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New York Medical College to Host Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation Memorial Lectureship

Mitchell S. Cairo, M.D., is the recipient of $2,700,000 over three years from the PCRF for his work on cancer

Date: July 10, 2014
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Jennifer Riekert, M.B.A.
Vice President of Communications
New York Medical College
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The 15th Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation (PCRF) Memorial Lectureship will be held on Tuesday, July 15 at 4:00 p.m. in Nevins Auditorium in the Medical Education Center

VALHALLA, N.Y., July 10, 2014Paul M. Sondel, M.D., Ph.D., the Reed and Carolee Walker Professor and Head, Division of Pediatric Hematology, Oncology and Bone Marrow Transplant (BMT) at the University of Wisconsin (UW), Madison, will deliver the 15th Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation (PCRF) Memorial Lectureship on Tuesday, July 15 at 4:00 p.m. in Nevins Auditorium in the Medical Education Center. Since 1992 the Memorial Lectureship, established by the PCRF, has honored the memory of children who have died of cancer. Dr. Sondel will present, “The Future of Immunotherapy in Pediatric Cancer.”

Dr. Sondel, completed undergraduate and Ph.D. degrees in genetics, with guidance from BMT pioneer, Fritz Bach, M.D.  He received his M.D. magna cum laude from Harvard Medical School followed by a pediatric residency at the Universities of Minnesota and Wisconsin. He joined the faculty of UW in 1980 and is committed to leading a multidisciplinary clinical and research team to provide comprehensive, compassionate, state-of-the-art, treatment linked to innovative research.

Dr. Sondel’s research has emphasized the translation of laboratory innovations into clinical progress. His laboratory has pursued the biology of graft-versus-leukemia reactions, activation of anti-tumor immune destruction with Interleukin-2, and the use of tumor reactive monoclonal antibodies to facilitate tumor killing by leukocytes.  These studies have moved into clinical testing led by Dr. Sondel at UW, and in national studies he has helped lead through the Children’s Oncology Group. The goal of his team’s research efforts is to integrate immunotherapy into cancer treatment for children (as well as adults), in order to provide more effective treatments that are less likely to cause long-term side effects. He has published more than 350 scientific articles and chapters. 

NYMC Chancellor/CEO and Pediatric Radiation Oncologist Edward C. Halperin, M.D., M.A., last year’s PCRF Memorial lecturer, said, “NYMC is pleased to host this special lectureship.  We are honored to have Dr. Sondel here to share his pioneering studies with us. We are also grateful to PCRF for their support of the groundbreaking research being done here at New York Medical College (NYMC).”

NYMC physician-researcher Mitchell S. Cairo, M.D., is the recipient of $2,700,000 over three years from the PCRF for his work on cancer genetics, tumor immunology, transplantation biology, stem cell biology, and regenerative medicine. Dr. Cairo, holds faculty appointments in pediatrics, medicine, pathology, microbiology and immunology and cell biology at the College and is Chief, Pediatric Hematology, Oncology and Stem Cell Transplantation at Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital at Westchester Medical Center.

About New York Medical College
Founded in 1860, New York Medical College is one of the oldest and largest health sciences universities in the country with more than 1,400 students, 1,300 residents and clinical fellows, nearly 3,000 faculty members, and 15,000 living alumni. The College, which joined the Touro College and University System in 2011, is located in Valhalla, NY, and offers advanced degrees from the School of Medicine, the Graduate School of Basic Medical Sciences, and the School of Health Sciences and Practice. As a leading academic and biomedical research institution, the College manages more than $34.5 million in research and other sponsored programs, notably in the areas of cancer, cardiovascular disease, infectious diseases, kidney disease, the neurosciences, disaster medicine, and vaccine development. 

With a network of affiliated hospitals that includes large urban medical centers, small suburban clinics and high-tech regional tertiary care facilities, NYMC provides a wide variety of clinical training opportunities throughout the tri-state region for medical students, residents and allied health providers. For more information, visit www.nymc.edu

About Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation (PCRF)
The Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation (PCRF) is an independent, nonprofit organization, wholly dedicated to funding leading-edge pediatric cancer research nationwide. Since its founding in 1982, PCRF has raised over $31 million dollars towards the ultimate goal of ending pediatric cancers so children and their families can re-focus on the joys of childhood. This commitment has translated into immediate treatment for children with cancer by developing innovative treatment protocols; improving patients’ long-term quality of life; and supporting those scientists working on the precipice of important medical breakthroughs.   For more information, please visit www.PCRF-kids.org, or contact Executive Director Jeri Wilson at jwilson@pcrf-kids.org.