HERA Awards 2012 Sean Patrick Grant

November 9, 2012


HERA Foundation Awards 2012 Sean Patrick Multidisciplinary Collaborative Grant

Duo Receives $50,000 Grant for Research Into Ovarian Cancer Origins

DENVER, CO – Nov. 12, 2012 – The HERA Women’s Cancer Foundation, a nationally recognized ovarian cancer nonprofit, awarded its 2012 Sean Patrick Multidisciplinary Collaborative Grant to Carrie Rinker-Schaeffer, PhD, of the University of Chicago, and Jason Shear, PhD, of the University of Texas at Austin. The Sean Patrick Multidisciplinary Collaborative Grant is an annual award providing $50,000 for a cross-disciplinary collaborative research project focused on the cause, early detection, treatment or understanding of ovarian cancer. The grant will fund the pair’s innovative research into a possible link between ovarian cancer cell growth and the omentum, the fatty tissue that blankets the abdominal cavity.

“We were inspired to work together to develop new tools and models needed to detect ovarian cancer and its origins,” said Dr. Rinker-Schaeffer. “This collaboration is key as we come from very different disciplines and neither of our laboratories could pursue this work in isolation.”

Sean Patrick, for whom the grant was named, was a champion for innovative ovarian cancer research. She was frustrated that the prognosis for women with ovarian cancer had not changed in decades and by the disproportionate amount of government funds that went to other cancers. To change this course, she founded the HERA Women’s Cancer Foundation in 2002 with the mission of stopping the loss of women from ovarian cancer by promoting Health, Empowerment, Research, and Awareness.

Ms. Patrick believed that therapies with the most potential are formulated by combining great ideas from different labs and fields. This grant honors that vision and aims to give scientists the opportunity to work together and test ideas that may not be fundable by other agencies. HERA funds other science grants to encourage “outside the box” ideas for researching new directions in the treatment, early detection and prevention of ovarian cancer.

“This grant captures what HERA is all about – supporting out-of-the-box thinking and cutting edge research to advance ovarian cancer awareness, detection, treatment and someday prevention,” said Meg Steitz, executive director of HERA. “We’re proud to support Drs. Rinker-Schaeffer and Shear to further the important work they are doing. Their project is truly collaborative, innovative and exciting.”

For a detailed overview of Drs. Rinker-Schaeffer and Shear’s research, click here.

About the HERA Foundation:
Established in 2002, the HERA Women’s Cancer Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose mission is to stop the loss of women from ovarian cancer by promoting Health, Empowerment, Research, and Awareness. As a nationally recognized ovarian cancer organization, HERA provides funding for cutting-edge research grants to scientists at respected medical institutions. In so doing, HERA attracts more young researchers to expand the scientific understanding of ovarian cancer while improving the lives of those battling the disease. In addition, HERA awards grants to local community groups to raise awareness about the disease in novel and unusual ways. More information is available at www.herafoundation.org.

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