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The Gift of Research
John and Edna Beck Endowed Chair for Pediatric Cancer Research Established at CHORI

June 1, 2012 – CHORI is pleased to announce the establishment of the John and Edna Beck Chair in Pediatric Cancer Research. The generous $1.8 million gift comes from the Edna Beck Trust and establishes the chair in honor of Mr. and Mrs. Beck. Inspired by the exceptional care given to Edna Beck’s great niece, Rebecca Bauer, who was a patient at Children’s Hospital & Research Center Oakland, the endowment will help fund the research of CHORI Senior Scientist, Julie Saba, MD, PhD, who will serve as the first John and Edna Beck Endowed Chair.

“I’m incredibly honored to be able to serve as the first John and Edna Beck Endowed Chair. The endowment will help fund critical research aimed at developing the most innovative and novel approaches to the treatment and cure of both pediatric and adult cancers,” says Dr. Saba.

“The endowment will help fund critical research aimed at developing treatments and cures for both pediatric and adult cancers.”



Dr. Saba's groundbreaking research focuses on sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P), a naturally occurring lipid that is critical for a variety if different biological functions, from blood vessel development to inflammation and immunity. In particular, Dr. Saba has found that S1P is a key player in cell survival and cell death, which makes S1P a viable target for the development of novel cancer therapies.

“Targeting S1P, and the two major enzymes that generate and break down S1P, sphingosine kinase 1 and sphingosine-1-phosphate lyase, may provide the opportunity to reverse drug resistance in cancer cells or protect healthy cells from the side effects of current cancer treatments,” says Dr. Saba.

CHORI held a reception at the end of May to thank the family of Edna Beck for their generous support, which was attended by Bruce, Hope and Rebecca Bauer, as well as other nieces of the late Edna Beck. The program included the permanent installation in the CHORI library of a chair emblazoned with a plaque in recognition of John and Edna Beck.

"We are indebted to Edna Beck and her family for such a generous and inspired gift," says CHORI Executive Director Alexander H. Lucas, PhD. "Endowments like these allow CHORI to continue providing the research that is so essential to the discovery of novel treatments and cures for cancer. We are so pleased to be such an enduring part of Edna Beck’s legacy."

“Endowments like these allow CHORI to continue providing the research that is so essential to the discovery of novel treatments and cures for cancer.”

As Dr. McCann explains, "It is very difficult to both raise HDL-c and lower homocysteine with drugs and even most special diets, so the ability of the CHORI-bar to do this in only 2-weeks with no special dietary instructions is very enouraging."

In addition, the CHORI-Bar is also a testament to the power of balanced nutrition and the right mixture of nutrients.

"When individual nutrients in the CHORI-Bar are taken separately in supplement form, quite high amounts are needed in order to have effects like those we are seeing with the CHORI-Bar," says Dr. Shigenaga. "What is critically different here is that we are supplying these different nutrients together in a balanced combination at amounts typically found in food. The overall affect of the CHORI-Bar may well be due to the power of delivering them all together with a synergistic effect."

Positive results from additional trials are already being assembled for publication, and the Ames group is planning additional studies, both to evaluate the mechanisms behind the metabolic changes and to quantify differences in metabolic shifts between different types of individuals.

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Sunday, July 29, 2012 12:38 PM

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