Circle of Giving Doubles Down

Circle of Giving

When it comes to ROI, members of the OHSU Center for Women’s Health Circle of Giving recognize a good philanthropic investment when they see one. The group started in 2007 to raise funds in support of research that addresses the specific health care needs of women. Each spring the members meet to evaluate proposals from new and established investigators and select a promising researcher to receive a grant of $125,000. 

This May, the group funded two projects at that level. Members upped the ante and raised an additional $125,000 to support the Knight Cancer Challenge, creating a grant in its name. Both of the winning research projects involve the study of triple-negative breast cancers. 

Stephen Yun-Chi Chui, M.D., and Paul T. Spellman, Ph.D., will use the Circle of Giving grant to discover a blood-based system to detect breast cancer cells that have escaped surgery, chemotherapy and radiation, only to metastasize later in a woman who was believed to be cancer free. The new technique could eventually enable treatment much earlier than is currently possible. 

Summer L. Gibbs, Ph.D., who received the Knight Cancer Challenge grant, will use a novel high-resolution 20-color immunofluorescence imaging technology to better understand the complex immunologic makeup of breast cancer and help develop targeted treatment. Gibbs works with Lisa Coussens, Ph.D., who holds the Hildegard Lamfrom Chair in Basic Science.