Posted: January 04, 2012
College of Engineering students have the opportunity to help reach the goal because some of the money raised by Pelotonia supports Ohio State student research dedicated to finding a cure for cancer. Since 2009, $3 million has been dedicated to the Pelotonia Fellowship Program, providing postdoctoral, undergraduate, graduate and medical student fellowships to accomplished student scientists.
“Pelotonia dollars are funding vital cancer research at Ohio State, allowing our youngest and brightest cancer investigators to help bridge the gap until they may one day qualify for federal research funding,” says Dr. Michael Caligiuri M.D., director of The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center and CEO of the James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute. “Student researchers play a crucial role in making new discoveries that may one day lead to a cancer-free world.”
Jeff Mason, program director of the Pelotonia Fellowships, says the program fosters a unique collaboration between students and renowned researchers at Ohio State.
“Cancer is a complex disease,” he says, “and curing it will take a multidisciplinary effort.”
Undergraduate fellowships are offered to 25 students of any major and pay an annual stipend up to $12,000. In addition, two-year fellowships are offered to 16 graduate students and pay up to a $25,000 stipend plus fees and tuition. Eligibility for these fellowships is simple: The applicant must be an outstanding Ohio State undergraduate or graduate student, must propose a cancer-related project, and must be willing to participate in Pelotonia.
When Pelotonia started in 2009, riders collectively raised $4.5 million. The next year, 4,047 bicyclists rode more than 328,000 miles to raise $7.8 million. The 2011 event raised more than $10 million.
Donations from corporate sponsors make it possible for 100 percent of the money raised by this three-day event of cycling, entertainment and volunteerism to go directly to innovative and lifesaving cancer research at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center - James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute.
Pelotonia major funding partners are Huntington Bank, Limited Brands Foundation and Richard and Peggy Santulli; supporting funding partners are American Electric Power Foundation and Nationwide Insurance.
Registration for Pelotonia 2012 will open in January. More information about Pelotonia Fellowships can be found online at go.osu.edu/PelotoniaFellowshipPrograms. Visit pelotonia.org for more information.
Jason Carrier, Computer Science and Engineering
Project: “Modeling Structural Robustness of Tumor Cells” using a platform called NetLogo by defining a set of rules for individual agents in the model that work together to form the cell. Using these models will help determine inherent properties of cells and maximize the efficiency of treatment on these cells based on their response to their simulated environment in the model.
Alex Hissong, Biomedical Engineering
Project: “Developing Brain Biomimetic Material for In Vitro Tumor Studies” to create synthetic “brain-like” environments to grow and observe cancer cells in order to understand and prevent metastasis in the brain.
Kevin Kauffman, Chemical Engineering and Pharmaceutics
Project: “Antibody Ligation to Pulmonary Polymeric Microparticles for the Treatment of Lung Cancer” to create micron-sized particles with chemotherapeutics loaded inside from a degradable polymer, which can be inhaled to help treat lung cancer. Additionally, affixing a special antibody to the surface of these particles may help specifically target and inhibit cancerous cells in the lungs.
Danielle Kelly, Engineering Physics
Project: “Proton Cancer Therapy: Using High Intensity Lasers to Accelerate Protons” to research the properties of protons as they are accelerated from a target that is hit by a high- intensity laser, seeking an alternative proton source that can be used to treat inoperable tumors and cancers.
Sundaresan Raman, Computer Science and Engineering
Project: “A Framework for Analysis of Vasculature Phenotypes in the Tumor Microenvironment” to develop a 3-D computational framework to characterize blood vessels in a tumor micro-environment, enabling analysis of vasculature across genotypes. This also may help the biologists in validating and proposing newer hypotheses.
Shreyas Rao, Chemical Engineering
Project: “Brain Mimetic Biomaterials for Investigating Tumor Cell Migration” to develop brain biomaterials to investigate, outside the body, migration of brain cancers. These 3-D, tissue-like materials overcome limitations of standard 2-D cultures and may help better understand brain cancer behavior in vitro, eventually leading to improved therapeutic options.
Alexander Smith, Computer Science and Engineering
Project: “Development of a Consensus-establishing Software Tool for Skin Cancer Research” that can be used as a teaching tool to help medical students better estimate the percent body surface area covered by a skin disease.
Rachel Zielinski, Biomedical Engineering
Project: “The Role of Substrate Stiffness and Cell Mechanics in Epithelial-to-Mesenchymal Transition of Cancer Cells,” using experimental and computational techniques to determine how tumor stiffness could be used clinically to predict tumor metastatic potential and cancer aggressiveness.