Damon Runyon Blog

September 20, 2016

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

A recent article in Nature, “The Unsung Heroes of CRISPR,” highlights the special role of young scientists in research breakthroughs.  They are “unsung,” because they rarely get the credit they deserve for being important drivers of innovation in research.  But they are crucial to progress against cancer and other biomedical research.

It made me think of Lin Manuel Miranda, the celebrated creator of Hamilton, who won his first Tony in 2008, when he was 28.  He is a classic example of a young person breaking the mold.  History is replete with stories of bold innovation by young minds.  Take Steve Jobs and Bill Gates to name two other contemporary examples.  The same is true in biomedical research.  In fact, the majority of Nobel Prizes in science have gone to individuals who made their prize-winning discovery before they were 40.

September 14, 2016

Yung S. Lie, PhD, Deputy Director and Chief Scientific Officer, Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation

Public support for basic scientific research is essential, as it can help insure that brilliant young people continue to enter the sciences and dedicate their careers to cancer research. It can also insure that there will always be another Bill Kaelin in the pipeline.

Bill is a trailblazing physician-scientist at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, a member of our Board of Directors, and a winner of the 2016 Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research Award for his work on the pathway by which cells sense and adapt to changes in oxygen levels. The Boston Globe lauded the significance of Bill’s contributions to science and observed that, “This work on oxygen sensing has led to the development of potential drugs for heart attack, stroke, and kidney cancer, as well as possible treatments for anemia and retinopathy of prematurity, a condition that can blind premature infants.”

September 12, 2016

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

We look at cancer research from a different vantage point than most.  We are uniquely focused on the people that make breakthroughs happen.  They are the most important explorers of our generation, and our unsung heroes.

The goal of this new blog from the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation is multi-faceted.  We will highlight the important discoveries being made, from the most basic to those directly impacting patients.  We will discuss what we see working in biomedical research, as well as impediments that need disruptive ideas.  Most importantly, we will put the scientists dedicated to this work front and center.  Who are they?  What new ideas do they have?  What motivates them? What challenges do they face?  Our goal is to bring them and their bold, innovative work into the light with the hope that it inspires our generation to be the one that ends suffering from all forms of cancer.