Funding received from Hyundai Hope on Wheels will allow two physicians from Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital to conduct cancer research projects.
Although the hospital receives funding from other agencies, like the Four Diamonds Fund, Dr. Sinisa Dovat said that two grants cannot be used to fund the same project.
Therefore, if they had not received a $325,000 grant from Hyundai Hope on Wheels, the particular research projects that he and Dr. Chandrika Gowda will be working on would not be possible, he said.
“We can accelerate our research and take it a step further so we can find a cure much faster,” Dovat said.
For Gowda, the grant she received means more time to do research before focusing on clinical work.
“As a young physician, it gives me the opportunity to learn more,” Gowda said. If she would not have been awarded the grant, she wouldn’t have as many resources as she has today, she said.
The concept of allotting physicians more time to focus on research will lead to more well trained doctors or “physician scientists,” Dovat said.
Dovat is a Pediatric Hematology-Oncology specialist whose research will center on gaining knowledge and understanding of new ways to treat Leukemia. This project will last about two years, he said.
Gowda is a Pediatric Hematology-Oncology Fellow at Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital.
She will work on a project similar to Dovat’s, she said. Her project will focus on the role of Ikaros.
Dovat, who is Gowda’s research mentor, went on to explain that Ikaros is a gene that prevents Leukemia from happening. He said the most common cause of the Leukemia is as result of inactive Ikaros.
The doctors received a total of $325,000 in grants from Hyundai, according to a Penn State Live press release.
Dovat was awarded $250,000 from Hyundai Hope on Wheels
Dovat said he and Gowda applied for the grants by submitting proposals that were reviewed by their peers.
Gowda received a $75,000 Scholar Grant, she said.
She added that they were chosen because their projects met the criteria and were best suited for how Hyundai Hope on Wheels wanted to spend its money.
“They were looking for the project that was most promising and was in line with what they wanted to do with the money,” Gowda said.
Hyundai Hope on Wheels could not be reached for comment as of press time Thursday. The organization was founded in 1998, and according to their website, it is an independent, non-profit organization.