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The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Awards Major Grant to Stanford Researcher
Date:9/30/2008

LLS Specialized Center of Research Program Hits $178 Million Mark

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., Sept. 30 /PRNewswire/ -- The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) today announced it has awarded a new Marshall A. Lichtman Specialized Center of Research (SCOR) grant to Beverly Mitchell, M.D., George E. Becker Professor of Medicine at Stanford University.

Dr. Mitchell and her team will receive $1.25 million a year for five years, for a total of $6.25 million. The SCOR program is LLS's largest research grant, with total funding of $178.25 million since its inception in 2000. The title of her SCOR is: Molecular and Cellular Characterization of Myelodysplastic Syndromes.

The SCOR program brings together teams of researchers representing different disciplines in collaborative efforts to discover new approaches to treat patients with leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma. Awards go to groups that best demonstrate outstanding scientific promise facilitated by the synergy that will occur from their combined efforts.

Dr. Mitchell's team is studying stem cells in myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS), a collection of related disorders in which damaged bone marrow cells can't mature into functional blood cells. The disorders frequently progress to acute myelogenous leukemia (AML). Her team has recently identified new molecular markers than can help identify the MDS stem cells that have progressed to AML, and are working to develop therapies to target these abnormal MDS stem cells. A clinical trial of an investigational drug that targets one of the enzymes involved in the development of MDS will be initiated.

"Dr. Mitchell and her team of investigators are undertaking cutting-edge research to reach a better understanding of the root causes of MDS," said Louis DeGennaro, Ph.D., LLS's chief scientific officer. "Their work will likely lead to new therapies that target these diseases. This research team is an impressive addition to the outstanding scientists already in
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SOURCE The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
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