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Siteman Physician Receives $200,000 Grant

Jim Goodwin

Todd Fehniger, MD, PhD

Oct. 19, 2012 – Todd Fehniger, MD, PhD, a bone marrow transplant and lymphoma specialist at the Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, has been awarded a $200,000 grant by The V Foundation for Cancer Research.

Fehniger is one of only 17 oncologists this year to receive the two-
year grant, which The V Foundation gives to recognize and assist “rising star” physicians and scientists.

“We believe that the V Scholar grants are an investment in extraordinary people as well as in important research,” says Susan Braun, CEO of The V Foundation. “It also adds to the cadre of people dedicated to ending cancer. The benefits are lifelong.”

Fehniger’s research centers on boosting the ability of one type of cell in the immune system, natural killer (NK) cells, to fight cancer, especially leukemia and lymphoma.

His laboratory will study methods to augment NK cell anti-cancer function using cytokines, proteins used by other immune cells to alert NK cells to danger. These studies will identify new approaches to stimulate NK cells with the goal of persistent anti-cancer activity, which will potentially result in innovative strategies to use these cells in future clinical trials.

“I am honored that The V Foundation has recognized my research and has invested in my work on behalf of my patients,” says Fehniger, assistant professor of medicine at Washington University. “We are all hopeful that new ways to cure cancer will be found, and harnessing all aspects of the immune system to fight cancer is one very promising approach.”

The V Foundation for Cancer Research was founded by ESPN and ESPN commentator Jim Valvano shortly before he died of cancer in 1993. The foundation has funded more than $100 million in cancer research grants nationwide. For more information about the foundation, visit