Franklin Foundation Adds New Gift to Fight Cancer

Franklin photoTammy and Steve Franklin tour Winship lab space
with Dr. Robin Bostick (right).

The Wilson P. and Anne W. Franklin Trust Foundation recently made a major gift of $300,000 to support the Cancer Risk Prediction and Prevention Program (CPPP) at Winship. To date, the foundation has given four gifts totaling $650,000 to support outstanding graduate and post-doctoral students doing colon cancer research under the guidance of CPPP program leader Dr. Robin Bostick.

"The Franklin Foundation is focused on education," said W. Steven Franklin, foundation president. "Cancer research is important to us as well; my father, who started the foundation in 1996, and his mother had colon cancer. This grant allows us to support both missions at once. We’re proud of the students who are furthering their education with post-doc work at Winship. After their experience working with Dr. Bostick, they are moving into research positions all over the country where they will train the next generation of scientists and, hopefully, create a snowball effect that continues to spread knowledge."

The enlightened investment made by the Franklin Foundation enabled Dr. Bostick and his team to leverage their promising research findings to win almost $2 million in grants from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and other sources. More than $3 million in grant applications is pending.

"The goal of our research is to develop a panel of biomarkers that can be measured in the blood or urine to indicate risk for colon cancer," said Dr. Bostick. "This would be much like the way a lipid panel is used in the doctor’s office for assessing risk and preventing cardiovascular disease. We don’t have anything like this now to assess cancer risk. We could use biomarkers to test interventions such as diet or exercise before going on to massive clinical trials. Having a better idea of what works, how safely, and in what amounts would accelerate progress in colon cancer prevention."

He continued, "I am so appreciative of the Franklin Foundation. It has made a huge difference in my life’s work and in my students’ lives. As they move on, I expect that they will further the development of practical, treatable biomarkers of risk for colorectal and other cancers. We are quite excited about the expanding web of collaboration we have created as we continue to share research findings."

Current doctoral level students benefiting from the Franklin Foundation are Huakang Tu, Baiyu Yang, Kristina Valenzuela, and Ashley Holmes. Twenty students have received support from the Franklin Foundation over the past six years.

To donate to the Winship Cancer Risk Prediction and Prevention Program, please contact the Winship development office at 404-778-5175.

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