Pediatric Oncologist Receives Hyundai Scholar Grant for Leukemia Research

Hyundai Motor America and its Miami-Fort Lauderdale dealers have awarded John Goldberg, M.D., assistant professor of pediatrics, a $50,000 Hyundai Scholar grant to study the anti-leukemia properties of metformin, a commonly prescribed oral medication for diabetes, in combination with other drugs. Dr. Goldberg currently leads a Phase I clinical trial on metformin in children with leukemia, which is funded by the Pediatric Cancer Foundation through the Sunshine Project. The Hope on Wheels Scholar grant will allow for follow-up research in collaboration with the current trial.

Hyundai officials presented the grant July 28 at the Batchelor Children’s Research Institute as part of the automaker’s Hope on Wheels program, which is awarding a total of $2.7 million to support childhood cancer research at 50 children’s hospitals across the nation this year.

“Hyundai’s support helps make it possible to provide novel therapies to children right here in South Florida,’’ said Goldberg, also director of the Pediatric Oncology Early Phase Clinical Trials Program at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center. “Hyundai also helps children with cancer all over the world receive the same cutting-edge care when the research that Hope on Wheels supports leads to new treatment available to kids everywhere.”

After the presentation, two 12-year-old cancer survivors, Rachel Stief and Daisy Healey, dipped their hands in colorful paint and affixed their prints to a 2011 Hyundai Sonata – an official vehicle of the Hope on Wheels tour – to commemorate their brave battles with cancer, and express their gratitude to Hyundai.

“Hyundai has been a dedicated donor to our pediatric oncology program since 2010,” said Julio Barredo, M.D., director of pediatric hematology/oncology at the Miller School and director of Children’s Cancer Programs at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center. “With this grant, we have now received $150,000 from Hyundai Hope on Wheels to help our physicians and researchers get closer to a cure for childhood cancer. We are proud to be a recipient of Hyundai’s generosity.”

John Krafcik, president and CEO of Hyundai Motor America, said the company, which thrives on “new thinking and new possibilities,” supports doctors and hospitals that are doing the same in the fight against pediatric cancer. “Our goal is to support the important research that will find a cure,” he said.

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