The New York Genome Center (NYGC) launched a multi-institutional research effort aimed at fighting pediatric leukemia and neuroblastoma funded by a two-year, $2.437 million grant from The Sohn Conference Foundation, both institutions said today. 

The Sohn Collaborative for Pediatric Cancer Research, as the effort is titled, will include participation from NYGC and five of its institutional founding members: Columbia University, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York University School of Medicine, The Rockefeller University and Weill Cornell Medical College.

NYGC said it will also conduct genome sequencing and computational analysis for the research effort.

The collaborative will identify and analyze why some children's tumors respond readily to treatment while others don’t, resulting in relapses or no response at all. Researchers will sequence the genomes of 'outlier' tumors with unusual responses to treatment, hoping to discover clues on how to fight pediatric leukemia and neuroblastoma more effectively.

We are investing in some of the best scientists in the world, as they come together to solve our shared challenge to end childhood cancer,” Evan Sohn, founder of The Sohn Conference Foundation, said in a statement. “We have every confidence that the force of their great minds as applied to genomics will unleash discoveries of a new order.”

Founded in 1995, the foundation has raised more than $50 million. It was established to honor the memory of Ira Sohn, a successful trader on Wall Street who lost his battle to cancer at age 29.

The foundation’s reach includes the Sohn London Conference, launched the Sohn San Francisco Conference by partnering with Excellence in Investing for Children's Causes; and launched the Sohn Conference Hong Kong by partnering with the Karen Leung Foundation.

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