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Children’s Hospital Researcher Participates In ‘Stand Up To Cancer’ Event

Dr. Fernando Camargo in front of the Stand Up To Cancer wall of patient signatures

A Children’s Hospital Boston scientist recently spent a star-studded night in Los Angeles taking part in the second Stand Up To Cancer event.

Dr. Fernando Camargo, a Principal Investigator in the Stem Cell Program at Children’s Hospital Boston, was one of thirteen recipients of Stand Up To Cancer 2009 Innovative Research Grants: $750,000 over three years to “support early-career scientists with novel ideas that have a strong potential to impact patient care – projects that are high-risk but could also be high-impact.” Stand Up To Cancer, a charitable initiative under the umbrella of the Entertainment Industry Foundation, was formed in 2008.

Camargo’s research focuses on the Hippo signaling pathway, which is believed to play a role in limiting organ growth. “You can think of tumors as over-growths of organs, so maybe by manipulating this pathway, you’d be able to stop the growth of these tumors,” said Camargo.

Understanding tumor biology also affects how scientists think about regenerative therapeutics, particularly regarding the liver, in which the Hippo pathway is especially potent, explained Camargo. Some liver transplant patients suffer from small-for-size syndrome, in which the new liver is not large enough to meet a patient’s metabolic needs. By manipulating the Hippo pathway, though, it’s possible that liver regeneration could be enhanced.

Dr. Fernando Camargo and other grant recipients were brought up on stage at the end of the Stand Up To Cancer event.

On September 10, 2010, Camargo and the other grant recipients were brought up on stage to be honored at the Stand Up To Cancer event, which was broadcast on a variety of major networks. Camargo met celebrities such as Gwyneth Paltrow, Stevie Wonder, and Katie Couric, and he spent time with the Stand Up To Cancer Scientific Advisory Committee, which includes Nobel laureate Dr. Phillip Sharp. Most importantly, Camargo was able to speak with the other grant recipients. “Ideally what we’d like to do is start establishing more formal collaborations and some sort of annual gathering, and from there we’d see if we can develop a program so that we can apply for a Dream Team award, which is one of the larger awards,” said Camargo. “It would be an extraordinary collaborative opportunity and could put us in the position to take what we are doing to the next level, which could translate more directly to the clinic.”

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  • Learn more about Fernando Camargo’s research

    To learn more about Fernando Camargo’s stem cell related research, check out this press release.