December 15, 2020 – The Paceline Ride, LLC team delivered a check for $126,000 to the Georgia Cancer Center at Augusta University. The money will be divided up and handed out through an application process for cancer research projects.
“2020 has been a challenging year for everyone on so many levels, both personal and business. Despite this, we had twice the number of participants participating in Paceline from 2019,” said Dag Grantham, Paceline Board Chairman and Founder. “Thanks to the leadership of the Paceline Board, the outstanding team of dedicated employees of Paceline, and the eagerness of our participants to make a difference in the quest to cure cancer, we are extremely honored to present this check for $126,000 to the Georgia Cancer Center.”
Each year, Paceline hosts a bike ride for hundreds of participants who are pedaling toward a common goal: cure cancer faster, together. 100% of all fundraising supports research and survivorship at the Georgia Cancer Center. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Paceline leadership canceled the in-person cycling event in May and rescheduled a virtual fundraiser on October 24, 2020, encouraging teams and individual participants to host safe, socially distanced events to raise money for the Cancer Center.
During the inaugural event, in May 2019, participants raised over $200,000, with the funds being divided into three research awards at the Cancer Center:
Major Equipment Award: Dr. Han-Fei Ding
Dr. Ding’s recommendation for the purchase of an Amersham ImageQuant 800 (IQ800) imager has been approved for funding for $50,000. This imaging system provides high-resolution quantitative analyses for multiple sample types, and its highly sensitive detection capabilities automatically optimize the best signal-to-noise ratio when analyzing gels and blots.
Translational Research Award II: Drs. Huidong Shi and Ravindra Kolhe
Their project, “Cellular heterogeneity and tumor microenvironment in triple negative breast cancer disparities,” will receive up to $75,000 upon receipt and review of a full proposal. Using single cell RNA sequencing technology, this research will address the disparity observed in triple negative breast cancer prevalence and treatment outcomes for African American versus Caucasian women.
Early Career Researcher Award: Dr. Zhi-Chun Ding
Dr. Ding’s project, “Targeting IFNg-induced CD4+ T Cell Exhaustion to Potentiate Cancer Immunotherapy,” was selected as the top-ranking proposal, to receive up to $75,000. Dr. Ding’s research aims to improve the efficacy of adoptive T-cell transfer (ACT) cancer therapeutic regimens, which rely on functional CD8+ and CD4+ T cells. Using a novel model system, Dr. Ding will focus on overcoming one limitation of ACT: tumor-induced CD4+ T cell exhaustion.
“We are already planning for year three and hope to engage more participants and raise more money,” Grantham said. “My personal goal is for us to double the combined total of 2019 and 2020 for a total of over $326,000 raised in 2021. Together, we can cure cancer faster!”