Team led by Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s Kimberly Stegmaier receives SU2C Sharp Award from Stand Up To Cancer

May 15, 2019


Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C) announced on May 2 that a team led by Kimberly Stegmaier, MD, Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Center, and Sarah Tasian, MD, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, was awarded a two-year grant totaling $250,000. Their SU2C Sharp Award is titled: Precision combinatorial immunotherapeutic targeting of thymic stromal lymphopoietin receptor (TSLPR) signaling in pediatric and young adult CRLF2-rearranged ALL.

This team will test a novel hypothesis that multi-antigen-specific CAR T-cells targeting two or more neoantigens presented by the cancer cells will have superior anti-leukemia efficacy in preclinical models of childhood Down syndrome-associated ALL and Ph-like ALL, prevent resistance mechanisms observed with single antigen-targeted CAR T-cells, and facilitate more durable leukemia remissions in these medically fragile populations.

“These new studies bring together outstanding researchers from different teams to make use of the extraordinary talent we have across the SU2C community,” said Arnold J. Levine, PhD, vice chair of the SU2C Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC). “We’re building on previous research at the same time we are tackling tough new questions.”

Stegmaier is a 2009 Innovative Research Grant recipient, while Tasian is a young investigator on the St. Baldrick’s Foundation-SU2C Pediatric Cancer Dream Team.

The Phillip A. Sharp Awards for Innovation in Collaboration are named for Phillip A. Sharp, PhD, a Nobel Laureate and molecular biologist at MIT who serves as chairperson of the SAC, in recognition of his relentless emphasis on collaboration across research institutions and among different teams as a way to bring fresh perspectives to questions in cancer research.

This grant was funded with support from the Emily Whitehead Foundation, named for the first pediatric patient to receive chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy for leukemia. Emily was seven years old when she received the groundbreaking treatment in 2011 and is thriving today with no evidence of disease.

The grant program is unique in its speed and simplicity. Scientists attending the annual SU2C Scientific Summit in Santa Monica, California, are invited to submit applications consisting of a 250-word outline of their idea. A committee meets the next morning to review the applications, and the preliminary winners are announced that afternoon. Each winning team submits a more detailed application before the grant is confirmed.

The leaders of each team cannot be from the same existing SU2C research team. The inclusion of early-career investigators in the team is also encouraged, another distinctive SU2C touch.

About Stand Up To Cancer

Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C) raises funds to accelerate the pace of research to get new therapies to patients quickly and save lives now. SU2C, a division of the Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF), a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, was established in 2008 by film and media leaders who utilize the industry’s resources to engage the public in supporting a new, collaborative model of cancer research and to increase awareness about cancer prevention as well as progress being made in the fight against the disease. As SU2C’s scientific partner, the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) and a Scientific Advisory Committee led by Nobel Laureate, Phillip A. Sharp, PhD, conduct rigorous, competitive review processes to identify the best research proposals to recommend for funding, oversee grants administration, and provide expert review of research progress. For more information about Stand Up To Cancer, visit

About the American Association for Cancer Research

Founded in 1907, the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) is the world’s first and largest professional organization dedicated to advancing cancer research and its mission to prevent and cure cancer. AACR membership includes 42,000 laboratory, translational, and clinical researchers; population scientists; other health care professionals; and patient advocates residing in 120 countries. The AACR marshals the full spectrum of expertise of the cancer community to accelerate progress in the prevention, biology, diagnosis, and treatment of cancer by annually convening more than 30 conferences and educational workshops, the largest of which is the AACR Annual Meeting with more than 21,900 attendees. In addition, the AACR publishes eight prestigious, peer-reviewed scientific journals and a magazine for cancer survivors, patients, and their caregivers. The AACR funds meritorious research directly as well as in cooperation with numerous cancer organizations. As the Scientific Partner of Stand Up To Cancer, the AACR provides expert peer review, grants administration, and scientific oversight of team science and individual investigator grants in cancer research that have the potential for near-term patient benefit. The AACR actively communicates with legislators and other policymakers about the value of cancer research and related biomedical science in saving lives from cancer. For more information about the AACR, visit

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