UCSC Genomics Institute Wins the St. Baldricks Foundation Battle of the Bald College Tournament

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More than $28,000 raised for childhood cancer research

SANTA CRUZ (December 15, 2016) – University of California, Santa Cruz is the winner of the St. Baldrick’s Foundation’s college tournament: Battle of the Bald. The school was announced the winner after raising more than $28,000, with 37 people shaving their heads during an event on campus to benefit childhood cancer research.

“I think the St. Baldrick’s head-shaving event is a great thing,” said Michelle Riddle, volunteer event organizer of the event. “The idea to shave your head now to help kids in the future is so simple, but has a profound impact.”

The top fundraiser for the event was Katrina Learned who raised nearly $14,000. As the top fundraiser, she will receive free haircuts for a year, courtesy of St. Baldrick’s national partner Sport Clips Haircuts. Learned’s daughter, Aurora, is a 4-year-old cancer survivor and the inspiration behind the “UC Santa Cruz Treehouse Childhood Cancer Initiative,” which was funded by a St. Baldrick’s grant this summer.

The grant from St. Baldrick’s will evaluate the clinical utility of real-time sharing and integration of pediatric cancer data generated by genomic studies in the U.S. and Canada with data from 10,000 tumors generated by previous research projects. The Treehouse Initiative will compare an individual child’s cancer to both childhood and adult patient cohorts across all cancer types to aid in decision-making for treatments. This cross-cancer analysis can identify situations where a drug developed for another indication may work in a pediatric cancer, providing new treatment avenues to children with cancer.

UC Santa Cruz was one of 37 colleges and universities across the U.S. that took part in St. Baldrick’s Battle of the Bald, a competition to see which school could raise the most money for childhood cancer research. The tournament ran from Sept. 1 to Dec. 5 and raised more than $235,000 collectively. To see which colleges placed second and third, check out the St. Baldrick’s blog.

Battle of the Bald 2017 starts in September! Register online or email Kelsey Canan at BattleofTheBald@stbaldricks.org to sign up.

About St. Baldrick’s Foundation

As the largest private funder of childhood cancer research grants, the St. Baldrick’s Foundation believes that kids are special and deserve to be treated that way. St. Baldrick’s funds are granted to some of the most brilliant childhood cancer research experts in the world and to innovative explorers who bring with them the promise of a future free from childhood cancers. Kids need treatments as unique as they are – and that starts with funding research just for them. Join us at StBaldricks.org to help support the best cancer treatments for kids.

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