Hearst Foundations award $200,000 grant to support the Amy Program

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Hearst Foundations award $200,000 grant to support the Amy Program

Be The Match® is thrilled to be the recipient of a $200,000 grant from the Hearst Foundations, awarded to Be The Match Foundation® to support the Amy Strelzer Manasevit Research Program (Amy Program). This increased investment from Hearst Foundations comes at a critical time as Be The Match Foundation expands support for Amy Scholars from 3 years of funding to 5 years. The Hearst Foundations’ commitment to the development of early-career investigators studying post-transplant complications furthers the

Amy Strelzer Manasevit, blood stem cell recipient

research that leads to critical discoveries, helping more patients live longer, healthier lives.

“We are proud to be associated with the Amy Program,” said Hearst Foundations Executive Director, Paul “Dino” Dinovitz. “The Hearst Foundations share Be The Match’s commitment to eliminating health care disparities and ensuring access to high-quality care for low-income populations. Supporting the development of young medical investigators will help create a broad and enduring impact on the nation’s health.”

The Amy Program is the only U.S. clinical research program dedicated exclusively to discovering treatment and prevention strategies for post-transplant complications while developing the next generation of transplant physician-scientists. Amy Program researchers dedicate their careers to:

  • Finding solutions that make it possible for thousands of patients to avoid dangerous post-transplant complications
  • Improving treatments to help patients overcome complications like relapse, infection, and graft-versus-host disease

The Hearst Foundations’ grant will help these investigators establish their labs, build their portfolios, and publish the results that position them for tenure-track positions and future funding. This investment in research is key to raising the rate of “event-free” survival for our core patients by 25% over the next five years.

To learn more about how you can provide critical funding to help improve outcomes for patients in need of a life-saving blood stem cell transplant please contact Amy Conner at aconner@nmdp.org or (763) 406-8748 | Toll Free: (800) 507-5427 Ext 8748.

About the Hearst Foundations

The charitable goals of the Hearst Foundations reflect the philanthropic interests of William Randolph Hearst, with a focus on ensuring that people of all backgrounds have the opportunity to build healthy, productive, and inspiring lives. The William Randolph Hearst Foundation and The Hearst Foundation, Inc. are independentprivate philanthropies operating separately from the Hearst Corporation.

A Family’s Promise Leads to Life-Saving Research Program

Posted February 2nd, 2015 by Be The Match and filed in News, Patient Stories
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The Amy Research Program began in 1998 with a family’s promise to Amy – a mother, a wife, a daughter. Since then, it has evolved into a partnership that has supported 25 scholars and 13 post-doctoral fellows in their research on improving transplant outcomes. The goal of their research is to discover ways to treat and prevent the potentially life-threatening complications some patients face after transplant.

Photo of Amy Strelzer ManasevitAmy’s story

Amy Strelzer Manasevit was a vibrant young mother who was diagnosed with multiple myeloma in 1993. A marrow transplant was her only hope for a cure. The search for a matching unrelated donor was long and complicated, but Amy and her family never gave up hope. Finally, a suitable donor was found, and Amy received her transplant. Unfortunately, even though the procedure was successful, it severely depleted her immune system and left her vulnerable to infection. Amy developed pneumonia and passed away six weeks after returning home.

Prior to her death, Amy turned to her father, Marty, and asked him to help others avoid her difficult struggle. He promised. In 1997, Marty, Amy’s husband Bruce, and their friends collaborated with us to establish the Amy Strelzer Manasevit Research Program for the Study of Post-Transplant Complications.

The Amy Research Program

The Amy Strelzer Manasevit Research Program bestows one of the largest and most coveted research grants in the field of marrow and cord blood transplantation. The program develops the next generation of physician-scientists by supporting and encouraging the discovery of new ways to treat and prevent post-transplant complications.

This crucial funding, distributed over three years, enables the young investigators to establish themselves as researchers and successfully compete for future grant opportunities. To date, through the Amy Research Program, Be The Match Foundation has supported 25 scholars. As a group, the Amy Scholars have been awarded $6.5 million and have leveraged their research funding to secure an additional $42 million.

What began as a promise has evolved into a program benefiting patients across the globe. Launched by family, supported by philanthropy, and furthered by research talent, the program is an exemplary model for people coming together to make a difference for patients in need.

2015 Scholar Announced

This February, two additional scholars will be awarded research scholarships:

  • Frank M. Cichocki, Ph.D., University of Minnesota
  • Joseph A. Pidala, M.D., Ph.D., H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute