Dell Children’s Medical Center Wins $250,000 Research Grant from Hyundai Hope on Wheels




Hyundai Hope On Wheels and Austin-area Hyundai dealers awarded Children’s Blood & Cancer Center at Dell Children’s a $250,000 Hyundai Hope Grant for pediatric cancer research. The grant funds will support the collaborative work of a team led by Dr. Philip E. Neff and Dell Pediatric Research Institute that will investigate the molecular changes in cancer cell metabolism in response to medications. Understanding these changes could predict outcomes and allow for optimized care and personalized chemotherapy treatments.

“This collaborative research is the first step towards the development of new strategies for cancer therapy,” said Dr. Phillip E. Neff, Children’s Blood & Cancer Center at Dell Children’s. “Using the patients’ blood and actual cancer cells to create a metabolic profile will greatly improve the understanding of the drugs and how they are used in therapy. This could result in higher survival rates in children with leukemia with less chance of relapse and with fewer side effects.”

“This collaboration with Dr. Neff and the Children’s Blood & Cancer Center represents an outstanding opportunity to translate our research methods and the study of cancer metabolism and signaling to the bedside,” added Dr. Stefano Tiziani, Dell Pediatric Research Institute. “Our research will hopefully make significant contributions to improving treatment outcomes for children with leukemia.”

Hyundai Hope Grants fund research projects with the greatest potential to improve the lives of children battling cancer. Dell Children’s is one of 41 recipients of Hope On Wheels’ 2013 Hyundai Hope Grants. In all, Hope On Wheels will award $10.25 million in grants this September in honor of National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. The donation is also a new effort by Hyundai to thank its millions of owners who have helped Hope On Wheels raise more than $72 million in pediatric cancer research funding the past 15 years.

The $250,000 Hyundai Hope Grant was officially presented to Drs. Philip Neff, Stefano Tiziani and John DiGiovanni during a Hope On Wheels Handprint Ceremony at the Children’s Blood & Cancer Center at Dell Children’s. During the ceremony, children battling cancer placed their handprints dipped in colorful paint on a white 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport, the official vehicle of Hope On Wheels. This ceremony celebrates the courageous lives of the children faced with cancer and brings Hope On Wheels’ community of supporters together.

Throughout September, Hope On Wheels also will conduct a new social media campaign inviting the public to join the pediatric cancer fight and share stories of children battling cancer to raise awareness about this disease that afflicts nearly 15,000 children annually in the U.S. Visitors to Hyundai’s Facebook page will be able to lend a hand through the app “Every Handprint Tells A Story”, which allows visitors to add their handprint to an interactive map of hope, as well as watch and read the stories of some of the amazing children. Hope On Wheels collects the handprints of hundreds of children each year, and each represents the hope and courage of an individual child impacted by cancer.