HERA & Hopkins Mark 10 Years of Research

October 11, 2013

Ten Year Partnership Funds “Outside the Box” Research For Early Detection and Targeted Therapy

DENVER – Oct. 10, 2013 – This year marks the 10th anniversary of the partnership between the HERA Women’s Cancer Foundation, a nationally recognized ovarian cancer nonprofit based in Denver, Colo., and Johns Hopkins Medicine in Baltimore Md. to support innovative, “outside-the-box” research for the treatment, early detection, and prevention of ovarian cancer. Over the last 10 years, the HERA Women’s Cancer Foundation has raised and awarded Johns Hopkins Medicine with more than $525,000 in grant funding through 26 “Outside the Box” or OSB awards made to 23 scientists focused on early detection and targeted therapy for ovarian cancer.

The partnership was established when HERA Founder Sean Patrick visited Johns Hopkins seeking expertise for the unusual type of ovarian cancer with which she had been diagnosed in 1997. After a successful surgery, Patrick was inspired by the work done at Johns Hopkins and wanted to help more women with ovarian cancer. She worked in partnership with Johns Hopkins to establish a website and chat room to connect and educate patients. From there, she established HERA in 2002 to fund scientific research and raise awareness about this deadly disease.

“Sean recognized that it’s a long fight against ovarian cancer. She knew the importance of bringing the best young minds from all over the world, and encouraging their new approaches to bear on the problem,” said Richard Roden, Ph.D., physician-scientist in the department of pathology at Johns Hopkins Medicine. “The OSB Grants exist to cultivate new ideas and thinking. We must nurture new, outside-the-box ideas for outcomes to change.”

After a 12-year battle, Patrick succumbed to ovarian cancer in 2009. But, her legacy and vision live on through HERA. Today, HERA continues its commitment to the OSB grant program, investing in young scientists and innovative, high-impact research projects for ovarian cancer. Applications for the OSB grants are by invitation only and are reviewed by HERA’s Scientific Advisory Board, comprised of senior scientists and clinicians who consider relevance to ovarian cancer, innovation of approach, feasibility/methodology, the candidate’s experience and qualifications, and the proposed research environment when selecting which projects to fund.

“Funding innovative cancer research is integral to our mission,” says HERA Executive Director Meg Steitz.  “We are honored to be able to continue this very special relationship with Johns Hopkins to continue Sean’s vision.”

“The OSB grants provide a draw for the best young scientists in the final stages of training to focus their career on the problem of ovarian cancer,” said Roden. “The program has developed more than 20 scientists whose careers are now focused on innovative ideas to address ovarian cancer and seeking additional grant funding from their governments and industrial partners to fuel more research. These scientists are spread all over the world, training other young scientists to fight ovarian cancer at their new institutions.”

For more detailed information about HERA’s OSB grants, current investigators and their work, visit the HERA website at: http://herafoundation.beta.mystagedsite.com/grants-research/science-grants/current-investigators/.

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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