Contact: Will Sansom
|Isabella Fuentes, 11, (left) and Jessica Rosales, 19, (right) visit with their physician, Allison Grimes, M.D. On Aug. 13, Dr. Grimes was awarded a Hyundai Scholar Grant to study the role of genetic factors in treatment-related pancreatitis in childhood leukemia. Click on the images for a larger view|
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SAN ANTONIO (Aug. 13, 2013) — Hyundai Hope on Wheels® and San Antonio Hyundai dealers awarded Allison Grimes, M.D., a $75,000 Hyundai Scholar Grant on Aug. 13. The grant pushes Hyundai’s support of children’s cancer research in the School of Medicine at the UT Health Science Center San Antonio to well over half a million dollars since 2007.
Dr. Grimes is a pediatric hematology/oncology fellow in the Department of Pediatrics in the School of Medicine. She is studying the genetic basis of pancreatitis as a side effect of leukemia therapy in children.
Two of Dr. Grimes' patients joined her at the announcement: Isabella Fuentes, 11, who the day of the announcement had completed radiation therapy for stage 4 Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and Jessica Rosales, 19, who was treated for the same cancer and has been disease-free for seven months. Both received care from faculty physicians of UT Kids™ San Antonio, the academic pediatric practice of the School of Medicine at the Health Science Center.Research into pancreatitis
“Hyundai’s generous Scholar Grant will support cutting-edge investigations into the role of genetic factors in treatment-related pancreatitis in childhood leukemia,” Dr. Grimes said. “Pancreatitis is a severe side effect of therapy with significant morbidity and mortality that limits subsequent treatment.”
Dr. Grimes, a graduate of the School of Medicine, is one of 15 subspecialty fellows in the Department of Pediatrics Residency Program. Her faculty mentor is Gail Tomlinson, M.D., Ph.D.
, professor of pediatrics, division chief of pediatric hematology/oncology, and interim director of the Greehey Children’s Cancer Research Institute
, where the grant award ceremony took place. Dr. Grimes is a very dedicated physician to children with cancer, Dr. Tomlinson said during the program.
“Identifying underlying genetic mutations associated with chemotherapy-related pancreatitis will enable physicians to individualize therapy for children at greatest risk,” Dr. Grimes said. “We are committed to improving quality of life while minimizing adverse treatment effects in the growing numbers of survivors of childhood leukemia.”
Hope abounds for cancer survivors
|Shown at the check presentation are (left to right) Frank Vomero, Superior Hyundai; Mark McClung, Hyundai – Southwest Regional Office; Allison Grimes, M.D., medical resident; Gail Tomlinson, M.D., Ph.D., interim director of Greehey Children’s Cancer Institute; Jim Thompson, Hyundai – Southwest Regional Office; Thad Robakiewicz, Superior Hyundai; and Jay Emer, district parts and service manager.
Rosales and Fuentes were invited to place their handprints dipped in colorful paint on poster boards, symbolizing the Hope on Wheels program. Every Handprint Ceremony celebrates the courageous lives of children faced with cancer. “I call Isabella my little sister of cancer,” Rosales said, remembering times she felt compelled to leave her room to encourage other young hospitalized patients such as Isabella.Long-term support
Hope on Wheels has now provided $555,000 since 2007 to the Health Science Center. The Health Science Center is one of 40 institutions chosen to be on the Hyundai Scholar Grant tour in 2013, said Mark McClung, regional marketing manager for the Southwest Region for Hyundai Motor America.Vivienne Rebel, M.D., Ph.D.
, assistant professor of cellular and structural biology, spoke about the 2012 Hope Grant awarded to Alexander Bishop, D.Phil.
, assistant professor of cellular and structural biology, and Dr. Rebel. The Hope Grant supported studies of myelodysplasia and leukemia.