‘Cycle for the Cure’ Raises a Record $248,725 for Cancer Research at TGen

Philanthropists Sherry and Richard Holson are instrumental in securing $100,000 in donations from Guarantee Trust Life

PHOENIX, Ariz. —  This year’s Cycle for the Cure already was on track to be one of the most successful in its six years of raising cancer research funds for the non-profit Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen).

But thanks to additional donations generated by Guarantee Trust Life of Glenview, Ill., the 6th annual Cycle for the Cure garnered a record $248,725 for TGen.

The May 1 event, which featured hundreds of dedicated donors spinning on stationary cycles for up to 2 hours at several health clubs in Phoenix and Scottsdale, produced $173,725.

But Vicki Vaughn, Co-Chair of Cycle for the Cure, wasn’t finished.

After introducing her friends — Richard S. Holson III, Chairman, CEO and President of Guarantee Trust Life, and his wife, Sherry — to TGen, the Holson’s company invited TGen cancer researcher Dr. Will Hendricks and TGen Foundation Vice President Erin Massey to present at Guarantee Trust Life’s recent company conference in Arizona. The company was impressed and donated $25,000, part of the initial tally for Cycle for the Cure.

Then, after company officials toured TGen laboratories, they challenged their partners and representatives to donate to Cycle for the Cure. They raised a combined $37,500, which Guarantee Trust Life matched, dollar-for-dollar, adding another $75,000 to the $25,000 the company already donated, bringing the total generated by Guarantee Trust Life to $100,000.

“TGen should be very grateful to my wife, Sherry, and Vicki Vaughn as they were responsible for introducing my company to this amazing organization. We were impressed with, and inspired by, the remarkable people at TGen and the world-class, life-changing research being conducted,” said Richard Holson. “And the response by our agents with their contributions was great.”

Using genomic sequencing, TGen helps doctors match the appropriate therapy to each patient’s DNA profile, producing the greatest patient benefit. This year, Cycle for the Cure raised research funds for work on a revolutionary diagnostic method called “liquid biopsies” — biomarkers in circulating blood — as a means of providing patients and their doctors with early detection of disease.

“We believe everyone should know first-hand about the groundbreaking research going on at TGen, and we encourage everyone to join us in supporting the vital work TGen does,” said Vicki Vaughn, who co-chaired Cycle for the Cure with Robyn DeBell.

Village Health Clubs and Studio 360 provided the venues for this year’s Cycle for the Cure. In addition, yoga and kinesis classes were included in the fundraising events by Village Health Clubs at its DC Ranch and Camelback locations.

“We are incredibly proud to have merited the dedicated support of volunteer co-chairs Vicki Vaughn and Robyn DeBell,” said TGen Foundation President Michael Bassoff. “Their extraordinary leadership, and the generosity of business leaders like Rick Holman and the Guarantee Trust Life company, provides an incredible boost to TGen’s cancer research initiatives.”

Donations continue to be accepted at www.tgenfoundation.org/cycle. And save the date for next year’s 7th annual Cycle for the Cure: April 30, 2017.

World-renowned Sarod Maestro Plays Benefit Concert for TGen

Amjad Ali Khan’s fundraiser Sept. 3 at the Tempe Center for the Arts will help hundreds of Arizona children with rare medical disorders

TEMPE, Ariz. Sarod virtuoso Amjad Ali Khan — who has graced the most celebrated stages of the globe and shared musical billings with artists as varied as Queen Latifah and Steven Tyler — will perform a benefit concert for the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen).

Khan and other Indian classical musicians will perform at 7 p.m. Sept. 3 at the Tempe Center for the Arts, 700 W. Rio Salado Parkway, to benefit TGen’s Center for Rare Childhood Disorders (C4RCD).

“Sarod for C4RCD” will feature: a solo by Khan on his lute-like stringed instrument; a duet by his son, seventh-generation sarod master Ayaan Ali Bangash, and Grammy-nominated violinist Elmira Darvarova; and a third set with all three musicians plus tabla (Indian two-piece drum) extraordinaire Anubrata Chatterjee.

“It is indeed a matter of great joy and honor for me to present my music for the music lovers of Phoenix,” said Khan. “I am so humbled to be associated with the Center for Rare Childhood Disorders at TGen.”

He was invited to perform in Phoenix at the benefit concert by Indian-born Dr. Vinodh Narayanan, Medical Director of TGen’s C4RCD, which since 2012 has harnessed the latest in genomic sequencing technology to pinpoint the genetic causes of rare medical disorders.

“This music from my beloved India reaches in and touches the soul; it is something anyone can appreciate and enjoy,” said Dr. Narayanan. “The fact that it will be performed by the world’s top artists makes this fundraising event something not to be missed. It is indeed a chance of a lifetime for all of us in Arizona. It’s an event that will benefit hundreds of children struggling to survive rare and difficult-to-treat medical conditions.”

Khan has performed at: the WOMAD (World of Music, Arts and Dance) Festival in Adelaide, Australia, and New Plymouth, New Zealand; Edinburgh International (Music) Festival in Scotland; World Beat Festival in Brisbane, Australia, and Taranaki, New Zealand; The BBC Proms in London; Shiraz Arts Festival in Iran; Hong Kong Arts Festival; Adelaide Music Festival; 1200 Years celebration of Frankfurt; WOMAD Festival in Rivermead, England; and the Schonbrunn Palace in Vienna.

He has been a regular performer at Carnegie Hall in New York, Royal Albert Hall in London, the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., Victoria Hall in Geneva, Chicago Symphony Center, Mozart Hall in Frankfurt, and the Sydney Opera House in Australia.

In 2014, Amjad Ali Khan and his sons, Amaan Ali Bangash and Ayaan Ali Bangash, performed at the prestigious Nobel Peace Prize ceremony in Oslo, Norway, as well as the Nobel Peace Prize Concert along with a lineup that included Queen Latifah, Steven Tyler, Nuno Bettencourt and Laura Mvula.

In January, Khan performed for His Holiness The Dalai Lama’s 80th birthday celebration in New Delhi.

Tickets for the Sept. 3 concert are $200, $150 and $100 with all proceeds benefiting TGen’s Center for Rare Childhood Disorders. Tickets may be purchased at the Tempe Center for the Arts box office, by telephone at 480-350-2TCA (2822) or online at http://tca.ticketforce.com/SARODforC4RCD.

Food and beverages will be available for purchase.

For more information about these artists, please visit: www.sarod.com.

MRSA Detection Technology Developed by TGen-NAU is Granted First Patent

Test for ‘superbug’ bacterial infections created by DxNA under license from TGen-NAU

PHOENIX, Ariz. — Antibiotic-resistant infections should be easier to detect, and hospitals could become safer, thanks to a technology developed by the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) and Northern Arizona University (NAU), and protected under a patent issued by Australia.

Soon, similar patent approvals are expected by the U.S., Canada, European Union, Japan, Brazil and other nations for this “superbug” test developed by TGen and NAU, and licensed to DxNA LLC, a company based in St. George, Utah.

“This rapid, 1-hour test will precisely identify a family of antibiotic-resistant Staphinfections we broadly refer to as MRSA,” said Dr. Paul Keim, Director of TGen’s Pathogen Genomics Division, or TGen North, based in Flagstaff.

“We hope this technology will be adopted worldwide by hospitals and clinics, and will help identify and isolate these dangerous and difficult-to-eliminate infections that have come to plague our medical institutions,” said Dr. Keim, who also is the Cowden Endowed Chair of Microbiology at NAU, and Director of NAU’s Center for Microbial Genetics and Genomics (MGGen). “The result should be more rapid diagnosis, improved treatment of patients, and reduced medical costs.”

MRSA — Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus — is an antibiotic-resistant form of the Staph bacteria that annually kills more Americans than HIV.

While MRSA technically refers to one particular strain of Staph, the genomics-based test developed by TGen, NAU and DxNA can precisely detect multiple types of drug-resistant Staph bacterial infections, including drug resistant Coagulase Negative Staphylococcus (CSN), a much more common infection than MRSA.

Staph infections are the most common hospital-acquired or associated infections. While most of the focus over the past few years has been on MRSA, in terms of incidence and total cost, strains of Staph other than MRSA are a much more common problem.

Due to the increasing use of implantable biomaterials and medical devices, infections are increasingly caused by CNS. This is a type of Staph that is often resistant to multiple antibiotics and has a particular affinity for these devices.

“Rapid identification and differentiation of these resistant bacteria is key to optimizing treatment decisions that significantly impact patient outcomes and cost of care,” said David Taus, CEO of DxNA LLC. “Given that resistant CNS is a frequent pathogen in surgical site infections, orthopedic and cardiac device infections, and blood stream infections — among others — it is critical that we be able to rapidly identify and determine antibiotic resistance to provide for appropriate pre-surgical antibiotic prophylaxis to prevent infections and early and effective treatment when these infections do occur.”

Current molecular tests for MRSA all ignore CNS, rendering their results significantly less useful in treating patients given that drug resistant CNS infections are many times more common than MRSA.

DxNA’s Staphylococcus Test identifies and differentiates resistant and non-resistant strains of Staph and CNS. The test uses three separate proprietary biomarker targets and a proprietary methodology to determine which types of Staph are present, and which carry the gene that causes antibiotic-resistance in these bacteria.

“The test also is effective in identifying infected specimens where there are multiple types of Staph. The test will rapidly provide broader clinically-actionable results, improving antibiotic prophylaxis, early targeted intervention resulting in more effective treatment at lower costs,” Taus said.

Macy’s ‘Shop For A Cause’ Aug. 26-28 Supports Cancer Research at TGen

All proceeds from ‘Shop For A Cause’ shopping passes benefit TGen pancreatic cancer patients; shoppers receive substantial discounts

PHOENIX, Ariz. — Here is one more reason to do your back-to-school shopping at Macy’s:  “Shop For A Cause” shopping passes will provide needed research dollars for the non-profit Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen), benefitting pancreatic cancer patients.

This 11th annual “Shop For A Cause” at Macy’s is no longer a one-day event. This year, “Shop For A Cause” passes will be honored at Macy’s throughout the weekend of Aug. 26-28.

Now through Aug. 25, “Shop For A Cause” passes may be purchased for only $5 by visiting helptgen.org/macys or by calling 602-343-8411. Shopping passes will provide up to 25 percent off most merchandise, and provide an opportunity to win a $500 Macy’s gift card.

“More than ever, Macy’s is finding ways to help charity and non-profit organizations, such as TGen, to help those in need,” said Dr. Haiyong Han, Associate Professor of TGen’s Clinical Translational Research Division. “ ‘Shop For A Cause’ will benefit pancreatic cancer patients who desperately need our help today.”

This year, pancreatic cancer will surpass breast cancer as America’s third-leading cause of cancer-related death, with more than 53,000 newly diagnosed patients, and nearly 42,000 deaths. More than 75 percent of pancreatic cancer patients die within the first year of diagnosis, and fewer than 10 percent survive for more than 5 years.

The pancreas is a banana-shaped organ behind the stomach that produces digestive enzymes, as well as hormones such as insulin to help regulate blood sugar. Because there is no screening test, and usually no symptoms in its early stages, pancreatic cancer usually is not diagnosed until its advanced stages, when surgery often is no longer an option and treatment is more difficult.

TGen’s focus is on early detection, and groundbreaking clinical trials, which recently have shown tumor reductions of 30 percent or more in nearly 8 out of 10 advanced pancreatic cancer patients. TGen’s progress could not come at a more critical time. During the past 5 years, as the U.S. population continues to grow, the number of deaths attributed to other leading cause of cancer death — lung, colon and breast cancers — have remained steady, while the number of deaths due to pancreatic cancer have increased by nearly 11 percent.

All dollars — 100 percent — raised in the Phoenix area by “Shop For A Cause” will go toward TGen’s annual stepNout run/walk/dash program, which funds pancreatic cancer research. This year’s stepNout event is scheduled for Nov. 6 at the Scottsdale Sports Complex.

Macy’s “Shop For A Cause” is a unique shopping event dedicated to supporting local nonprofit organizations’ fundraising efforts. Since 2006, the program has helped raise tens of millions of dollars for charities throughout the nation, and more than 5,000 charities signed up to participate last year.

“At Macy’s, we believe in supporting the communities where our customers and associates live and work. That is why we are so proud of ‘Shop For A Cause,’ ” said Holly Thomas, Macy’s group vice president of cause marketing. “With this year’s extension to a weekend-long event, we’re offering even more opportunity to support local and national causes, and thanking our customers with special savings at Macy’s.”

To find a Macy’s near you, go to mcys.co/1D3ZrXl. For more information about Macy’s “Shop For A Cause,” visit macys.com/shopforacause.

SmartPractice Donates $50,000 to TGen Cancer Research

Healthcare consulting firm SmartPractice donates to TGen towards early breast cancer detection

PHOENIX, Ariz. — SmartPractice today donated $50,000 to the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) to support research for the early detection and more precise treatment of breast cancer.

This year’s gift is double what SmartPractice donated to TGen last year in support of research that could help prevent breast cancer from spreading to other parts of the body.

“After discovering TGen for the first time last year, and seeing the how our donation made a difference in the ability of TGen researchers to further the science of cancer treatment, we decided this year to increase our gift,” said Dr. Charlotte Thrall, Healthcare Director of SmartPractice Wellness Clinic. “We at SmartPractice believe we can help make a difference in the lives of breast cancer patients by supporting the leading-edge research happening at TGen.”

Specifically, today’s SmartPractice donation will go toward TGen’s development of what are known as “liquid biopsies:” simple, non-invasive blood tests that could help detect cancer earlier. They seek to identify “at risk” genetic biomarkers in a patient’s blood circulatory system.

Liquid biopsies are less invasive, less costly and less risky than conventional tissue biopsies, which essentially are minor surgeries.

“We are proud to have merited the support of a health industry leader like SmartPractice,” said TGen Foundation President Michael Bassoff. “Through their very generous contribution, Dr. Curtis Hamann (President and CEO of SmartPractice) and his team will help advance TGen research in the early detection of breast cancer.”

SmartPractice® is a family-owned, Phoenix-based firm that has partnered with dental and healthcare professionals nationwide for more than 45 years to improve the health of both practices and patients. A portion of the proceeds of their innovative line of Pink Ribbon exam gloves and supplies generates a donation to fund breast cancer research and awareness programs. To learn more, please visit smartpractice.com/pinkribbon.

Golf Classic will Help TGen Cancer Research

14th annual Seena Magowitz Golf Classic, raising research funds for TGen, is planned Aug. 27-29 in Boston

Baseball, gala dinner and golf will accelerate battle against nation’s 3rdleading cause of cancer death

BOSTON — The 14th annual Seena Magowitz Golf Classic — a multi-million-dollar fundraising spectacular supporting pancreatic cancer research at the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) — is set for Aug. 27-29.

More than 250 golfers and guests are expected at this three-day event, which features a Saturday night baseball game at historic Fenway Park, a Sunday gala dinner at the Boston Harbor Hotel, and Monday morning golf at the Tedesco Country Club in Marblehead, Mass., northeast of Boston.

This is the Golf Classic’s first year in Boston. It previously has been held in Phoenix and Orlando. The event has helped raise more than $7 million over the years.

“Having the Golf Classic based in Boston will provide a new opportunity to raise awareness surrounding this disease throughout New England and across the upper Atlantic seaboard,” said Roger E. Magowitz, founder of the Seena Magowitz Foundation, named for his mother, who passed away from pancreatic cancer.

This year’s Honorary Chairman of the Magowitz Golf Classic is David Dombrowski, Boston Red Sox President of Baseball Operations. The baseball game during this year’s Classic features the Red Sox vs. the reigning World Series Champion Kansas City Royals. The game’s ceremonial first pitch will be auctioned online in July to raise additional research funds.

Dombrowski is a long-standing member of TGen’s Pancreatic Cancer National Advisory Council, a group of business leaders who assist the TGen Foundation in raising funds to support research and clinical trials for pancreatic cancer. In recent years, their efforts have led to a new treatment regimen that holds the promise of improved patient survival.

“We are extremely pleased to have David Dombrowski as the honorary chair and about moving the Seena Magowitz Golf Classic to Boston,” said Michael Bassoff, President of the TGen Foundation. “We hope to attract a whole new region of participants, as well as showcase a beautiful part of the country and all that the Boston region has to offer.”

Funding raised by the Golf Classic has been directed to research and clinical trials led by Dr. Daniel Von Hoff, TGen’s Distinguished Professor and Physician-in-Chief, who will deliver the gala’s keynote address about the progress being made and his vision for the future — to detect pancreatic cancer early and ultimately find a cure.

This year, pancreatic cancer will claim the lives of nearly 42,000 Americans, surpassing breast cancer as the nation’s third-leading cause of cancer-related death.

The Seena Magowitz Foundation, previous Golf Classic Honorary Chairman Gary Fazio, Mattress Firm executives and employees, and Leggett & Platt President Karl Glassman, have provided the foundational support for an ongoing series of revolutionary clinical trials that build on TGen’s previous success in setting the nation’s standard for treating this formidable disease.

One of these, called the TGen Triple, has showed amazing progress. More than half of the patients in this clinical trial saw their pancreas tumors shrink by more than 30 percent. An additional 20 percent – 1 in 5 patients – saw their tumors dissolve completely; complete remission of an advanced cancer.

A new clinical trial, called the Grand Slam, which began in April, takes the treatments successful in the TGen Triple, and adds two key therapeutic agents that will push towards the goal of attaining remission in 100 percent of patients.

Pancreatic cancer’s lethal nature stems from its propensity to rapidly spread to other organs, especially the liver and lungs. Because no early screening test exists, the disease often goes undiagnosed until its late stages, when surgery is often no longer an option, making it difficult to treat.

Importantly, as a result of TGen clinical research, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2013 approved the use of albumin-bound paclitaxel in combination with gemcitabine as a front-line therapy for patients with advanced pancreatic cancer. The Seena Magowitz Foundation helped fund the Abraxane clinical trials.

In addition to engaging New England area supporters, event organizers expect to continue attracting major support from the home furnishings and bedding industries.

For more information about the Golf Classic, visit www.seenamagowitzfoundation.org. Prospective sponsors, participants and dinner attendees may contact: Roger Magowitz at 602-524-7636 or roger@seenamagowitzfoundation.org; or Liz McBeth, event director, at 757-773-3622 or liz@seenamagowitzfoundation.org.

Lizard Tails Point Way to Human Regeneration

TGen-ASU researchers find tiny genetic switches in lizard tail regeneration

Findings from lizards may impact future therapies to regrow organs in humans

PHOENIX, Ariz. —Any kid who pulls on a lizard tail knows it can drop off to avoid capture, but how they regrow a new tail remains a mystery.  Now, researchers at the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) and Arizona State University (ASU) have identified tiny RNA switches, known as microRNAs, which may hold the keys to regenerating muscles, cartilage and spinal columns.

In a study published today in the scientific journal BMC Genomics, ASU and TGen scientists for the first time identified three microRNA’s — a which turn genes on and off — that are associated with the regeneration of tails in the green anole lizard, Anolis carolinensis.

Using next-generation genomic and computer analysis, this interdisciplinary team of scientists hope their findings, following nearly 6 years of research, will help lead to discoveries of new therapeutic approaches to switch on regeneration genes in humans.

“Since microRNAs are able to control a large number of genes at the same time, like an orchestra conductor leading the musicians, we hypothesized that they had to play a role in regeneration,” said senior author Dr. Kenro Kusumi, a Professor in ASU’s School of Life Sciences and Associate Dean in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and an adjunct faculty member at TGen. “Our earlier work found that hundreds of genes are involved in regeneration, and we are very excited to study these three new microRNAs.”

Dr. Elizabeth Hutchins, a Post-Doctoral Fellow in TGen’s Neurogenomics Division, and co-lead author of the study, said she hopes this investigation eventually enables such things as regenerating cartilage in knees, repairing spinal cords in accident victims, and reproducing the muscles of injured war veterans.

“It is the translational nature of this work — how it could eventually be applied to people — that led to my interest in this study,” said Dr. Hutchins, who graduated from ASU’s Molecular and Cellular Biology Program. “For example, we currently don’t have the ability to regrow knee cartilage, which would really help someone like my grandmother.”

“This work highlights the importance of tiny RNA molecules in the tissue regeneration process, and showed for the first time an asymmetric microRNA distribution in different portions of the regenerating lizard tails,” said Dr. Marco Mangone, a co-author and Assistant Professor with ASU’s School of Life Sciences and Biodesign Institute. “It seems like microRNAs may play an active role in this process, and are potentially able to shape the regenerating lizard tail like playdough.”

The research team also included: Dr. Justin Wolter of ASU’s Biodesign Institute and School of Life Sciences; and Dr. Walter Eckalbar at the University of California, San Francisco.

This research was funded by grants from the National Institutes of Health and the Arizona Biomedical Research Commission.

SU2C Awards $200,000 to TGen Cancer Research

TGen SU2C Melanoma Dream Team member receives $200,000 Sharp Award

Sharp Innovation in Collaboration Award recognizes teamwork and development of new ideas among SU2C researchers

PHOENIX, Ariz. — Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C) has selected Dr. Muhammed Murtaza of the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen), paired with Dr. Antoni Ribas of UCLA, as recipients of a $200,000 SU2C Phillip A. Sharp Innovation in Collaboration Award, named for the Nobel Laureate and Chair of SU2C’s Scientific Advisory Committee.

The award, first established in 2014, supports opportunities for SU2C scientists from different teams to explore innovative collaborations to accelerate the development of new cancer treatments.

One of five awards totaling $1 million, the award to Dr. Murtaza, an Assistant Professor at TGen, and Dr. Ribas, supports a collaboration to investigate whether it’s possible to predict patient response to immunotherapy by studying the makeup of their microbiomes in blood samples.

Dr. Murtaza is a member of the SU2C-Melanoma Research Alliance (MRA) Melanoma Dream Team. Dr. Ribas is a leader of the SU2C-Cancer Research Institute (CRI) Immunology Dream Team. The selections were made Jan. 29 at the SU2C Scientific Summit in Santa Moncia, Calif.

“The selection of Dr. Murtaza for a Sharp award recognizes his knowledge in the field of liquid biopsies and the potential benefits this technique may offer cancer patients, particularly those with metastatic melanoma, as our Dream Team works to accelerate treatment breakthroughs to improve the survival outcomes against this deadly cancer,” said Dr. Jeffrey Trent, TGen President and Research Director, and leader of the SU2C-MRA Melanoma Dream Team.

While immunotherapy has improved outcomes in metastatic melanoma for a number of patients, for some it remains ineffective and carries toxic side effects. The study by Drs. Murtaza and Ribas is titled: “Fingerprinting the systemic microbiome in plasma to predict immunotherapy outcomes in melanoma.” It will analyze an extensive set of clinically annotated longitudinal blood samples available from the SU2C-CRI Immunology Dream Team to predict immunotherapy response and adverse effects. Recent results show that the gut’s microbial composition may, in part, affect response to immunotherapy. If successful, Drs. Murtaza and Ribas will pursue additional funding to validate their findings.

There also is a prospective study of circulating tumor DNA planned with colleagues at Mayo Clinic in Arizona, where Dr. Murtaza holds a joint appointment an Assistant Professor of Medicine.

Dr. Murtaza joined the Melanoma Dream Team upon his arrival at TGen in 2014 from the Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute, where he began his work on circulating tumor DNA analysis.

“It’s an honor to receive this award, but more importantly the recognition brings further attention to the work of the entire Melanoma Dream Team and the collective efforts of all SU2C Dream Teams to defeat cancer,” said Dr. Murtaza. “Our goal is to investigate if we can predict how patients with melanoma respond to immunotherapy by looking at evidence of the makeup of their microbiomes in blood samples.”

SU2C and MRA established the Melanoma Dream Team — led by Drs. Trent and Patricia M. LoRusso, D.O., of Yale University — to explore the use of genomic sequencing to examine both the normal and cancer genomes of patients with metastatic melanoma. The study leverages advances in genomics, informatics, and health information technology with hopes of yielding more precise medical treatments for patients with this devastating disease.

In June 2015, clinical trials based on the Dream Team’s research findings began enrolling patients lacking a particular genetic mutation in the BRAF gene, and whose treatment for cancer with immune therapy had failed. Trial results will evaluate if using this precision therapy approach improves outcomes over current treatments.

Patients whose melanoma tumors do not have BRAF alterations will have other specific genetic alterations identified, and investigators will match these changes to an appropriate therapy that directly targets those alterations. The hope is that this “precision medicine” approach will lead to more effective and lasting treatments and potentially spare patients from unnecessary treatments that all too often offer little or no benefit.

In addition to Mayo Clinic in Arizona, the initial clinical trial site in Arizona, other locations include Yale Cancer Center, New Haven, Conn.; the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute, Wayne State University, Detroit; Biometrics Research Branch, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Rockville, Md.; University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center (UMCCC), Ann Arbor, Mich.; Baylor Charles A. Sammons Cancer Center/Baylor University Medical Center, Dallas; Indiana University, Indianapolis, Ind.; Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tenn.

“From the beginning, Stand Up To Cancer has striven to break down silos, encourage collaboration, and bring together the best research that will benefit cancer patients,” said Phillip A. Sharp, PhD, Chair of SU2C’s Scientific Advisory Committee and a Nobel Prize winner for his research in genetics. “These awards will help bring us closer to the day we defeat cancer.”

Gateway for Cancer Research Foundation provided additional support for the SU2C-MRA Melanoma Dream Team. AACR, SU2C’s Scientific Partner, provides expert peer review and grants administration, as well as ongoing scientific oversight.

For more information about this clinical trial, please call the Mayo Clinic Cancer Center Clinical Trials Referral Office at (855) 776-0015.

Sale of Clarion BMW Nets $125,000 for TGen Research

Clarion’s modernized classic 1974 BMW raises $125,000 for TGen cancer research

First ‘Clarion Builds’ restoration vehicle auctioned by Barrett-Jackson to support early diagnosis and treatment

CYPRESS, Calif. —  Clarion Corporation of America announced today that the sale of its first Clarion Builds vehicle restoration, an iconic 1974 BMW model 2002, raised $125,000 for cancer research at the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen).

The fjord-blue Beemer sold April 9 at the Barrett-Jackson auction in Palm Beach, Fla., with all proceeds donated to the Barrett-Jackson Cancer Research Fund at TGen, in Memory of Russ and Brian Jackson. The fund, established in 2010, is a salute to auction Chairman and CEO Craig Jackson’s father, Russ — one of the founders of Barrett-Jackson — and brother, Brian, whose lives were cut short by colon cancer.

“We are beyond pleased with the generous donation earned from Barrett-Jackson’s charity auction sale of Clarion’s fully restored 1974 BMW 2002,” said Michael Bassoff, President of TGen Foundation. “All $125,000 received from the sale of the car will go toward advancing our research in applying translational genomics to the early detection and treatment of cancer. We are grateful to Clarion and their Clarion Builds partners for recreating such an iconic piece of automotive history and donating it to benefit the patients we serve.”

Clarion’s next Clarion Builds project car, a beautifully restored and tastefully modified first-year Acura NSX will be on display at Clarion’s booth during Barrett-Jackson’s January 2017 auction in Scottsdale, Ariz., and is scheduled to cross the block at a subsequent Barrett-Jackson auction later next year.

“Barrett-Jackson began as a charity fundraiser and giving back to the community has long been a pillar of our company,” said Craig Jackson, chairman and CEO of Barrett-Jackson. “We’ve helped raise more than $89 million for deserving charities over the years and we couldn’t do it without the help of partners like Clarion. TGen has had a longstanding relationship with Barrett-Jackson and is a cause very close to my heart. I’m proud that the sale of the 1974 BMW 2002 went to benefit the Barrett-Jackson Cancer Research Fund at TGen and I’m excited to further our relationship as the official auction partner for the Clarion Builds program.”

“From the beginning, we were determined to develop the Clarion Builds program into an industry benchmark. It is especially rewarding to look back at our achievements of the past two years as we have irrevocably delivered upon all our goals,” stated Allen H. Gharapetian, vice president of marketing and product development for Clarion Corporation of America and chief of the Clarion Builds program.

“From bringing a true automotive legend back to life and pulling millions of fans and followers together across the globe who celebrated this amazing project, to raising a significant sum of money for a worthy cause, Clarion Builds has set a new standard. None of this would have mattered without the support from Barrett-Jackson, who shares our passion of philanthropy, and the avant-garde life saving research being conducted at TGen. Both Barrett-Jackson and TGen were indisputably instrumental in delivering a grand finale worthy of our iconic BMW 2002,” Gharapetian said.

To learn more about the Clarion Builds program, or to follow the build of iconic classic cars, visit Clarion Builds at www.clarionbuilds.com or watch the latest Clarion Builds videos at www.youtube.com/clarionUS.