.childrenscolorado.org and connect with Children’s Colorado on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.