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Dr. Erin Butler at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, Texas

Dallas-based TeamConnor Childhood Cancer Foundation has provided $1.1 million to 10 research hospitals across the nation to fund pediatric research in 2021. The research grants were awarded to researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center, Cook Children’s Hospital, Texas Children’s Hospital, Memorial Sloan Kettering, Penn State Health Children’s Hospital, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, University of California San Francisco and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital.


“We have all seen in the past year how important research is for medical breakthroughs,” said Joy Cruse, Founder and board chair of TeamConnor Childhood Cancer Foundation. “This is a historic year for TeamConnor as we are able to give our largest research grant amount in the history of our organization to prominent pediatric cancer researchers across the country. Families with children battling cancer need to know we are just as committed to funding research as ever before and we hope to see better treatments and significant developments to find cures for childhood cancers.”


Recipients of the grants include: 


Dr. Erin Butler at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, Texas is researching the FGFR4 inhibition in pediatric fusion-positive RMS.


Dr. Meaghan Granger of Cook Children's Hospital in Fort Worth, Texas researching the development of a Cellular Immunotherapy program (CIT) for pediatric cancer.


Dr. Kelsey Bertand at Texas Children's Hospital in Houston, Texas is investigating the efficacy of a HER2-antibody drug conjugate against HER2+ ependymoma.


Dr. Jason Yustein at Texas Children's Hospital in Houston, Texas is targeting p21-activated kinases (PAKs) in pediatric sarcoma. 


Dr. Tara O’ Donohue at Memorial Sloan Kettering in New York, New York is researching for Phase I/II open-label, safety, tolerability, pharmacokinetics, and anti-tumor activity study of TPX-0005.  This will be studied in combination with chemotherapy in pediatric and young adult subjects with advanced or metastatic solid tumors and primary CNS tumors. 


Dr. Chandrika Gowda at Penn State Health Children's Hospital in Hershey, Pennsylvania is researching CK2 for treatment of pediatric AML. 


Dr. Esther Berko at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania is conducting research to unravel and harness cell-free nucleic acid to improve outcomes in pediatric solid tumors. 


Dr. Ernesto Diaz-Flores of University of California, San Francisco in San Francisco, California is in the research for Pre-clinical evaluation of a promising therapeutic opportunity for children with high risk ALL. 


Dr. Mignon Loh at University of California, San Francisco in San Francisco, California is working on the research of the implementation of a clinical trial for newly diagnosed JMML that integrates a risk stratification algorithm.  


Dr. Richard Lu at Cincinnati Children's Hospital in Cincinnati, Ohio is targeting aggressive medulloblastoma with novel proton therapy strategies. 


Since 2008, TeamConnor has donated more than $4.5 million to numerous hospitals across the country in its mission to fund improved treatment options and ultimately cures for childhood cancers. For more information on how to join the fight against childhood cancer, please visit or follow TeamConnor Childhood Cancer Foundation on InstagramTwitter, LinkedIn, YouTube or Facebook.

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