It’s working …

As the Terri Brodeur Foundation celebrates its 15th anniversary, we are taking a moment to assess the impact our small, grassroots non-profit has had in the fight to find a cure for breast cancer.

The money we raise is making a difference

Over the years, supporters have raised more than $5.2 million and awarded that money to 52 researchers who are trying to find a cure for breast cancer and others who are looking for better ways to treat those already diagnosed with breast cancer.

Douglas Micalizzi, MD, PhD
Douglas Micalizzi, MD, PhD

Britain W. Nicholson, senior vice president at Mass General recently sent a thank you to the foundation for its support of researchers over the years, including a 2021 award to Dr. Douglas Micalizzi, who is working on a project called “The Role of Protein Translation in Circulating Tumor Cell Metastasis and Drug Resistance.” He is one of four researchers awarded grants for 2021.

“In these extraordinary times, the foundation’s generosity plays an integral role in our institution’s ability to adapt and thrive,” Nicholson said, adding that Dr. Micalizzi values the foundation’s investment in his research, which will make a lasting difference in “the lives of so many individuals at Mass General and beyond.”

The 52 researchers, physicians and PhDs who have received grants from the Brodeur Foundation have made promising advances in finding a cure and have helped improve treatments for patients already facing the disease. The foundation’s scientific advisory board has screened 700 proposals over the years and painstakingly reviewed 350 for possible grants. Grant recipients have written 31 articles that have appeared in peer-reviewed publications.

In 2016, the foundation provided research money to Mihriban Karaayvaz, PhD, a post-doc in the lab of Leif Ellisen, MD, PhD, at the Mass General Cancer Center. In her research, Dr. Karaayvaz focused on analyzing distinct cell populations from healthy mastectomy tissues of BRCA1/2 carriers and from tissues of patients undergoing reduction mammoplasty. Her studies identified new targets for breast cancer prevention for future clinical trials.

Pictured center is Mihriban Karaayvaz, PhD and (l-r) TBF John LaMattina, PhD, Sandy Maniscalco and Michael Morin, PhD, and MGH Leif Ellisen, MD
Pictured center is Mihriban Karaayvaz, PhD and (l-r) TBF John LaMattina, PhD, Sandy Maniscalco and Michael Morin, PhD, and MGH Leif Ellisen, MD

In 2017, Mass General also recognized the Brodeur Foundation as “one of one hundred” individuals or groups “that are changing how we fight breast cancer in inspiring and often revolutionary ways”  The world is being shaped by the pandemic, Nicholson said in his letter to the foundation, and science, humility, flexibility, and wisdom are the guiding forces.

Co-founder Sandy Maniscalco and her husband Phil represented the foundation during the 2017 "One Hundred" award ceremony at Mass General Hospital.
Co-founder Sandy Maniscalco and her husband Phil represented the foundation during the 2017 “One Hundred” award ceremony at Mass General Hospital

“We are inspired by the foundation’s enduring dedication to excellence in breast cancer research and patient care,” he said. “Thank you again.”

Click here to read more about our 52 grant recipients.

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