Damon Runyon Blog

January 20, 2017

By Ralph Kleiner, PhD, Damon Runyon - Dale F. Frey Breakthrough Scientist; Assistant Professor, Princeton University

As a chemical biologist, my work is motivated by a desire to understand the natural world. While pursuing basic research may seem far removed from the clinic, fundamental advances in our molecular understanding of biology have transformed our ability to diagnose and treat cancer as well as other diseases. Since scientific progress is often slow and can follow a circuitous path, it is absolutely critical that organizations like Damon Runyon are willing to play the ‘long game’, and invest in early stage and basic research.

January 18, 2017

By Daniel Webster, PhD, Damon Runyon-Philip O’Bryan Montgomery Jr. MD Fellow

The Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation recently asked some of our current award recipients how cancer will be prevented, diagnosed, and/or treated differently in the future. What can a future cancer patient, say 10-20 years from now, expect to experience? Their responses were fascinating, and over the next few months we will share their visions for the future on this blog. 

December 21, 2016

By Jean Singer of the Jake Wetchler Foundation

As he battled cancer at age 20, my son Jake Wetchler would often say, “Don’t let the cancer win.”  When he died, his father Jonathan Wetchler and I were determined to keep up the fight. Together we created the Jake Wetchler Foundation to fund innovative approaches to curing pediatric acute myelogenous leukemia (AML). But we didn’t know how to find the best research to support.

December 15, 2016

The Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation was launched 70 years ago today, with a call over the radio to all Americans.  Damon Runyon, the beloved creator of the Guys & Dolls characters, had died from cancer.  His friend, Walter Winchell, the most famous radio personality of his day, went on air and asked every American to send him their dimes, nickels and pennies to help cure cancer.  They did, and we’ve been making groundbreaking strides against cancer ever since.

November 22, 2016

Damon Runyon staff interviewed Sergei German about his recent cancer journey and the role Damon Runyon scientists played in treating his disease.

Sergei German’s cancer journey started with a bump. More specifically, his wife noticed a small bump on his neck that was ultimately revealed to be follicular lymphoma, an incurable form of cancer.

November 15, 2016

Damon Runyon staff interviewed John Parker, MD, about his daughter Nicole’s cancer journey and the role Damon Runyon scientists played in treating her disease

Nicole Parker’s cancer symptoms began when she was 18 years old during a family ski vacation in Utah, when she complained to her father John, an obstetrician-gynecologist, about excruciating headaches. When the headaches persisted upon returning home to Florida, John took Nicole to a local hospital and had her fully examined. The attending physician ordered a CT scan and MRI.

November 7, 2016

Lorraine Egan, President & Chief Executive Officer, Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation

In this year’s Giving section of The New York Times, a prominent Silicon Valley donor, Cari Tuna, was quoted as follows:

“The biggest piece of advice I would give any donor is to be proactive,” Ms. Tuna said.  “Find the best charity for your values.  The charities that are the most aggressive and best at marketing aren’t necessarily the ones doing the most good.”

October 31, 2016

As the nation prepares for next week’s elections, we invited Mary Woolley, the president and CEO of Research!America, the country’s well-respected and nonpartisan alliance working to make research to improve health a higher national priority, to share her thoughts on what our national priorities should be.

October 25, 2016

Damon Runyon staff spoke with NBC News journalist, author and cancer survivor Tom Brokaw after he provided remarks at our 2016 Annual Breakfast. The following blog post was edited and condensed from that interview.

DR: Thank you for attending our 2016 Annual Breakfast.

I was very impressed with the whole organization. I had known kind of broadly about the organization, but that was an impressive breakfast.

October 18, 2016

Philippe Soriano, PhD, Professor, Department of Developmental and Regenerative Biology, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

I have been on the Damon Runyon Fellowship Awards Committee for three years and as a developmental biologist, who studies signaling pathways in mouse embryos, I do not strictly work on cancer. However, the Damon-Runyon Fellows are all very bright minds and are curious about all areas of science, so it was really fun to interact with them at the Fellows Retreat in San Jose, CA, from September 25-28, 2016.