Cancer Donation

Thank You Letter from a Researcher

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I am a clinician-investigator (MD/PhD) at the Sheba Medical Center, practicing Oncology and performing translational research in melanoma.

When I started my residency in Oncology several years ago, I became interested in studying the role of micro-RNAs in melanoma, a field that has almost not been studied at that time. Interest aside, I had no financial support to allow me to pursue this path.

I applied for a project grant from the Israel Cancer Association, and luckily enough received the grant in 2008. The sum granted by the ICA was not enormous, but was exactly enough to allow me to purchase the platform of micro-RNA arrays and to perform my first experiment, that led to interesting and important preliminary observations.

Based on the results obtained in this first experiment, I was able to further apply and receive other research grants, among them the Edward H. Kass Medical research award from the American Physician's fellowship, the 'Morasha' grant from the Israel Scientific Foundation, a research grant from the Chief Scientist Office at the Israeli Ministry of health, and lately the 'Stewart Rahr - Melanoma Research Alliance Young Investigator Award'.

My lab now includes a full-time investigator after post-doc training, and a dedicated Ph. D student, both working on further elucidating the role of micro-RNAs in melanoma. We have just submitted our first manuscript, and we plan to further study this important field in the future.

So, in fact, it was the ICA project grant that allowed me to start my own lab and my own research. And so, although I have received bigger grants since then, the grant I received from ICA several years ago is by no means the most important grant I received, and the one to which I am most grateful.


Raya Leibowitz-Amit, M.D. / Ph.D.
Department of Oncology
Talpiot Medical Leadership Program
Sheba Medical Center Tel-Hashomer
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