2023 Funding Updates

With your support in 2023, we were able to fund 6 new individual researchers with grants of $225,000 each as well as co-funding with The Mark Foundation for Cancer Research 2 new collaborative research teams with grants of $500,000 each. Our grants are chosen by our outstanding Medical Advisory Board, assuring that the money that you donate is invested in the most innovative science.

Gabrielle’s Angel Foundation’s Medical Advisory Board recently selected 6 talented early career scientists to receive Medical Research Awards for a total of $1.35M in grants! Awards are $225,000 over a three year period. We are delighted to welcome these brilliant investigators to our Gabrielle’s Angels family! Stay tuned for spotlights on each grantee and their work throughout the rest of the year.

Clockwise from top left: Kevin Liou, MSKCC; Tatiana Marquez-Lago, UAB; Riu Lu, UAB; Santosha Vardhana, MSKCC; Sydeny Lu, Stanford Medical School; Lai Chan, Cleveland Clinic


3 Year grants funded from 2024-2026

Kevin Liou, MD 

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center ~ Integrative Project 

Title:  Pilot trial of Telehealth Music Therapy for Cognitive Dysfunction in Hematologic Cancer Survivors 

Description: Lymphoma, leukemia, and myeloma survivors often experience difficulties with attention and memory after receiving cancer therapies. Unfortunately, treatments for cognitive issues are limited. The PRELUDE study is a randomized controlled trial that will test the feasibility and effects of music therapy for cognitive difficulties in lymphoma, leukemia, and myeloma survivors.

Tatiana Marquez-Lago, PhD

University of Alabama Birmingham ~ Integrative Project

Title: Reducing inflammation in MPN’s: molecular mechanisms and testing potential  disease modifying therapies 

Description: MPNs are a group of chronic, progressive blood cancers that reduce life expectancy and quality of life. MPN patients have limited therapeutic options, all implying risk. In this project, we will study a risk-free, food-based approach to decrease inflammation in MPNs and test if it proves an effective therapeutic strategy.

Riu Lu, PhD 

University of Alabama Birmingham

Title: Deciphering and Targeting Epigenetic Reader Dependencies in Acute Myeloid Leukemia

Description: MLL-rearranged acute myeloid leukemia is an aggressive form of leukemia with poor survival outcomes. In our proposal, we focus on a unique, druggable epigenetic reader crucial for the disease’s progression. By further evaluating this reader, our research could unveil new avenues for more targeted treatments for this deadly disease.

Santosha Vardhana, MD, PhD

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

Title: Elucidating the mechanisms of response and resistance to bispecific antibody therapies in indolent B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphomas

Description: Bispecific antibodies, which have emerged as a potent treatment for patients with B-cell lymphomas, activate immune-mediated killing of cancer cells. The proposed research will determine the cellular actors that drive initial and sustained responses to this novel class of therapeutics and identify targetable resistance mechanisms to prevent relapse following treatment.

Sydney Lu, MD, PhD

Stanford Medical School 

Title: Novel approaches to therapeutic targets for SF3B1 mutated leukemias

Description: Many leukemias have mutations in the SF3B1 gene. Its function is to “stitch together” RNA correctly. RNA is akin to a manufacturing blueprint for making proteins. When mutated, SF3B1 makes abnormal RNA and thus abnormal proteins. We are studying how to target these abnormal RNAs and proteins to treat leukemia.

Lai Chan , PhD 

Cleveland Clinic/ Lerner Research Institute

Title:  Synthetic lethality as a therapeutic strategy for diffuse large B-cell lymphoma

Description: We propose a new DLBCL treatment using a concept called synthetic lethality. Synthetic lethality happens when changes in two genes cause cells to die, but a change in either gene alone does not. This approach selectively targets DLBCL with specific changes in specific genes, making it a promising treatment option. 

We are thrilled to share the recipients of our first ever Mark Foundation – Gabrielle’s Angel Foundation Collaborative Grants. Co-funded with the Mark Foundation for Cancer Research, these two projects totaling $1M represent an amazing opportunity for us to re-invest in our grantees’ impactful work while helping to accelerate progress by bringing together scientists and institutions for collaboration. We are so grateful for the ongoing support of The Mark Foundation for Cancer Research and look forward to working together towards our common goal of curing cancer!

L to R: Jeffrey Magee, Grant Challen, Stephen Sykes

Washington University in St. Louis

Collaborative Grant 1: Epigenetic and metabolic vulnerabilities in high-risk pediatric acute myeloid leukemia

L: David Dominguez-Sola
Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai-Tisch Cancer Institute

R: Daniel Herranz Benito
Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey 

Collaborative Grant 2: Chromatin remodeling INO80 complex as targeted therapeutics platform in hematologic malignancies