From Bangladesh to NYC, microfinance is having a profound impact on so many lives - particlulary women who are empowered to start and build their own businesses. Check out this piece on how to take this forward
Check out the upcoming championships of US First - with teams coming in from around the US and the world to compete for millions of dollars of scholarships.
Scientific Investigators at 5 Institutions Receive $1 Million to Spur Better Outcomes for Patients with Acral Melanoma and Provide Breakthroughs Through the Use of Genome Sequencing
WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Melanoma Research Alliance (MRA), the leading private funder of melanoma research, and the Hidary Foundation, the philanthropic arm of technology entrepreneur Jack Hidary and his family, today announced a new research program with researchers at five institutions comprising a groundbreaking study of the genetics of acral melanoma. Two Team Science Awards will fund new work at Kaiser Permanente Research Institute, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen), University of California San Francisco (UCSF) and Vanderbilt University. The awards total $1 million and are jointly awarded by the MRA and the Hidary Foundation.
“This partnership with the Hidary Foundation underscores the need for further research into melanoma, and especially melanoma subtypes such as acral melanoma, in order to develop more effective treatment options for all melanoma patients.”
Melanoma is an aggressive form of skin cancer and one of the fastest growing cancers in the U.S. This study will focus on acral melanoma which is a subtype of the cancer that typically forms on the palms of the hands, soles of the feet, or under the fingernails and has a 10-20% lower survival rate than non-acral cutaneous melanoma. These studies will delve into the genetic drivers of acral melanoma, insight that is crucially needed to better understand how new advances in cutaneous melanoma treatment can be applied to acral patients.
The cost of genomic sequencing has come down significantly. Five years ago, it would have cost millions of dollars to perform whole genome sequencing on a few dozen patients. Today the cost is down to a few thousand dollars per individual, and sequencing can be performed in days. This enables researchers to now use sequencing to measure tumor-specific alterations in chromosome structure, point-mutations and gene expression via a combination of whole genome, whole exome and RNA sequencing.
“We have made significant progress in the fight against melanoma since the MRA was founded in 2007,” said Debra Black, Co-Founder and Chair of the Melanoma Research Alliance. “This partnership with the Hidary Foundation underscores the need for further research into melanoma, and especially melanoma subtypes such as acral melanoma, in order to develop more effective treatment options for all melanoma patients.”
“Despite recent progress in defining the genetic basis of cutaneous melanoma, comprehensive studies are lacking in patients with acral melanoma. These two Team Science Awards bring together the diverse expertise needed to define in all patients the underlying cause of this disease. The insights gained will likely lead to future personalized treatment approaches,” said David B. Solit, MD, of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, Chairman of MRA’s Grant Review Committee.
“Genetic sequencing has decreased significantly in cost and time and can now be used as a critical tool to investigate cancer, and based on our experiences in technology, we believe that whole exome and whole genome sequencing of larger sets of patients may be key to new breakthroughs in the fight against cancer,” said Jack Hidary, Chairman of the Hidary Foundation. “Our partnership with the Melanoma Research Alliance will advance this important work on melanoma. The key to genomic studies is not just sequencing, but the analysis of the data. These teams will focus on unraveling the genetic signature of this cancer, and this will extend their work to other cancers as we collectively build greater genomic capabilities.”
The Hidary family’s interest in acral melanoma was spurred by the discovery and successful treatment of the family’s patriarch, David J. Hidary.
Recipients of these competitive Team Science Awards include one team led by Maryam Asgari, MD, MPH, of the Kaiser Permanente Research Institute that also includes multiple researchers from UCSF. Members of the second team, led by Jeffrey Sosman, MD, of Vanderbilt University, include investigators from Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and TGen.
With these latest awards, MRA has now awarded more than $49 million to leading researchers seeking to better treat, prevent, detect, and stage melanoma. Due to the ongoing support of its founders, MRA devotes 100% of every dollar raised to melanoma research. MRA’s rigorous peer-review process ensures that the organization’s research dollars are allocated to projects with the potential to affect near-term improvements in the paradigm of care.
About the Hidary Foundation
The Hidary Foundation catalyzes positive change in several sectors. The Foundation has a focus on promoting innovative K-12 educational programs, particularly those that focus on science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) and those that use project-based learning approaches. The Foundation has also supported the promotion of entrepreneurship both through programs that support microfinance focusing on low-income individuals who wish to start companies as well as youth entrepreneurship. The members of the Hidary family are all entrepreneurs in fields ranging from technology and clean energy to real estate, fashion and education.
The Foundation’s work on cancer will focus on the use of emerging tools such as genomic sequencing in the fight against cancer. This study with the MRA will be supported by members of the Hidary family including David and Aimee Hidary, Jack Hidary, Murray Hidary, Richard and Esther Hidary, and Michael and Sarah Hidary.
About the Melanoma Research Alliance
MRA is a public charity formed in 2007 under the auspices of the Milken Institute, with the generous founding support of Debra and Leon Black. MRA is poised to build on recent momentum in the field, accelerating the pace of scientific discovery and translation in order to eliminate suffering and death due to melanoma. To date, MRA has supported the research of 171 investigators at 80 institutions in 14 countries. MRA’s ability to fund wide-ranging research in melanoma is amplified by unique multi-faceted collaborations and partnerships with individuals, private foundations and corporations. Visit www.curemelanoma.org for more information.
This robotics team wanted to figure out a way to send a flying robot into an area with a lot of obstacles and have it get through those obsticles WITHOUT the use of sophisticated avoicance technology. Check out their clever solution and the amazing results:
Ken Robinson is inspiring in these TED talks on education and finding your passion. ( TED talks. )
His new book, Finding Your Element, synthesizes his many talks on finding the idea, subject or pursuit that will connect most for you.
For the youngest survivors of the Newtown shooting, one group is working to give them a little extra 'superpower' to help them heal.
In the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre, Camella Mollica and her daughter Allison Anderson, 13, were determined to find a way to embolden the most vulnerable survivors, the Hartford Courant reports. The pair, from Wethersfield, Conn., quickly came up with Capes for Kids, a program that is collecting capes for every elementary and middle school student in Newtown -- 3,200 in all, the New York Daily News reports.
"These kids saw horrific things," Mollica told the paper. "So we said, 'We're going to make you superheroes for a day.'"
Within 24 hours of establishing Capes for Kids, the group received over 1,000 donations, Mollica told the Courant. Contributions continue to pour in from local schools, companies and volunteers and there’s even talk of organizing a “Superhero Day” when Sandy Hook Elementary School students return to class in Monroe, Conn., after the holidays, according to the news outlet.
A group of knitters is working on making stuffed animals for all 600 students at Sandy Hook Elementary School and Kim Piscatelli, a Connecticut mom, is collecting copies of "The Kissing Hand" and a pair of mittens for each Sandy Hook student, according to the Associated Press.
"Everybody wants to help," Piscatellitold the AP. "Everybody's looking for some way to reach out."
Cape donations can be dropped off at Northwest Catholic High School, 29 Wampanoag Drive, West Hartford, through Dec. 21 or shipped to Camella Mollica at 31 Cedar Street Wethersfield, CT 06109. The group also accepts monetary donations to purchase capes. Learn more here.
As the daughter of a public school teacher, I was raised with the understanding that educators have the most important jobs out there. Forget captains of industry, politicians or the doctors who kept us healthy, without the work of teachers none of them could do what they do.
Of course, for all of its importance education can be a thankless job. On nights when my mother returns home from a school day that ended at 3 as late as 6pm, she spends evenings making calls and sending emails to parents who often care less about their child’s grades than their teacher does. She earned her Master’s three years ago and spends her weekends traveling to seminars and retreats to learn the latest techniques and technologies to give her kids the best chance at success–all while taking in stride jokes about teaching as the “easiest profession” for its short hours and summers off.
All this to say I was thrilled to work on FORBES 30 under 30: Education list, which is new to the package this year. Would there even be such a list without education? Gut reaction: absolutely not. Our brilliant editors and staffers have our own teachers to credit for putting us behind these desks.
The 30 Gen-Yers on our list are innovators, advocates, thought-leaders and reformers. Through outreach initiatives and engineering they’re committed, like my mom, to giving kids everywhere the best chance at success. They’re committed to making the lives of teachers like her just a little bit easier, whether through technology that saves them precious minutes communicating with parents or helps them use data analytics to track performance more efficiently than traditional paper grade books ever could.
Others are reinventing higher education with programs like Jeremy Johnson’s 2U. As the cofounder of 2U (which until this Fall was known as 2tor), Johnson, 28, is at the forefront of the online education revolution. The great white hope? That getting a degree online will become on par with, if not preferred to, an on-campus education. With USC and Georgetown now offering for-credit graduate level coursework online, 2U seems on-track to make that dream a reality, removing costly barriers in the process.
Johnson may be the standout in the category, but he’s in good company. Click through the gallery for the 30 men and women who are disrupting education from top to bottom. To learn more, visit their websites and follow them on social (you’ll find that all on the 30u30 lander). Reach out to congratulate them, to give them well-deserved credit for their hard work.
And if you do get in touch with them, ask what teacher they have to thank for helping them land on our pages.
FULL LIST: Forbes 30 Under 30
EDUCATION: The Forbes 30 Under 30
IN PHOTOS: 30 Under 30 In Education