In 2022, Team Michelle funded an additional two research awards - providing $40,000 to Dr. Shane Stecklein of The University of Kansas Cancer Center and $50,000 to Dr. Devon Lawson of University of California, Irvine.  Team Michelle has now given $210,000 to cancer research since 2018.

“At the University of Kansas Cancer Center, we are conducting research on immunotherapy for triple-negative breast cancer. With your very generous gift, we are preparing to start processing and analyzing the first batch of tumor tissue specimens. Within the next 4-6 months we hope to have completed all of the gene expression analysis and identified clinically meaningful “signatures” that can help us (1) determine which TNBC patients will benefit from immunotherapy, and (2) understand the mechanisms that make some TNBCs resistant to this promising treatment.

This project has the potential to inform clinical treatment for TNBC patients and will also provide an enormous amount of foundational data that will shape and guide my laboratory research for years to come. As a young physician-scientist just starting my research career I can not thank you enough for your support. I will be sure to stay in touch and keep you all apprised of our progress.”

– Dr. Shane Stecklein

In September of 2018, we awarded our first Team Michelle funded research award of $40,000 to the Lawson Lab at the University of California-Irvine and have given a total of $170,000 to date!

Dr. Lawson and her team of researchers at the Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center at UC-Irvine are driven and passionate about their work and we are thrilled to be partnering with them. Focused on metastatic breast cancer, Dr. Lawson’s lab works to unravel the mysteries of metastatic breast cancer so that it can be beat. Additional information about the lab is provided below.

Focused on metastatic breast cancer, the Lawson Lab uses single-cell technology to help understand how breast cancer cells interact and react to the cells in their environments within the body. Their goal is to facilitate the development of more effective drugs for fighting metastatic breast cancer. Team Michelle’s monetary award is being used specifically to fund a project centered around metastatic dormancy in breast cancer cells. Metastatic dormancy is the phenomenon where metastatic cells remain alive but undetectable in the body for prolonged periods.

The initial goal of the project is to discover how metastatic cells resist the NK (Natural Killer) cells within the body in order to produce metastatic tumors. Subsequently, the team hopes to determine whether NK cells can be re-activated in human patients to kill dormant metastatic cells and prevent relapse with metazoic disease.

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