April 2021
The Conrad Prebys Foundation provides $3 million for pediatric brain cancer research

Conrad Prebys was an extraordinary man and a passionate philanthropist. Today, his generosity extends beyond his life through the Conrad Prebys Foundation. This year, the Foundation provided $3 million to Robert Wechsler-Reya, Ph.D., and his team of researchers to advance a potential drug to treat medulloblastoma—the most common malignant brain tumor in children.

COVID-19: Scientists identify human genes that fight infection

New research led by Sumit Chanda, Ph.D., pinpoints interferon stimulating genes as key to fighting SARS-CoV-2 infection. Knowing which human genes help control infection can greatly assist researchers' understanding of factors that affect disease severity and also suggest possible therapeutic options. The scientists will now look at the biology of SARS-CoV-2 variants that continue to evolve and threaten vaccine efficacy. The study was published in Molecular Cell.

Atomic-level insights gained for a key lipid-binding protein implicated in cancer

Francesca Marassi, Ph.D., published images of hotspots within a protein called PLEKHA7 that regulates important intercellular communications and is associated with certain cancers. The research, published in Structure, may be used to design new treatments for advanced colon, breast and ovarian cancers.

Drug candidates hold promise for deadly pediatric leukemia

Two drugs—JAK inhibitors and Mepron—hold potential as a treatment for a deadly type of acute myeloid leukemia more common in children. The drugs are known to be safe in humans, which means that they could be advanced to the clinic relatively quickly. Ani Deshpande, Ph.D., published the study in Blood.

Graduate student awarded American Heart Association Fellowship

The heart is the core of life, and for Ph.D. graduate student Katja Birker, it’s the foundation for the beginning of a career. Birker recently received a prestigious predoctoral fellowship from the American Heart Association to continue her research on hypoplastic left heart syndrome—a condition in babies that requires open-heart surgery at birth.

Victoria Blaho receives prestigious Lina M. Obeid Award

Victoria Blaho, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Immunity and Pathogenesis Program, has received the first-ever Lina M. Obeid Award for her promising research on the biology of sphingolipids. Research over the past several years has revealed a critical role for sphingolipids in most, if not all, major cellular biological processes.

Insights: New Hope for an HIV Cure

Antiretroviral therapy has increased the life expectancy of people with HIV by decades. However, the medicine must be taken every day to be effective. Join us on Tuesday, May 11, from 2:00-3:00 p.m. PT, for a discussion about a potential cure for HIV featuring our scientific experts, people living with HIV and leaders from the LGBTQIA+ community.

An End to Alzheimer’s Disease

Alzheimer’s is one of the most devastating diseases of our time. For millions of families and caregivers around the world, the need for an effective treatment for Alzheimer’s disease is urgent. Join us on Tuesday, June 22, from 1:00- 2:00 p.m. PT, as we explore the root cause of the disease and share information about the hope for new therapeutics.

Padres Pedal the Cause goes virtual for 2021

Calling all cancer fighters! Padres Pedal the Cause is going virtual for 2021, and registration is now open. This annual event raises critical funds for local cancer research institutes. Join the Sanford Burnham Prebys team on Saturday, May 8, to have fun and help scientists put an end to cancer.

Spotlight on Women's Health Research

If you're a woman, you're at greater risk for many serious health conditions, including breast cancer, autoimmune disorders and more. At this "Insights" event, our top scientists discussed their latest research into conditions that uniquely affect women.

Seeing is Believing: Preventing vision loss as we age

More than 11 million Americans have age-related macular degeneration, a leading cause of blindness in adults 60 years and older. Francesca Marassi, Ph.D., shared her research on the topic at this presentation held in partnership with the Fleet Science Center.

Sanford Burnham Prebys and University of Hong Kong reported that the low cost leprosy drug clofazimine is effective in animal models of COVID-19. The next step is a phase 2 study testing clofazimine in combination with interferon beta.

Read about how scientists have identified, at an atomic level, hotspots in a protein called PLEKHA7. The hotspots interact with a cell’s membrane to regulate important intercellular communications.

At Sanford Burnham Prebys, we're passionate about finding bold new ways to treat disease, and we recognize the importance of sharing our discoveries with the public—especially during this unprecedented time. Find out where and when you can "meet" our scientists virtually and learn about their research in this community event calendar.
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Double your COVID-19 donation

Only research will allow scientists to understand and stop COVID-19. We are hopeful that our work will emerge as part of the larger solution to this global health crisis, and we invite you to accelerate our progress and impact. If you donate today, your gift will be matched dollar for dollar—up to $500,000—thanks to the generosity of Dinah Conyers Ruch. 
Could you benefit from the CARES Act of 2020?

The CARES Act of 2020 offers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to make transformative philanthropic gifts, with significant tax benefits to you and your family. Cash gifts to charities such as Sanford Burnham Prebys are deductible at 100% of adjusted gross income.