In January 2019, Summer’s Way Foundation in conjunction with Friends of TJ established a $50,000 Rhabdomyosarcoma Young Investigator Research Grant awarded annually. As a one-year grant, it is designed to support scientists in the early stages of their research careers, such as postdoctoral or clinical fellows.
Dr. Patience Obasaju
Dr. Patience Obasaju is a 5th year research fellow in pediatric oncology and a 4th year in Cellular and Molecular Medicine Ph.D. graduate training program at Johns Hopkins School University of Medicine. Her research will be directed toward ways to inhibit a mutated cancer-causing gene in Rhabdo. This has continued to be a tremendous challenge in developing effective drug therapy. Her project will focus on a select high risk group with the mutation. We are hopeful that her research will lead to clinical trial use.
Yun (Claudia) Wei
2020 - 2021 Recipient
"Claudia is a research fellow especially interested in rhabdomyosarcoma, utilizing the patient-derived xenograft mouse model along with the developmental STAR zebrafish. She got her Bachelor's degree at Wuhan University back in China, and then moved to another warm city, Atlanta, to pursue a PhD in Cancer Biology at Emory University. For her dissertation, she worked with her mentor Anna Marie Kenney to investigate the aberrant cell signaling in pediatric brain tumors medulloblastoma. She likes to play badminton, bike, or jog during her free time. She is also a big fan of board games; no gambling though!" - Langenau Labs
Katie Hebron PhD NCI/NIH
June 2019 - 2020 Recipient
The Summer’s Way Foundation is excited to announce the recipient of the first “Summer’s Way/Friends of TJ Young Investigators Grant”, Katie Hebron Ph.D.
Katie graduated from Vanderbilt University and is a current Postdoctoral Fellow working in the Laboratory of Cellular and Molecular Biology at the National Cancer Institute/National Institute of Health in Bethesda Maryland.
Katie’s research is focused on Rhabdomyosarcoma which is the most common soft tissue sarcoma in children. It is also a childhood cancer that has unfortunately not benefitted from any new therapies directed at those with advanced disease and the associated high mortality.
Her grant will specifically focus on genes that control a cell's ability to differentiate. Ultimately, this could lead to new drug therapy and hope for so many kiddos and their families.
We at Summer’s Way are pleased to support this 1-year grant along with Friends of TJ Foundation. This $50,000 grant has only been made possible through the incredible support of so many of our generous donors. Each of you is indeed helping to make a difference.
Congratulations Katie. We wish you much success!