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Rick Sontag

Sontag Foundation donates $1.8 million

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The Sontag Foundation announced an additional commitment of $1.8 million to support brain cancer research, bringing the foundation’s investment in biomedical research related to brain cancer to more than $20 million.

Over the past 10 years, 32 multiyear Distinguished Scientists Awards have been given to researchers at 21 research institutions and medical centers in the U.S. and Canada. Through the awards, The Sontag Foundation recognizes the promise of outstanding early career scientists whose research has the potential to generate new knowledge relating to causes, cure or treatment of primary brain tumors.

Each recipient of the foundation’s 2012 Distinguished Scientist Awards will receive a $600,000 grant to support their brain tumor research program over the next four years.

They are:

• Rameen Beroukhim, a neuro-oncologist and research scientist at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston. Beroukhim proposes to exploit the differences in glioma, also known as brain tumor, cells and normal cells to determine ways to kill glioma cells without harming a patient’s normal cells.

• Young-Goo Han, a research scientist at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tenn. Han is focusing his research efforts on medulloblastoma, the most common pediatric brain tumor.

• Jason Huse, a pathologist and research scientist at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York. Huse is exploring the role of MicroRNA’s in the formation of low grade gliomas.

The Sontag Foundation is headquartered in Ponte Vedra Beach and was founded by Rick Sontag.

“My wife Susan and I have a personal stake in fighting this terrible disease which is newly diagnosed in an estimated 24,000 people in this country each year. Susan is one of the lucky few who have survived this disease for 18 years. Our hope is that by providing career and research support to top-notch young scientists we will help make a difference,” Sontag said in a news release.

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