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Upstate Research hosts Baldwin Fund for Breast Cancer Research: showcasing decades of generosity and scientific breakthroughs

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Upstate Research hosts Baldwin Fund for Breast Cancer Research: showcasing decades of generosity and scientific breakthroughs

This March, Upstate Research hosted board members of the Baldwin Fund for Breast Cancer Research to highlight the work being done, thanks to the contributions from the Baldwin Fund. Over the past 22 years the Baldwin Fund has raised and donated over $4 million dollars to support breast cancer research at Upstate, funding 77 grants along with an endowed lectureship series to educate physicians on breast-cancer related topics. President of Upstate Medical University Mantosh Dewan, MD, welcomed the group to Upstate, highlighting not only the Baldwin Fund’s generosity but decades of continuous support of cancer research efforts at Upstate.   

Upstate Medical University president Mantosh Dewan, PhD addresses members of the Baldwin Fund board, thanking them for their support of breast cancer research at Upstate.

Researchers presented some of the work Baldwin grants have funded, highlighting scientific discoveries Upstate researchers have made. Baldwin research grants are typically given out in $50 thousand increments, and distributed quicker than typical grants researchers apply for. These allow researchers to explore new ideas quicker, providing the foundation for further discoveries. Leszek Kotula, MD/PhD explained his lab’s efforts to define the role of a protein called ABI1 in cancer progression and metastasis, and better understand this protein’s role cancer treatment resistance. 

“Little grants support bigger grants,” says Kotula. “We were able to turn $50k into a $1.5mil Department of Defense grant.” 

Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Michael Cosgrove, PhD gives a tour of his lab to the Baldwin Fund board members and investors.

Board members got to tour research labs and facilities; getting an up-close look at the work being done day-in and day-out. Michael Cosgrove, PhD, a professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology demonstrated how his lab uses x-ray crystallography to study the structure and enzymology of Mixed Lineage Leukemia (MLL) family enzymes and the proteins with which they interact, helping to design cancer drugs.  

“We are so appreciative of our strong partnership with Beth, her family and the board of the Baldwin Foundation,” says Vice President of Research at Upstate, David Amberg, PhD. “Beth works tirelessly to raise funds to provide research funding for Upstate cancer researchers to move toward finding a cure for breast cancer. Finding a cure is of course a stepwise process but these $50,000 grants from the Baldwin fund can push progress on those steps and as Dr. Kotula points out, lead to larger grants that can hypercharge our progress toward finding a cure to this devastating disease.” 

To support efforts to fight not only breast cancer, but all cancers, the Baldwin Fund is now embarking on a $50 million mission to help the Upstate Cancer Center achieve a National Cancer Institute (NCI) designation; the gold standard for cancer programs. Over the past 10 years the Upstate Cancer Center has brought advanced outpatient treatment, clinical research studies, and support services together to provide unparalleled treatment to central New York. 

Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Stewart Loh, PhD (left) and Associate Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Jessica Henty-Ridillia , PhD (right) demostrate research done in their labs for the Baldwin Fund board members.

You can read more about the Baldwin Fund and find out how you can help their efforts here- 

To learn more about the Upstate Cancer Center, CNY’s only comprehensive cancer center, click here- 

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