The two areas of focus the foundation has begun to concentrate its energy around are (1) the genetic predisposition to breast cancer, developing deeper understanding of the cancer genome with targeted therapies specific to each individual’s genetic makeup; and (2) invoking and enhancing a response from an individual’s own immune system to treat their disease. Past projects supported by the foundation reflect this, such as the Genome Guided Therapy Study at the Mayo Clinic, Holbrook Kohrt’s work at Stanford on a monoclonal antibody to strengthen the immune response to Her-2 positive breast cancer, and the collaborative effort with the Damon Runyon Foundation to fund Nicholas Navin’s research in single cell genome sequencing to understand the diversity in tumor types important to accurate diagnosis and optimal treatment. These are also examples of related projects supported by Nadia’s Gift that have made great progress. Most notable is Holbrook Kohrt’s work now going to clinical trial, while Pfizer has agreed to provide the medication in support of the trial. This is pretty exciting as Nadia’s Gift funding has played an important role in what now may be a meaningful treatment for many women with an aggressive form of breast cancer.

With two primary areas of research focus, Nadia’s Gift seeks to identify and support the most impactful research in these areas through collaboration with two highly respected cancer organizations. To this end, Nadia’s Gift leverages the approach and ongoing leadership of the Damon Runyon Foundation and Stanford University through the establishment of the Nadia’s Gift Research Fund.

Originally established in 1946, The Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation has sought to accelerate breakthroughs by identifying and supporting the best young scientists with the most innovative ideas in cancer research. In fact, Damon Runyon’s list of alumni from past grant programs includes 12 Nobel Laureates.

Nadia’s Gift was founded with a charter to support early stage research for breast cancer. The foundation has directly funded two Damon Runyon-Rachleff Innovator Award Grants, pledging three years of research support for each principal investigator.

To provide greater involvement and visibility into all their programs touching breast cancer, I am currently a member of Damon Runyon’s Board. This will be a strong ongoing relationship between the two foundations.

A second area of focus, Nadia’s Gift Foundation has continued its ongoing appreciation of the Stanford Cancer Institute, launching the Nadia's Gift Foundation Research Fund in 2013 an annual grant program that awards the most impactful breast cancer research over a five-year span. The selection committee for this research will be comprised of the Director of the Cancer Institute, the Director of Breach Cancer Research and my representation of Nadia’s Gift. Stanford was very meaningful to Nadia’s care and we are very pleased that we will have involvement with their research for a number of years to come.

Nadia's Gift Research Fund Nicholas Navin

Nadia's Gift Breast Cancer Vaccine Beauty