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Support That Runs Deep: Pennsylvania Breast Cancer Coalition Funding to Wistar Has Been a Bridge to New Discoveries

March 3, 2021

For almost 20 years, the Pennsylvania Breast Cancer Coalition (PBCC) has supported top Wistar researchers embarking on their scientific careers. For them, it has meant the opportunity to pursue scientific theories — no matter how off-the-beaten-track — and to investigate and make discoveries that could be transformative.

Wistar’s Dr. Zach Schug became the latest PBCC research grant winner. Funding has allowed him to study the complex role of acetate in cancer. He hopes to connect the dots between a high fat/high sugar diet, acetate metabolism, the gut microbiome, and gene expression to better understand how tumors eat, grow and progress in breast cancer.

PBCC founder Pat Halpin-Murphy and team came to Wistar for a heartfelt and socially distanced celebration and check presentation with Wistar’s president & CEO Dr. Dario Altieri and Dr. Schug.

“We are thrilled to focus our 2021 research grants funding on the treatments of tomorrow for patients with metastatic breast cancer,” said PBCC president and founder Pat Halpin-Murphy. “It is our hope that, with this research, scientists like Dr. Schug will find cures for patients whose disease has spread to advanced stages. Seeing these brilliant minds in action, and supporting their selfless work, is the motivation behind our mission of finding a cure for breast cancer now… so our daughters don’t have to.”

“We couldn’t do cutting-edge science without key funding from the PBCC, a local organization that has done so much for breast cancer research and care in our region,” said Dario Altieri, M.D., Wistar president and CEO, Cancer Center director and the Robert & Penny Fox Distinguished Professor. “We are fortunate to continue a long-standing partnership with the PBCC to advance the most innovative science and improve the lives of countless women with breast cancer.”

Out front of Wistar, the sun shone down on this special day, as the three discussed the shared opportunities and impact their organizations have made together.