Jeanette Ferguson, Ph.D. - The Joan Bisesi Fund for Head and Neck Oncology Research
Jeanette Ferguson, Ph.D., an advocate for the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), has raised more than $625,000 for cancer research since her diagnosis of an advanced, rare form of head and neck cancer (oral squamous cell carcinoma).
In the seven years since her cancer diagnosis, Ferguson has received a doctorate in pathology from The Ohio State University. She was awarded a postdoctoral fellowship with The Ohio State University College of Dentistry’s Comprehensive Training in Oral and Craniofacial Science Program, and has spent the last three years conducting research on oral cancer.
The advanced stage of her cancer diagnosis coupled with the rarity of her disease has helped Ferguson realize the need for increased public education about head and neck cancer and the important role that AACR programs like the Scientist↔Survivor Program play in the cancer community.
“Interacting with other advocates helps me to learn more about different cancer types, and also provides me with the know-how to better utilize the gifts and talents of the advocates at OSU,” she said. “The AACR’s Scientist↔Survivor Program provides me with ideas to foster a strong program for patient advocates and creative ways to fundraise.”
As a survivor, researcher and advocate, Ferguson knows that cancer research saves lives.
Donating to the AACR fosters research in cancer, accelerates the dissemination of new research findings among scientists and others dedicated to the conquest of cancer, promotes science education and training, and advances the understanding of cancer etiology, prevention, diagnosis and treatment throughout the world.
Jasan Zimmerman, an advocate with the American Association for Cancer Research, is a three-time cancer survivor who was first diagnosed with neuroblastoma at the age of 6 months. At 15, he had his thyroid removed due to a tumor he likely developed from radiation for his neuroblastoma. The cancer retreated but returned again when he was 21.
Zimmerman channeled his interest in science into action. After studying biology in college and graduate school, he pursued a career in molecular biology. He knows, from firsthand experience, that cancer research saves lives. Zimmerman has contributed his scientific expertise and personal insight into the search for cancer cures. Not only is he a scientist and survivor, but he is an active AACR advocate through AACR’s Scientist↔Survivor Program.
“Becoming involved in the advocacy community has not only allowed me to make a positive impact, it has also helped me come to terms with what I’ve been through and has eased the pain. Every time I share my story, whether through speaking or writing, it gets easier. Seeing the impact that sharing my story has on people is the greatest reward for me.”
Donating to the American Association for Cancer Research fosters research in cancer, accelerates the dissemination of new research findings among scientists and others dedicated to the conquest of cancer, promotes science education and training, and advances the understanding of cancer etiology, prevention, diagnosis and treatment throughout the world.
Christopher and Samuel French
Two brothers, both in the fight against cancer, both 2010 AACR grant recipients. Christopher A. French, M.D., assistant professor of pathology at Brigham and Women's Hospital Inc., is a recipient of a 2010 AACR Centennial Career Development Award for Childhood Cancer Research. Dr. Christopher French is studying NUT Midline Carcinoma, an uncommon, but uniformly lethal form of childhood cancer; so rare there are only about 25 cases annually worldwide. He actually identified the gene that causes the cancer in 2003, and believes he is one of the only researchers currently investigating this form of cancer.
His brother, Samuel W. French, M.D., Ph.D., also an assistant professor of pathology, works at the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles. Dr. Samuel French is the recipient of the 2010 Landon Foundation–AACR INNOVATOR Award for Cancer Prevention Research to support his Phase I clinical trial on the flavonol quercetin, a natural dietary compound found in food plants, citrus fruits and other sources. Patients with chronic hepatitis C, which is caused by the hepatitis C virus (HCV), will be enrolled in this trial to study the effects of quercetin on HCV, the major cause for the recent doubling of liver cancer in the United States.
Drs. Christopher and Samuel French were only two of the more than 30 scientists awarded 2010 AACR grants. The AACR funds an outstanding array of grants for cancer researchers at various stages in their careers and working on all forms of cancer.