Bite Me Cancer announced June 29 that Dr. Irene Min of Weill Cornell Medicine in New York, is the recipient of the group’s third research grant. The $57,500 grant is being administered in conjunction with Bite Me Cancer’s partner, the American Thyroid Association (ATA).
“It is my great honor to be awarded for the thyroid cancer research,” Dr. Min said. “This means a lot to me because I have been trying hard to establish a new project on thyroid cancer and to obtain funding that supports the project with independence.”
“We are very excited about the research Dr. Min will be doing and that Bite Me Cancer and its wonderful supporters can help further her work,” thyroid cancer survivor and Bite Me Cancer Founder Nikki Ferraro said.
Dr. Min earned a Bachelor of Science in biology from Sogang University in Seoul, South Korea and a M.Phil from the Department of Physiology at Cambridge University in England. She also earned a PhD in Genetics from Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston.
An experienced basic research scientist with a focus in stem cell biology, genetics and genomics, Dr. Min’s research program will focus on specific immune therapeutics that can loosen the immune suppressive environment to reach a greater level of improvement in thyroid cancer tumor targeting.
Bite Me Cancer’s first grant funded a thyroid cancer research project at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. The group’s second grant supported thyroid cancer research at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York.
Bite Me Cancer is close to securing a majority of the funding needed to fund a fourth thyroid cancer research grant.
Ferraro was diagnosed with a rare form of thyroid cancer in 2010 when she was 17. She started raising money for cancer research just weeks later even before her first major cancer surgery. Along with raising funds for thyroid cancer research the group provides support, encouragement and understanding for teenagers who have been diagnosed with cancer. Bite Me Cancer provides Teen Support Bags to teenagers in treatment for all cancers through their 70-plus hospital partners across the country.
Thyroid cancer is the third most diagnosed cancer among children between the ages of 15-19 in the U.S., according to the National Institutes of Health. Thyroid cancer is also one of the fastest-increasing cancers among both men and women.
Headquartered in Falls Church, ATA is the leading organization devoted to thyroid biology and to the prevention and treatment of thyroid disease through excellence in research, clinical care, education and public health.