UC Davis radiation oncologist Ruben Fragoso was awarded a $75,000 grant today from Hyundai Hope on Wheels to support his pediatric brain tumor research. The Hyundai Scholar Grant was presented during the Hope on Wheels handprint ceremony outside the UC Davis Health System's Administrative Support Building.
During the ceremony, Sacramento-area children with cancer placed their handprints in colorful paint on a new Hyundai Tucson to commemorate their journeys. "Hyundai's Hope on Wheels grant to our pediatric cancer researchers helps enable our researchers to turn their discoveries into advanced tools to prevent and treat pediatric cancer," said Ralph de Vere White, director of the UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center. "We are grateful for Hyundai's continued support through its annual Scholar Grant program."
Fragoso, assistant professor of radiation oncology, will use the grant to support his research of the treatment and prevention of pediatric brain tumors. He is focusing on ways to eradicate cancer stem cells, which are thought to be the primary reason brain tumors reoccur. Success could potentially decrease the amount of chemotherapy or radiation needed for tumor treatment and reduce side effects.
"I am honored to be receiving the 2012 Hope on Wheels Scholar Grant," Dr. Fragoso said. "Funding like this is extremely important in that it provides a start-up means to investigate new ideas related to cancer research or expand on previous ones."
Hope On Wheels primarily provides funds to nonprofit children's hospitals across the U.S. for pediatric cancer research, and strives to build public awareness about the importance of the cause. The program is funded by Hyundai and its U.S. dealers. Since 2005, UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center has received $335,000 from Hope on Wheels.
"We see Hope On Wheels as a critical part of our mission at Hyundai," said John Krafcik, president and CEO of Hyundai Motor America. "Pediatric cancer takes far too many young lives and impacts far too many families. We are proud to work with our Hyundai dealers to fund research to end this disease. We congratulate each doctor and institution receiving our grants, and commend them for the important work they are doing."
For more information about Hyundai Hope On Wheels, please visit www.HyundaiHopeOnWheels.org.
UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center is the only National Cancer Institute-designated center serving the Central Valley and inland Northern California, a region of more than 6 million people. Its specialists provide compassionate, comprehensive care for more than 9,000 adults and children every year, and access to more than 150 clinical trials at any given time. Its innovative research program engages more than 280 scientists at UC Davis, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and Jackson Laboratory (JAX West), whose scientific partnerships advance discovery of new tools to diagnose and treat cancer. Through the Cancer Care Network, UC Davis collaborates with a number of hospitals and clinical centers throughout the Central Valley and Northern California regions to offer the latest cancer care. Its community-based outreach and education programs address disparities in cancer outcomes across diverse populations. For more information, visit cancer.ucdavis.edu.